Post # 1
Last week our friends who live nearby asked us to take care of one of their plants while they were gone. It was a hydrangea in a big pot. They brought it over to our house. They instructed us to water it either every day or every other day depending on what it seemed like it needed. Before they left they set the plant out on our back porch. It seemed like a perfectly fine place to leave it, so I didn’t think much of it.
That was Tuesday evening. When we got home from work on Wednesday afternoon, which was a particularly hot day (it gets over 100 degrees here sometimes), we saw that the hydrangea was basically fried. The stems were black, the leaves were wilty, and the flowers were all dried out. I’ve never seen a sunburned plant before and didn’t know that was possible, but that’s the best I can explain it.
We immediately moved the plant to a much shadier part of the yard. We also, of course, watered it. Next day, still burnt. We kept watering it and it got slightly better, but it’s still pretty bad.
My friend are back in town and I have to give them their plant back. I plan on apologizing and telling them what happened and what steps we took to save it, but I’m also wondering if we should replace it. I feel really bad – they entrusted us with this plant and now it’s dead. They obviously care enough about this plant to have it babysat while they were gone. We pretty much failed them. On the other hand, it wasn’t really our fault. They are the ones who placed it on the porch. I’m not a plant expert. I don’t know whether hydrangeas need partial or full sun or whatever (well, I do now, ha!) so I didn’t think about how much sun the plant would get on that part of the porch. In hindsight, I should have said “hey, it gets really hot and sunny over here, are you sure that’s the best place,” but I didn’t even think about it until it was too late.
Should I go ahead and buy them a new one or just wait to see what they say?
Post # 2
I’m not a plant person so I don’t know how much this thing costs, but I would throw them a couple of dollars if they were going to get a new one. I honestly would have left it there too!
Post # 3
I’m assuming the plant will cost between $30-$50, btw. Not a huge expense for either party, I suppose, but enough to make me ask before shelling it out
Post # 4
I would just offer and they may not even take you up on it. If they do want you to buy a few one they’re not that expensive. I bought an absolutely beautiful hydrangea at Trader Joe’s for something like $12.
Post # 5
If it’s not a huge expense for you then I think you should offer to replace it since it happened while you were responsible for it.
Post # 6
SarahCF: If it makes you feel any better, I find hydrangeas hopeless – they die for pretty much anything regardless of how hard I try to keep them alive. It’s unfortunate, because they are so pretty, but I’ve more or less given up on buying them.
Now, in terms of replacing it – they tend to be quite cheap if you get them during the right time of year (spring). At this point in time though… I would call a local flower shop to see if they are even available. If not, perhaps just give them a bottle of wine and say you’re sorry?
Post # 7
SarahCF: yikes! So sad. I have a brown thumb so I don’t take anyone’s plants. Hope your friends understand.
Post # 8
When I flew out for my wedding, my neighbor killed all of my plants. All of them. I was so heartbroken when I came back — I am no plant expert by any definition… I water the plants every two days and that was it. Nothing special. 99% of them were planted and the other 1% were in designated pots, well drained so it’s impossible to over water them.<br /><br />Definitely offer to replace the plant — They might not take you up on it, but it’s the kind thing to do. It’s not necessarily a “Whose fault is it” kind of thing, the fact of the matter is the plant is pretty much dead. It shouldn’t be hard or expensive to replace, but your friends will likely be understanding, but if they had any particular attachment to it they might be sad, hence offering to replace it.<br /><br />My neighbor bought me a little money bamboo tree to make up for the like, 75 dead plants. It’s lovely, and it was a very thoughtful gesture.
Post # 9
I might offer in your place, but I would absolutely refuse to accept in theirs. It is the chance they took when they moved the plant.
Post # 10
I wouldn’t write the plant off as being a total loss yet. I have several of them and I have been convinced many times they were dead when they weren’t. My husband is like a plantwhisperer and tries to calm me down, and in the end he’s always right! Just keep it shaded for now and water, water, water. There’s a good chance it’ll come back.
Also, when you are watering do not spray water on the leaves. Basically just water the soil so you don’t burn the leaves.
Post # 11
I would return it to them, but insist to buy them a new one. Bring cash/cheque book with you, or be prepared to do an e-transfer. I bet that they would know better where to replace it.
Post # 12
- Wedding: July 2015 - City Hall!
I’d replace it because even though it wasn’t my fault, it died on my watch. They may not take you up on it, but the offer would be nice, and I’m sure appreciated.
Post # 13
SarahCF: I would for sure just but them a new plant and be like im so sorry, we left the plant where you left it and the sun fried it all in one day. heres a new one~. They likely wouldn’t be mad either way but I think it would be a very nice gesture to offer a new one – especially snce they are kind of into their plants.
Post # 14
SarahCF: I would either get the exact same plant (and put in the same pot they gave it you in if that was a decent one) or get them a voucher for a garden centre – perhaps even to a slightly higher value than the cost of the plant, which you could find out by describing to an assistant at the centre how tall the plant was, as I assume the price varies with the height of the plant. Do not wait for them to say: it’s okay. It is not okay even if they say it is. They will always remember this. Rather be part of a good memory even if it wasn’t your fault. Put a card with the gift to explain things, don’t explain too much at their door and get tongue-tied and awkward.
If, like another bee said, it might still be alive, then try nursing it back. Get the biggest bucket you can find and submerge the plant fully if you can, but at least the soil part and leave it there 24 hours. Then remove it, drain it off a bit and treat it normally. See if it’s okay. Your plan B could be that you’re just treating it for the unfortunate sunstroke it received and will return it asap. When it starts to look okay return it, or give them a replacement or voucher if it’s not. They will politely decline as that is good form but ignore that, they will appreciate your manners for replacing it if necessary.
Post # 15
SarahCF: They cared enough about this plant to drop it off at your house. It’s not like you killed their puppy, but it is obviously still important to them. The cost of a plant is not worth the cost of a friendship, so I’d definitely buy a new one. I don’t want to say it’s your fault, but I do think you should have asked where the best place to put it was…maybe it’s an “indoor” plant. I know nothing about plants.