I need to get rid of a beloved (?) houseplant

Mr. smaje and I received said houseplant – a kind of umbrella plant, it seems – at our housewarming party 6 years ago. Since then this little shoot has sprouted into three giant shoots, each containing a handful of leaves.

We’ve moved it all across the West coast, from apartment to apartment. Now we’re in a house rental which is too small for out growing family. “Green Machine,” as we fondly call him, is now taking up too damn much room.

He’s sprawling – about 3 feet wide by 3 feet tall – and not full, but pretty sparse. I just don’t know what to do with him. We have to keep him roped off because baby smaje likes to dig in his dirt. So he’s now taking up about 5 square feet in our miniscule kitchen.

He doesn’t do well outdoors – we’re in Seattle, and his leaves shirvel in the cold.

My husband and I joked he’d be with us forever, but now I’m ready to see him move to a better place. A farm upstate, perhaps.

Any suggestions? I was thinking about donating him to a nursing home or something.

donating to a place is a good idea.

if you like the plant consider propagating it before donating the rest. so you would make a new small plant to live with. root a leaf or divide the plant or whatever applies to that plant.

Can’t you just trim him down a little?

Trimming seconded. Alternatively, if it’s the right kind of plant, you can trim off the tops, reroot in a small pot, and toss out the old canes/root system.

Yeah, there’s no reason you need to get rid of the whole plant. It sounds like you haven’t been pruning it. Most plants do better if you prune them regularly to keep them the appropriate size and also to help them fill out instead of growing tall and sparse. This is not the ideal time to prune most plants (they generally do best if you prune them during their time of peak growth) but you could certainly still do it and chances are it would be fine.
Ever seen a bonsai? The way they keep those plants so tiny is with aggressive pruning.

However, if it’s not really about the plant being too big and you just want to get rid of the plant, you could certainly donate it to a nursing home or put it on craigslist, free cycle, or offer it to local gardeners on a gardening website. If you wait until the weather warms up, there are several gardening websites that have “plant exchange” forums where someone would be thrilled to pay postage charges to get your plant.

Is it a schefflera - one of these? If so, you can cut them back pretty hard and they wont mind. It will also help it get a bit bushier. Cut back to a spot which is just above where a leaf stalk joins the stem.

Yes! That’s what it is. Thanks, Weedy (nice user name/response, BTW).

There are two separate main stalks that are pretty far apart at the base, and each stalk has a couple of main shoots, and each shoot and a handful of bushy leaves at the top. Years ago I took it to a nursery and they told me the stalk were intertwined and couldn’t be separated, so I just got a bigger planter.

If I can cut off one of the stalks and replant it in a smaller container, that would be awesome. Can anyone provide details on how to do that?

Can you or your husband take it to work?