Theft of Plants

poquito_coloradoJune 12, 2011

Woke up this morning to find that someone had stolen newly-planted 'pacific mist' manzanita and scarlet monkeyflowers right out of my front yard.

Any similar experiences?

And for God's sake, why?

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That's awful! They dug them up? I'm so sorry that happened to you.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 2:09PM
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You are kidding! Was it planted in the ground? I have had potted cactus stolen off of my porch in the past, just a common cholla, like those ones growing wild all over NM and the other common large green padded type. More upsetting about the pots than the cactus. Whoever did it had to have gotten stuck since they were large. I cannot, however, imagine anyone taking a shrub and bedding plants like that.

Weird, because I was just reading about manzanita last night. Is it hardy there? They listed this one as hardy to 20 degrees for Texas zones. I was just wondering because if it was in the ground stealing it just seems even more outrageous somehow.

I do get kids walking home from school making mischief sometimes. Like one year they tore off my gorgeous Red Hot Pokers and threw all the flowers at the house. Looking tough for their friends? Who knows.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 3:15PM
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They were dug up out of the ground. Juvenile maliciousness I can understand, but whoever took these was careful to get them out without damaging the roots, etc. I think they just wanted them.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 4:46PM
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Yes, this has happened in several gardens in which I have volunteered or donated trilliums or other somewhat precious plants, so we know people were looking for the "good stuff."

And in some local neighborhoods, they take the porch furniture, bird baths, flags, planted pots, etc. Private ownership doesn't seem to count any more.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 5:00PM
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Were they expensive? Someone must have known plants. The manzanita is not something your average person or even garden buff would even know about. Not around these parts anyway. This would make me sick to go out and see a thing like that because usually the first thing you want to do is go admire it after having just planted it.

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 6:33PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

I don't know how many plants you are talking about or what size. But I've had critters dig up/carry off small plants when the gardens are new and young. Happened just recently with some marigolds. Could it be something of that nature for you as well?


    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 7:15PM
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Well, we have raccoons around here. Could they be the culprits?

    Bookmark   June 12, 2011 at 7:45PM
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terrene(5b MA)

Last fall I ordered several Hostas from Bluestone when they were have a fall special. I planted them in one of the front gardens, not far from the sidewalk, however there is shrubbery between the garden bed and the sidewalk. Put the plant tags in the ground next to the Hostas.

I went out one morning to check that garden bed, and couldn't believe it, but 1 of the 3 Hostas was missing. No roots, stems, nothing left. Hostas are pretty indestructable, so I doubted it was a critter or the drought.

Well, the next morning, another one of the Hostas was gone. I knew it was a thief at that point, and so moved the 1 remaining Hosta up closer to the house. Now I won't plant anything special near the sidewalk. Just common, everyday plants that aren't that appealing.

First time that I'm aware of something like that happening in 8 years.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 10:20AM
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I replanted both of them,if they 'walk away' again I'm planting coyote brush.

    Bookmark   June 13, 2011 at 12:06PM
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Please let us know how this story turns out. I find the entire thing kind of creepy and hope the mystery gets solved. Wouldn't it be nice to happen to be looking out the window when the thief (human or animal) is in the act.

    Bookmark   June 14, 2011 at 3:50PM
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Two more plants stolen out of our yard, this time in broad daylight.

I wonder if I should replace them with poison oak and stinging nettles?

    Bookmark   July 6, 2011 at 7:48PM
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If you put down 2"X4" concrete mesh after you plant and cover it with mulch, or in the spring before the plants come up, they will grow through it and make it impossible to dig anything up. It comes in panels, I want to say 3'x5' but maybe that isn't quite right, larger or smaller. It also keeps dogs and squirrels from digging things up. Of couse, YOU can't dig anything up, either! But it would sure stop the thievery!

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:08PM
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I think that's 4"x4" concrete reinforcing mesh. It doesn't cost much per panel and would be worth it.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 1:11PM
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lycopus(z5 NY)

Might just put out a sign that says "monitored by remote camera" or something like that. Would be a cheap way to discourage further theft if they have reason to believe they could get caught.

    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 3:59PM
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fatamorgana2121(Zone 5/6)

Of course a camera notice doesn't stop the critters like those who have made off with some of my young plants this year. I'm sure it is an herbivore since there would be no value to humans to take the odd plants/clusters of plants from the veggie garden. While I'm not discounting the possible 2-legged vermin in your gardens, the 4-legged ones can be culprits too.

I think I'd be planting something with thorns, big sharp pointy thorns. Good against all the vermin.


    Bookmark   July 7, 2011 at 9:28PM
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I am at work 7;30 to 6:30 6 days a week. I plant 3 ac to veg that a friend sells at his farm stand. 2 years ago I came home in the middle of the day and saw a person picking cabbage and putting it into the trunk of a car. I did not think much of it but when I talked to the stand owner a few days later I asked if his truck broke down. He said no but when I told him what the car was he said it was one owned by another stand owner 5 miles away. The friend only pays for produce he sells as fresh (2 day old peaches come back to me for making wine). I went to the other stand owner and tripped a few times , might have upset a few bins of tomatoes and stepped on them getting up. I told the owner he had a nice car when he was done with it I would like to have it for a target. Just park it by my garden any time. MY crop yield improved the next year. I would sell to him also but I don't think he could keep with my standard . If you say it comes from here It will be better than just good. Answer one question how can I make it better. And third do you plan on storing it so it should be picked 2 or 3 days earlier than it is fully ripe. (I poor my corn flakes before I go out to pick the peach to cut up on them, then add milk) gramp was always a fresh stickler.

    Bookmark   July 24, 2011 at 12:54PM
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Embothrium(USDA 8 Sunset 5 WA)

I hope you are in California because neither of those will be hardy in Colorado. When I worked at a landscape supply store many years ago they stocked an anchorage system for those who wanted to keep plants installed on landscape jobs from disappearing.

Friends that used to operate a nursery and landscape company from their home near ours once had an episode where potted stock was being hauled off and put in a truck during the night. One of their sons happened to be sleeping under the stars that night and chased them through the nearby downtown in one of their vehicles, until they gave up and pulled over.

It was a landscaper and client trying to get free stock for her project. I'd like to hear a tape of the conversation between those two, the one where whatever led to this scheme being hatched was first uttered.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2011 at 2:25AM
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I had a similar experience.

I planted several plants to start a shrub border about 3 feet in from my neighbor's fence. A few months later, after a snow melt I found empty holes where the plants had been. The next morning a friend and I found that each hole had dieback around the hole with a stream of dead grass going back to the other side of the fence. Yes, a next door neighbor (who contends that she owns part of our yard) had tried to kill each plant with Roundup first. She succeeded in killing some of the plants. Eight plants were totally missing. Her husband admitted (after a few drinks) to another neighbor that he had taken the plants at his wife's request. When I confronted him he denied his admission. We later found the plants down our hill in a wooded area where this man had thrown them back over the fence into the brush.

We made police reports but were told not much anyone would do about it. So, we have a sign up now reading "SMILE you are on camera!" and of course everyone on our street knows the story. Our next plan is to put up a movable bamboo screen and replant. The screen will be to prevent more Roundup being sprayed from this neighbor's yard.

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:01AM
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terrene(5b MA)

Alygal, sorry to hear about your neighbors! I sometimes wonder if the Hostas were taken not necessarily by the neighbors themselves, but maybe one of their visitors.

I haven't had any other plants go missing (except for those the voles are decimating), but oddly in that same corner by the sidewalk, my White Pines are dying. It could be just drought and wind stress, but it almost appears as if someone is poisoning them!

I was thinking about putting a couple fake cameras on the corners of the house, and then spread the word that I've put up surveillance cameras. Haha

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 2:27PM
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