Stop that Thief!!!

Updated: Aug 5, 2021

Hard to believe, but there is an epidemic happening right under our eyes and I am a victim. BUT my being a victim is small compared to the places that are really under attack.


About two months ago my doorbell rang. When I answered, a very agitated young man told me that he had just witnessed a woman digging up plants from my front yard. He was walking by and thought she belonged to the house until he suddenly realized she was putting the plants in her car!

Signage drawing attention to stolen plants at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.
Signage drawing attention to stolen plants at The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens.

I’m not alone. Since COVID hit, America has become a nation of gardeners. Nurseries run out of plants, so people have taken to helping themselves at local public Gardens across the nation. I know two local Southern California gardens have been hit—The Huntington Library, Art Museum, and Botanical Gardens, and the Virginia Robinson Gardens. People take a little bit off this plant, a cactus bud, break off a ‘twig’ and think two things: 1) no one will notice; and, 2) they aren’t doing any harm.


The sad part is they are noticed and they are doing harm. Unless you know the correct way to take a cutting it can really harm a plant. Most importantly, however, THEY ARE STEALING!


So if you think you might like a cutting from a plant, just take a moment and ask. I’m sure most of the time the owner will say "yes" and be pleased that you appreciated their garden and have the same tastes in plants.


Learn more

The QR codes on the sign in the image go to the following links:

  • Click here to read an article by the Botanic Gardens Conservation International, "Plant poaching is on the rise. What can we do?"

  • Click here to read a description about The Huntington's Botanical Conservation Program.

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