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House plant is heir to $5,000

By Judy Martel · Bankrate.com
Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Posted: 6 am ET

Remember when New York hotel owner Leona Helmsley left her Maltese dog a mind-boggling $12 million in her estate? Back in 2007, when Helmsley died, her doggie-heir was seen as an eccentric sign of the ridiculous excess of the super-wealthy.

8-ways-to-save-money-on-costly-lawn-care-10-end-lgBut that was then. Leaving money for the care of pets after an owner's death doesn't raises eyebrows so much anymore. But what about leaving money for the care of a house plant? The Wall Street Journal reports that a Pittsburgh woman plans to bequeath $5,000 in her will to a friend for the care of a 7-foot-tall, 42-year-old philodendron.

Plants deserve some love, too

Ronna Scoratow, age 63 and in good health, has owned the plant since 1972 when it was a mere babe, at under a foot tall. She told the Wall Street Journal that she doesn't know how long philodendrons live, but imagines it could be forever if they are cared for properly. "After I pass, I don't want her to go unloved," she said.

The hardy plant has taken over Scoratow's living room, first crashing through a glass table when it became too heavy and now residing in a pot on the floor. Its fronds have taken root in the floorboards and block the view from a picture window.

Although Scoratow said she rescues house plants and nurtures them in her home, she has made no arrangements for those plants in her will. She has no children and her attorney described the provision for the philodendron as "interesting," adding that "I've done provisions for pets, but never a plant."

Americans spend billions on Fido and Fluffy: Learn how to make your pet a beneficiary in your will.

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May 08, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Get a life!

May 08, 2014 at 2:16 am

What do you look for on a philodendron to determine if it's a him or her?

Phillip Abston
May 07, 2014 at 11:57 pm

My lacy tree philodendron is 8+ feet tall and weighs over 400 pounds in the pot. I've had my philodendron for 46 years and he's still going strong.Ms. Scoratow's plant is an infant compared to mine. His name is Ichabod.