The legalities of plant parenting | Inquirer Business
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The legalities of plant parenting

“[Y]OU plant some seeds. If they grow, great; if they don’t, you don’t take it personally,” said professional golf instructor Hank Haney in an interview with Golf Digest. “Not my problem; I just keep planting. Just like a farmer.”

In this interview, Haney was actually comparing farming with his communication attempts to former student Tiger Woods, who had been sporadically replying to them at that time. But, his observation seems befitting as we cope with this pandemic by, among others, gardening.


According to the International Association of Horticultural Producers, gardening provides an avenue for experiencing nature, which is proven to improve one’s mental and emotional well-being. It also reduces physical and mental conditions, such as anxiety, depression, heart disease and obesity, and may support recovery from illness.

Based on our social media feeds, gardening at this time would usually comprise indoor plants, hydroponic gardens and sprawling greens in the backyard.


“A lot of people are gardening for the first time,” said Rutgers University professor Joel Flagler in an interview with Courier Post. “You can start today and be successful starting today with a seed. Plants don’t judge. Plants don’t discriminate.”

As you finally decide to till land, which you may or may not own, and fill your pots with seeds and soil, keep in mind of your rights and obligations as a budding plant parent.

Land ownership extends to everything which is produced thereby, or which is incorporated or attached thereto, either naturally or artificially.

To the owner belongs, among others, the natural fruits, which are the spontaneous products of the soil, and the young and other products of animals. In this regard, the person who receives the fruits is obliged to pay the expenses made by a third person in their production, gathering and preservation.

Subject to the succeeding conditions, whatever is planted on the land of another and the improvements or repairs made thereon, belong to the owner of the land. Moreover, all planting is presumed made by the owner and at his expense, unless the contrary is proved.

The owner of the land who makes thereon, personally or through another, plantings with the materials of another, shall pay their value. If he acted in bad faith—that is, the act of planting was done with his knowledge and without opposition on his part, he shall also be obliged to the reparation of damages. This rule shall also apply if the planter acted in good faith.

Meanwhile, the owner of the materials shall have the right to remove them only in case he can do so without, among others, the plantings, constructions or work being destroyed. But if the landowner acted in bad faith, the owner of the materials may remove them in any event, with a right to be indemnified for damages.


The owner of the land on which anything has been planted in good faith, shall have the right to: (a) appropriate as his own the works, sowing or planting, after payment of necessary and other applicable expenses; or (b) oblige the person who planted to pay the price of the land. But, the planter cannot be obliged to buy the land if its value is considerably more than that of the trees. In such case, he shall pay reasonable rent, if the landowner would not choose to appropriate the trees after proper indemnity. The parties shall agree upon the terms of the lease and in case of disagreement, the court shall fix the terms thereof.

A person who plants in bad faith on the land of another loses what has been planted without a right to indemnity. Moreover, the owner of this land may demand that the planting be removed, in order to replace things in their former condition at the expense of the person who planted. The owner may likewise compel the planter to pay the price of the land. In any case, the owner is entitled to damages from the planter.

Nevertheless, the planter in bad faith is entitled to reimbursement for the necessary expenses of preservation of the land.

If there was bad faith on both the landowner and the planter, the rights of one and the other shall be the same as though they had acted in good faith.

If the materials, plants, or seeds belong to a third person acting in good faith, the owner of the land shall answer subsidiarily for their value and only in the event that the one who made use of them had no property with which to pay.

This rule does not apply, however, if the landowner exercised his rights to have the plants removed or to compel the planter to pay rent. Moreover, if the planter reimbursed the owner of the materials, plants or seeds, the latter may demand the landowner the value of the materials and labor.

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TAGS: International Association of Horticultural Producers, plant parenting
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