Homeowner Pleads for Help After Finding Plant Growing Through Her Walls

A woman who pleaded for help from internet users after finding something mysterious in her home has become an unlikely viral sensation.

Olivia Lung, 28, was cleaning the home she shares with her husband in New Jersey when she pulled out the TV stand, only to find an entire plant growing through her walls.

Lung told Newsweek that she “needed it gone that night; for whatever reason sleeping with it still growing made me feel so uneasy.”

“My husband said that he possibly saw some sprouts a few months ago, but I’ve never seen anything like this before, especially this large of a plant,” Lung said. She added that her husband was away on the night she made the discovery and she “went into full-blown panic mode” imagining what could be wrong with the house.

On April 27, Lung took to TikTok on her account @oliviaaa1017 where she showed off what looked like ivy leaves tangled up in the wires behind her TV. “That’s a plant,” she said. “That’s, like, fully a plant growing in my house from outside. I don’t know what to do.”

Zooming in, Lung showed that the stalks appeared to be pushing through from the skirting board, and said in a disgusted voice: “It’s coming through my walls. If anybody knows what to do about a plant growing through your walls, please let me know.”

Ivy growing through walls
From left: Olivia Lung talks in the viral video; and the plant that invaded her home. She told Newsweek she was cleaning her house when she pulled out the TV stand and wasn’t prepared for…

TikTok @oliviaaa1017

Lung’s video has been viewed over 681,000 times, garnering over 37,000 likes and hundreds of comments as TikTok users were left just as baffled as her. One wrote: “And I can’t even get the ones I PAID FOR to stay alive.”

“A WHOLE NEW meaning to house plant,” another posted, and one even commented: “Can we just leave it and see how big it can get?”

Lung, who bought the New Jersey home with her husband in 2020, said their house is covered in ivy from the previous owners. An insurance rep who visited their home noted that the plant “can and will find any way to get into a home and, in our case, it made its way through the siding.”

The Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the U.K. writes in an online publication that, while “ivy-clad buildings can be attractive and are especially useful in adding interest to a shady spot,” the plant’s ability to “self-cling and grow rapidly can make it nuisance, so control may be necessary.”

“Self-clinging climbers such as Boston ivy and Virginia creeper do not usually cause damage to wall surfaces, but common or English ivy supports itself by aerial roots and where these penetrate cracks or joints, they may cause structural damage,” the RHS writes.

Lung and her husband pulled the ivy out of the wall, trimmed it back and recaulked the baseboard, which sounds simple enough. However, she said that the plant lovers of TikTok she had asked for help from “had some wild solutions, which were definitely scaring me a bit.”

“Before I knew it was ivy, a lot of people thought it was Japanese knotweed, which is apparently incredibly invasive and ruins everything, so I’m so thankful it wasn’t that,” Lung said.

She added that she can’t believe how viral her video has become, as she never thought “people would care so much about my ‘house plant’. I’m still getting daily comments and they’re all, for the most part, really funny and positive.”

And Lung handed out advice for anyone considering getting ivy to decorate the outside of their home: “Don’t plant ivy, and if you have it, get rid of it before it has the chance to do this!”

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