I’m not sure about how the rest of the world is holding up, but in my state in Australia, we’re currently experiencing a second wave of COVID-19. As such, I’ve been buying plants online (I’ll make sure to show you guys how they arrive when they do). I’m sure a lot of plant people are, like myself, now staying home and buying plants online. Unfortunately, this means that our new plants are subject to the stress of shipping. In this post, I’ll be making 5 suggestions to help your plants recover after being shipped.
1. Put the plant in medium indirect light
Stressed plants don’t do well in bright light, even if it’s not too hot. Shipped or posted plants are even more sensitive to light because they have been in complete darkness for anywhere from 2 days to a week. Start your plant off in medium indirect light, and then move it into brighter light if it needs more light after a month.
2. Don’t rush to repot
Plants posted in their nursery pots should not be repotted straight away, because they need to get used to your environment first. Don’t stress them out by immediately repotting them. Basically, think of the process of allowing a plant to acclimate like a gradient of change. The more gently you can ease the plant into your home, the better. Make changes slowly. In the case of plants that were sent bare-rooted or in sphagnum moss, put them in a standard potting mix and water. Try to leave it alone for a bit after that.
3. Delay fertilising
Fertilising should only be done on plants that have acclimated to your home. Otherwise, you could end up with burned roots, which will set your plant back significantly. Also, do not fertilise your cuttings, even if they’ve grown roots. Just don’t do it.
4. Keep the humidity relatively high
Most plants that we grow indoors are tropical plants. They love humidity, so if you can give them that, they’ll thank you for it by growing quickly and displaying fewer signs of shipping-related stress.
5. Try to buy full plants
Try to buy complete plants, rather than rooted cuttings. Rooted cuttings can take a long time to grow, and you might have to hold onto it until a growing season for it to begin to show any signs of growth. That being said, buying rooted cuttings is a great way to get beautiful in-demand plants at a lower price point if you’re confident in your skills to make them grow without killing them.