Live Plant Care Tips
Your live plant is on its way! What should you do while you wait? Knowing how to receive your precious item can mean the difference between success and disappointment.
If you haven't read our preparing for your live plant order guide, ensure to read it now! While we will provide you some good general advice below, we always recommend that you do your own research on the items you have ordered so you are best prepared to care for your new plant.
It is important to give your plant prompt and immediate care when it arrives. You must remember that it has been deprived of air, light, and proper watering during its transit time. While we take great care in how we pack our plant and give them all the necessary support to survive a much longer journey than they will endure, it is still best to get your plant out of the box and in a climate controlled environment right away to avoid add stress to your plant.
Ensure to receive your plant promptly. If you leave your plant outside for too long, especially during extreme temperature conditions(hot or cold), it could lead to damage. In our experience, this is the time where the plants are at the most risk.
Be sure to open the box immediately and carefully unpack your plants. Our plants are all individually wrapped and immobilized with moistened padding. Remember it is natural for some branches to break/leaves to fall during transit. 99.9% of the time this is nothing to worry about. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us on the date of receipt with a picture and we will be happy to advise you.
Once you have carefully unpacked your plants, you should transplant your plants right away into fresh soil.
We recommend a blend of nutritious potting soil, perlite, and pine bark. Pine bark can be a little more costly, but you should at the very least use potting soil and perlite. The exact ratio of each item will vary from species to species, but you should never exceed 50% pine bark in your soil mix.
The potting soil is your base medium that provides nutrition and stability to your plant. The perlite encourage drainage and aeration. This is super important for tropical plants. Tropical plants are prone to root rot. While most generally appreciate a good watering, they should be allowed to dry slightly in between waterings, and should have a soil that drains easily so the roots are not sitting in too much water. If you do not have the proper drainage, then it will be easy to cause root rot.
Aeration is important as well. It is easy for potting soil to become compacted from repeated waterings, especially when not of right constitution. If your soil becomes overly compacted, it is possible for your waterings to become less effective if not addressed. The water can flow around the sides of a compacted brick of soil without penetrating the heart of the root base.
Pine bark was highlighted by the USDA as the best additive for potting soil. Pine bark can help with aeration and drainage, but can also help retain moisture in a way that does not overly saturate the roots.
Pine bark was shown through research to be the best option for storing carbon in the soil. There has been considerable research on the environmental benefits of this quality. In terms of your plant health, soil carbon provides a source of mineralized nutrients that help with structure, resilience, and encouraging a positive soil microbiome.
The proportion will vary slightly per species, but 50% potting soil, 25% perlite, 25% pine bark is a good place to start.
Pot size should be chosen based on the size of the roots. You should only increase the diameter and/or depth of the pot by 1" at the time.
When removing your plants from their pot, ensure to gently massage the sides of the pot while easing the plant out of the pot. It is important not to tug, or yank, or pull up straight on the trunk of the plant. If you are not careful you could damage your plant.
When transplanting ensure to line the bottom of the pot with your soil mix and lightly tamp down. You want to ensure there are no air pockets in the soil as that can harm your plant, but you also want to be sure not to press too hard as to inhibit drainage and aeration of your soil. After doing this, place your plant in the center of the pot. You should then carefully tuck soil around the side of the pot to fill in any gaps. Ensure to leave a small lip between the base of the plant and top of the pot. You do not want the soil to be packed all the way to the top as this can make watering difficult and messy.
After transplanting your plant, ensure to water it thoroughly. You can add a quick absorbing liquid nutrient mix to your water to help it acclimate to its new pot and home. It is best to acclimate your plant gradually. We recommend keep it in indirect light for a few days indoors. You can then keep it by a a sunny window for a couple more days. When transitioning the plant outdoors for the summer season, ensure to keep it in the shade first. Certain plants do not like full or direct sun regardless(i.e. black pepper or betel leaf). Ensure to select a proper spot for the plant based on the item. During period of extreme heat or cold it is important to shelter your plant, either in the shade or indoors depending on the condition.