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  HOME AND GARDEN » House Plants Gardenig Tips  

Transporting Plants (By Michael Politis)

When transporting plants, remember the two seasons of the year that can cause damage to the plants, the hot summer and the cold winter months.

Transporting Plants in Cold Weather 

Bubble wrap makes good padding and insulation for plants.
Be sure to provide ventilation if using plastic of any kind as a covering for your plants.

You've found the perfect plants for holiday decorating or gift giving. Getting them home safely is an important consideration. Most plants are pretty resilient, but the shock of moving from a sheltered indoor environment to the chill of outdoors can be deadly. Don't let it happen to your prized plant purchases.

Exposure to temperatures from 45° to 50 ° F for as little as one hour is enough to kill many plants. Here are some quick, simple tips on transporting plants in cold weather. If these tips sound like overkill, consider them a small investment of your time in return for years of enjoyment of your new plants.

  • If possible, make the purchase of plants your last stop of the shopping trip. Pick a day when the weather forecast is relatively mild.

  • Put them in a bag. Double-bag them if it's really cold or windy out. Paper is a better insulator than plastic, but plastic is better than nothing. If the trip home is long, open the bag slightly for ventilation.

  • Have your vehicle warmed up before you put the plants in.
  • Do not transport plants in the trunk.

  • Do not let foliage touch the windows of the vehicle. The cold will "burn" the leaves.

  • If you buy larger plants, don't let them stick out of the window.

  • Put a layer of newspaper or cardboard on the floor of your vehicle for added insulation.

  • Vans are preferable for transporting larger plants. If you must use a truck, lay the plants down and cover them to keep the wind and cold out.

  • Use the same precautions when delivering gift plants to their proud new owners.

Transporting Plants in Hot Weather 

Wind can be deadly. For larger plants especially. Tall plants need to be transported lying on their sides. Cover with a cloth or tarp
Car trunks are not the solution for transporting plants. Better method of transport is a SUV car. However smaller plants can be cooked in automobiles or SUV's if you leave your car shut up.

You've found the perfect plants at the garden center. Getting them planted properly is important. How you get them home can also be critical to their survival. Trees, shrubs,and bedding plants that have been relatively sheltered in the garden center need a little TLC while being taken to their new home.

Greenhouse plants (especially those purchased as gifts) also need special attention to prevent damage.

Here are some quick tips on transporting plants:

  • Wind can be deadly. For larger plants especially, do not stand them up in the back of a truck where they be whipped and stripped by the wind. Tall plants need to be transported lying on their sides. Cover with a cloth or tarp and secure them to keep them from rolling around in the truck bed. The best method of transport is a covered van.
  • Ávoid placing plants in a car and leaving the car shut up, because temperature will rise and destroy the plant in a short period of time.
  • Smaller plants can be cooked in automobiles or SUV's, even with the air conditioner running. Sunshine through the vehicle window can be intense. Provide shade from direct sun with paper or cover with a cardboard box. Car trunks are not the solution either.

  • When moving large plants into or out of a vehicle, always lift plants by the container, not the trunk or stem.

  • It's a good idea to schedule your day so that the garden center is your last stop.


 Michael Politis




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