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What to do when your plants arrive

It is a very exciting moment, when your plants arrive and you are ready to get going. But do you fully know what to do once they arrive? Check out our step-by-step guide below to help you get started with no problems.

Step 1. Unbox & unpack

The moment your plants arrive, be sure to unbox them fully and remove everything from them. We package all of our plants carefully to ensure they get to you in the best condition, this includes packaging plants closely together, adding extra paper to prevent them from moving and adding notches to some of our boxes. Therefore, it is vital that you remove all packaging and unbox your plants the moment they arrive. To unbox your plant (particularly with larger plants) we recommend opening the box by cutting it down the side. It is recommended that you do not open the box from the top as you may damage the plant if you pull it out from the top.

Below, Chris Bonnett, owner of Gardening Express, details how we package and send all of our plants and how to correcly unbox them. We highly recommend watching the video to help you unbox your plant correctly.

Step 2. Give your plants their best start

Once all items are removed, be sure to water any potted plants ensuring that the soil is moist. Disperse water around the plant’s base in a circular pattern using a watering jug. When water drains out of the nursery pot’s bottom holes, stop watering.

Our plants are grown and kept outside to ensure hardiness. To help your plants adjust to their new settings, we recommend that you do not keep your plants indoors (unless they are houseplants, but we have a note about that further down). If the weather is ideal, i.e. not frozen, place them outside where you intend to plant them. If the weather is bad your plants may be sensitive to this dependent on the variety. Some plants may need to be placed in a sheltered area or greenhouse, horticultural fleece will also help with protection. Once the weather has improved, make sure you repot or plant as soon as possible.

For houseplants, to help them adjust to their new environment, make sure to keep your plant away from any central heating and in a place with plenty of light.

Bulbs and tubers should be stored in a cool, dry and dark place until you are prepared to plant. But again, it is vital you plant them as soon as possible to help them grow strong and to ensure optimum growth.

For bare rooted plants, until you are ready to plant, store them in a shed, garage, or other outbuilding that is cool, dry, and frost-free (but not a greenhouse). If you are not planning to plant right away, take them out of the packaging and soak the roots for an hour in a bucket of warm water. In winter, we recommend heeling in your plants to help them survive the harsh conditions. To learn more about heeling in, read our article here.

Step 3. Repot or plant

Now that you have your plants unpacked and potted plants watered, it is time to get planting! If you are unsure how to plant or repot them then check out our Knowledge Hub for assistance. We have over 100 articles for planting and styling the garden.

Updated on April 12, 2023

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