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How to Care for a Plant in Transit

How to Communicate Plant Care Instructions to Your Service Provider

You are probably accustomed to providing your plants with the light, water and temperature that they need to survive. But when you are shipping your plants, you must rely on your transportation company to take good care of your plants’ needs.

During the transportation process, proper care is especially important to a plant’s survival due to added stresses. In addition to selecting a service provider that has experience in transporting plants, you need to make sure that the truck driver knows how your plant needs to be cared for during the shipping process. Following these guidelines can help ensure that your plants will get to their destination in healthy condition.

Hire a transporter who specializes in plants

Plants are not dry freight, and are much more fragile and prone to harm. Ideally, you should select a service provider that is qualified and has experience in transporting live plants, although this may be difficult if you are transporting plants as part of a household move.

Give plant care instructions in writing

You should always mention any special plant care needs to the representative on the phone, but keep in mind that it is likely that a different person will be driving the truck its destination. Specifically request that this information is passed on to the driver. Better yet, give the driver written instructions. Provide directions to the driver on necessary plant care, but make sure that this information is concise and simple as possible. Let the driver know how much light and water your plant needs. If it requires plant food, measure out portioned dosages and put them in labeled plastic Ziploc bags.

Find out about the plant transportation process

Ask about what conditions your plant will be exposed to, such as:

  • Whether it will be transported in open air (a truck bed) or enclosed area
  • The route that the truck will travel, so you can determine weather forecasts for those areas
  • If it is a long trip, whether or not your plants will be covered at night.

By determining what your plants will be exposed to, you can request the driver take steps to keep your plants healthy.

Consider having larger plants professionally crated

This will make them somewhat more resistant to the elements, particularly windy conditions if they will be in the back of an open truck bed or trailer. Crating can also help secure plants against shifting of the soil around the roots, which can cause stress to a plant.