How do I care for my new plant?

When you first get the package containing your plant examine it for sign of damage. If the package is obviously damaged, take some photos to document it.

Continue to take photos as you open and carefully unpack your plant. If the plant has been damaged in shipping this information may be needed to report it. Please advise us of the situation as soon as possible if shipping damages occur.

Plants are living things, and the fact that we can put them in boxes and ship them around the world is a bit of a minor miracle. Shipping is stressful for plants and when they arrive they can be dehydrated and in some cases damaged from the trip. Generally the faster the shipping goes the better for the plant!

The first step is to inspect your plant carefully once you have unpacked it. Look for signs of damage or dehydration.

If your plant looks perfect and the substrate is moist but not wet, you don’t need do much. Place the plant in a lower light situation for the first couple of days and gradually increase the amount of light after that. Warmth and humidity are great for helping tropical plants recover, so keep your plant warm and humid if possible.

Always keep new plants quarantined from your collection for the first couple of weeks as a precaution. You can water as needed during this period, but dont feed.

Do not repot your plant immediately. Whenever possible we recommend keeping healthy looking plants in the substrate they arrived in until they show new growth. When you see your plant is actively growing you can then pot up in the appropriate medium of your choice.

If the plant arrives drooping and dehydrated looking, check the soil/substrate. If it is dry, remove it, and expose the roots, and inspect them. If they look healthy prepare a container of clean room temperature water. Place the root ball of the plant in the water and let it sit until the plant plumps back up again. This can take anywhere from a few hours to a day. You can also add a small amount of micronutrients to this water. This is basically a vitamin shot for your plants. It really seems to help! We use Biobiz Activera, but there are many good brands on the market. You do not need to do this though. Your plant will rehydrate without it. Do not add fertilizer to the water!

Once your plant looks restored, you can pot it up in the appropriate substrate of your choice.

If your plant arrives with drooping, yellowing, or damaged leaves, first check the substrate. If the substrate is very wet, this could be and indication of root rot. Don’t panic, this happens! Shipping can provide some of the ideal conditions for root rot to occur. Remove the substrate, and rinse off the roots with clean water so you can see the roots clearly. If root rot is present it must be removed.

Wash the roots again with a mix of  water and dish soap. A very small ammont of neem oil could also be added but is not necessary. Then prepare a clean work surface and sharp knife or scissors. Cut away all damaged or rotten tissue. You will need to cut just ahead of the rot. Cutting a small amount of healthy tissue just in case.

Once all the damaged roots have been removed, allow the remaining roots to air dry. Dispose of the old substrate, it cannot be used again. Pot the plant in new substrate, make sure it is moist but not wet. We often use sphagnum moss for recovering plants, because we can easily inspect the roots for signs of progress or reoccurrence, but leca or perlite could work well for this also. If you don’t have any of these on hand go ahead and pot up with your normal substrate.

Damaged foliage can also be removed. Damaged leave will unfortunaetly not heal. The plant will simply produce new foliage in time to replace the old leaves. Keep a close eye on the plant for awhile.