Have plants on the way? Here's how to prepare.

After hundreds of thousands of successful plant shipments we've refined a method of preparation and packaging that guarantees every plant we ship arrives alive and in good condition. For the home grower, that's just the starting point. Here's what you can do to keep your plants healthy in the hours, days and weeks following their arrival.

Note: If you've purchased a plant with a size description that specifies "Potted" you can largely disregard these instructions.

Before shipping, your plants are hand-picked and inspected for health, trimmed, cleaned and carefully packaged. Plants will be bare-root and wrapped in long fiber sphagnum moss which is secured by paper toweling and rubber bands. This reduces weight, but more importantly protects the plant from damage caused by soil mass shifting and crushing the plants in transit.

Before your plants arrive:

  • Keep an eye on your shipment's tracking info to know when to expect a delivery.
  • Decide how you'll be growing. Will your plants be potted individually and placed in a tray of water indoors? Will you be creating a bog planter for a deck or patio or are you adding your new plants to a bog garden outdoors?
  • Have your plant container of choice ready as well as potting tools (we recommend tweezers and a spray bottle at minimum.)
  • Have the appropriate soil on hand. If you didn't purchase soil with your plants be sure you have the correct soil mix ready. More information can be found on our site either under the detailed care instructions for the plant(s) you've purchased, or in our comprehensive soil guide
  • Make sure you have the right water ready. Bog plants generally require mineral-free water such as distilled, reverse-osmosis or rain water.

 When your plants arrive:

  • High-five your mail carrier. This is optional but highly recommended!
  • Open the package immediately and remove your plants. They can survive in a box for quite a while - we've had lost packages find their way back to the nursery after several weeks with no long-term harm to the plants. That said, they will immediately benefit from light and less extreme temperatures.
  • Leave your plants in the plastic bags until you're ready to pot them. The shipping bags have breathing holes and the plants will benefit from a gradual acclimation to the open air which is likely much less humid than inside the box.

Within a day or two of arrival (maximum), it's time for planting:

  • Un-bag your plants and remove the rubber bands, paper toweling and long-fiber sphagnum moss from the roots (depending on the species, long-fiber can be an appropriate planting medium but fresh is best.) Do this carefully as breaking or damaging roots is usually survivable, but can increase the time it takes for the plant to resume normal growth.
  • Pre-moisten your soil and fill your planting container. Your potting medium should be wet enough to hold shape, like wet sand, but not saturated.
  • Gently pat down the soil to eliminate air pockets but do not compress.
  • Make a hole just wide enough for the roots with tweezers, a small stick or a finger and bury the roots of your plant completely while making sure not to cover the crown (the hub of growth).
  • Lastly, using a spray bottle or similar, gently water from above to settle the soil around the roots of the plant "watering it in".

That's it! For more comprehensive instructions please see our potting article here.

Lastly, if you're just getting started with carnivorous plants read up on our Starter's Guide which will prepare you for success in the months and years to come!