A person smiles as they open their new plant package in the mail.

Care Steps After Receiving a Plant in the Mail

Some plants are incredibly hardy, making it through the shipping process flawlessly. Depending on the shipping region or the plant’s finicky nature, some may need extra TLC once it’s arrived at your home. For either situation, there are a few essential steps to take after receiving a plant in the mail.


The first step is to, of course, unpack your new plant! It’s likely been in a dark box for 2 or more days, going through a number of environmental and physical changes. Remove it from the box and packaging to give it fresh air and light. 

It’s normal for leaves to wilt during the shipping process. As the plant gets settled into your home, some leaves may also yellow or fall off. Unless excessive, this is a normal and expected response as it adjusts to its new environment. 

Other tips for unpackaging are to:

  • Remove the shavings that protect the soil during shipping.
  • Check the soil’s moisture level by dipping your finger in 2 inches. If it’s dry, some water will help it acclimate. 
  • Remove any damaged leaves or stems so that energy can be directed to healthy leaves. You may even be able to propagate some of these. 

Tip: Sprinkle cinnamon on any exposed flesh from damaged stems or leaves. This prevents infection.

Let it Rest

Even the most resilient plants can undergo stress from transport and general changes. It is true for all plants that rest after shipping is the best care step to take. 

A few components qualify for good rest:

  • Comfortable temperatures above 65º and away from drafts.
  • Situate in medium-to-bright and indirect light. Going straight from a dark box to very bright light can be too shocking.
  • If your new plant is tropical, it should be given a boost of humidity. Mist leaves, create a pebble tray or add a humidifier nearby.
  • After a few days of adjusting, it should be situated in a stable and permanent spot. 
  • Minimal changes + care.

Tip: Write a note or mark your calendar with your watering dates and other progress to avoid any missed care. 

Know Your Plant

Upon unpacking your plant, the first few days or weeks should be fairly hands-off. This is the perfect time to research the needs of that specific plant before moving it to a permanent spot and diving into care tasks. Be sure to understand what lighting it will need, its watering frequency, and its preferred climate. 

Before repotting, it’s also good to know what kind of soil your new plant likes. Some roots will do best with additions like sand, coco coir, or perlite being mixed in. Getting your new plant situated with quality soil will play a huge role in its future health + growth. 

When to Repot

Plants that arrive in great condition or bounce back quickly should be given at least a few days or a week to adjust before repotting. Plants showing more serious signs of stress should be given 2+ weeks before being put into a new pot. If your plant was shipped during the wintertime, hold off until Spring before you repot, if possible.

When choosing a new planter, select one only 2 inches larger than its nursery pot. Using some of the original soil it shipped with will also help it adjust smoothly. Lastly, it’s very important to wait at least 6 weeks before fertilizing after you’ve repotted. 

You’re a Pro

Great job! Taking these mindful steps after your plant has arrived will let it know it’s okay to settle in and start growing. Now you can look forward to seeing your new green companion thrive in your space. 

Our goal is always to bring life into your home + support your plant journey. If your plant arrives in distress, it’s useful to take a photo upon arrival. This helps you monitor its progress as it settles and also helps us understand what care it might need. Please contact us within 48 hours of arrival if your plant shows signs of damage or severe stress. Have more questions? Check out our FAQ and Resource pages!

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