Q: We would like to give plants as gifts during the holidays but aren’t sure how to transport them. Do you have some tips for purchasing and transporting holiday plants?
A: Flowering plants such as poinsettia, cyclamen, and amaryllis brighten long winter days and are welcome gifts. Select plants free from spots, bruising, wilting, or browned leaf margins. Most garden centers wrap plants to protect them from cold temperatures. If they don’t, be sure to ask them to wrap the plants. Wrapping the plants also protects them against breakage. Be sure the plants are placed in a stable location on the way home. If you plan to transport multiple plants, it’s a good idea to use a box to carry them.
When transporting plants home, the car should be warm, especially if outdoor temperatures are below freezing. Plants should never be transported in a cold trunk or allowed to sit in a cold car for any length of time.
To unwrap a holiday plant, it is best to set the plant on a stable surface and carefully tear or cut the wrapper from the bottom up. Do not attempt to pull the wrapper off the plant as you risk breaking stems, flowers, and leaves.
Plants can stay within their wrappings for no more than 24 hours. Open the top to allow the plants to get air. Foil pot wrappers are attractive, but should be removed whenever the plant is watered so that the plant does not sit in water.