The $92 Plant: Part Two

Aechmea 'Del Mar' in Phoenix
Remember the $92 plant? The one we paid $26 for in Phoenix and spent another $66 to ship it home? For those of you who might find yourselves in need of a shipping method, first let me tell you--it was successful, the large bromeliad arriving nearly a week after being shipped, and in perfect condition.

Step 1: make sure the soil is moist, and if not, water it and let it drain for a few hours before proceeding with packaging.

Step 2: Secure the soil in case the plant tips over by cutting out a piece of cardboard to place over the soil surrounding the plant's stem(s) and secure it with packing tape. Don't be stingy with the tape--think hurricane shutters. The garden center proprietor did this for us, using her own tape.

Step 3: Find a tube if it's just one potted plant; if it's more than one plant, that's a whole new method. We found a concrete form tube at the Home Depot that, though a bit heavy, worked perfectly. It was about 8 inches in diameter. They come in diameters ranging from six to 12 inches. The typical length is 48 inches.

Step 4: While you're at Home Depot, purchase an inexpensive saw blade and a roll of duct tape. Tape up the handle of the blade so you can use it without cutting yourself while you are cutting the concrete form tube to the correct length af
ter you determine what that is.

Step 5: You will have to secure the bottom of the pot to the bottom of the form tube, but first you have to form a bottom for the tube. The local post office helped out here with one of their shipping boxes. We scrounged around the condo we were staying in and found scissors to cut three circles of cardboard to fit the tube.

Our new bromeliad, Aechmea 'Del Mar' at home.
Step 6: Secure the pot to one of the cardboard circles with tape, staples, wire, string, or anything you can find. Then secure that circle to the circle cut for the bottom. Make sure the pot fits really snugly into the tube so it stands less chance of slipping. We used newspaper and paper bags.

Step 7:  Secure the heck out of the bottom of the tube.

Step 8:  Take the package to whatever shipper you choose to use. Ask if they will dump in some styrofoam peanuts into the top of the container before sealing it up with the third cardboard circle.

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