Storage till time to plant #447704 - Ask Extension


Storage till time to plant #447704

Asked April 13, 2018, 11:28 PM EDT

I ordered some plants (strawberries in a bag, butterfly bushes, and peonies) and got them a week ago. How should I store them until it is time to plant. I put the strawberries in the refrigerator. Thank-you so much! Sherry BK

Ramsey County Minnesota

Expert Response

The refrigerator is not ideal. It is usually too dry and some foods stored there give off gases that may damage your stock. That said, it is better than nothing. Wrap their roots up with something moist but not soggy (damp paper towels, for instance) in a sealed bag. This should hold them for a few days. But get them into the ground as soon as possible.

The plants must be kept cool (30 to 40 degrees, ideally) and moist. The roots can never be allowed to dry out.  Often an unheated garage or a root cellar or basement storage room is the best choice. And even under ideal conditions, they won't last very long.

Save your receipts. Reputable mail order firms shouldn't ship until the plants can be planted.

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Dennis White Replied April 18, 2018, 7:27 PM EDT

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