Once you've selected and paid for your houseplants, make sure they're packaged properly before taking them home. Poorly packaged plants tip over and bounce around, which can damage branches. Good growers will package plants for you or give you appropriate containers so your plants can reach your home undamaged.
Cold and heat can harm houseplants, too. During the winter, warm up your car and wrap your plants before taking them outside. Never leave your indoor plants in a cold car while you do additional shopping. During the summer, buy plants with well-moistened soil, because dry plants do not resist heat well. Have overly dry indoor plants watered. Let the water drain, then pack the plants.
If left unprotected, houseplants can be damaged by wind. If you must transport a large plant in the open, cover its leafy branches to prevent them from drying out. Wrap heavy plastic or cloth around the branches and tie it to the stem. Remove the wrap as soon as you arrive home.
If your concern is not getting plants home from the store, but moving your plants from one home to another, be aware that moving companies rarely handle plants properly. You may have to question several companies about their methods of transporting plants to find one that really knows this delicate phase of the business.
As soon as you arrive home with a houseplant, check for a label. If one came with the plant, note on the back with permanent marker the date of purchase and source of the indoor plant. If no label is included, make your own, noting plant type and variety, too.
It's surprising how easy it is to forget all of this information after a few months. Knowing exactly what plant and variety you're growing is important when it comes to determining cultural needs and solving problems. It's also fun to be able to identify your winners and know how long you've owned a plant. With proper labeling, you can keep track of good and bad indoor plant sources and more easily obtain refunds when appropriate.