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Mailing plants

15 years ago

Is it better to send plants in pots or to wrap the roots of the plant in wet newspaper/papertowels?

If in pots, how do I pack it so the plant and dirt won't fall out into the box.

Comments (7)

  • diene
    15 years ago

    Hello Dee;
    Not only is it not a good idea to send plants in pots, in most states it is illegal. We generally don't do it because it is expensive to send dirt. I usually wash the plants to get most of the dirt off and then wrap them in newspaper and put them in a plastic grocery bag. I will put a little water in the bag prior to shipping and then make sure the excess drains out.
    Others probably take more efforts but mine usually arrive okay.
    Good luck. diene

  • beth_b_kodiak
    15 years ago

    A few commercial nurseries send potted plants. They generally pack shredded paper or excelsior around the stem at the top of the pots and then wrap the whole thing in paper.
    Nurseries have been inspected and have certification for what they ship. they generally are not sending plants that were grown in the open ground or soil.
    For home use what Deine said is "Right ON"
    Dee, hope this helps and you have fun swapping

  • thelwig55
    15 years ago

    I am a state lic nursery, but also love to trade for my garden plants, my nursery is mainly shrubs and my personal beds are perennial. It is illegal to transport plants that are grown in soil, meaning in the ground , from most states into AZ, CA, WA, UT and Canada and Mexico. Special inspections must be ordered for your state ag, dept to transport plant into these state, for the trader it would be wise to trade in your own state to avoid problem. The main reason is the state are trying to keep the ash borer and japanese beatles out of the state. The eggs an not be seen and can infest these states on plant roots, even bare rooted plants. I am all for trading and the only reason i know some of the rules are because of my occupation. But if you are in CA I would not be trading with Ohio or any of the midwest to eastern state as you may be responible for infesting your state with an pest you do not want to deal with, nor does the government.

    Shipping live plants wash all dirt off the roots, soak newsprint in water a second to get damp, lay plants out and wrap the roots, like a wrap sandwich, put into plactic bag, I reuse store bags, wrap snug and then tie off, If the foliage gets wet, let it dry prior to boxings. Fill box with crumpled newsprint to cushion the plants and that they are not bouncing around in the box.

    Now if you grow you plants in soil less soil, such as promis and in a green house, you can shipping rule are more fexible. Soil is the main problem, but they are plants that are invasive too that are not allowed into some states. I will post a link to the rules if anyone is interested. These rule apply to plants being shipped, by an individual or by an lic. nursery. These rules are in place to keep the eco systems in tact.

  • remy_gw
    15 years ago

    Hi Dee,
    Here's a link to the thread I started that has a link to the Photobucket album that shows how to wrap plants.
    I hope it helps,

    Here is a link that might be useful: Preparing Plants for Shipping

  • sguanzon
    15 years ago

    Just a note. A plant sent in a plastic bag to me will be nothing but mush when I open the box.

    I suggest once you wrap the roots in damp newspaper or papertowel you wrap the part that has the damp newspaper or papertown in plastic (bags, or baggies, or I use press and seal) and secure with tape or rubber bands then wrap the whole thing in dry newspaper (wrap it like a burrito) and then lightly secure with a piece of tape.

    Anything sent to me in plastic or a plant or seedling in a bubble envelope after May 1st will be, as I said above, mush when it arrives.

  • galium
    15 years ago

    I wash all the soil off my plants and send them bare root. I wrap the roots in dry newspaper and set them in a bucket with a little water. I've not had much luck wrapping the roots in wet newspaper. It's aways tearing or falling apart. Once the roots, wrapped in newspaper, are wet but not sopping wet I slip the roots into a food storage bag or a sandwich bag. I tie the top of the bag with ribbon leaving the foliage open. I never cover foliage. When tying with ribbon I make sure that it isn't so tight as to damage the stems.

    I also send some 2 1/2" potted plants. These are usually rooted cuttings from my House Plants/Tropicals. I only use potting mix never soil. I take folded wet newspaper about 1" wide and fold it on top of the soil around the base of the stem/stems. Then I use masking tape around the pot to hold the newspaper and soil in place. I sometimes use cardboard tubes from wrapping paper and toilet tissue. I cut the tube to size. I'll slip this over the delicate foliage and tape around the pot to hold in place. This keeps the foliage covered so it isn't crushed by heavier items in the box. I also place the pot in a sandwich baggie and gently tie in place.

    I appreciate hearing about everyone's techniques.

  • thelwig55
    15 years ago

    Only wrap the roots in plastic after wrapping the roots with a damp material as newsprint or paper towel, never put the foliage in plastic, in fact make sure the foliage is dry before packaging, just roots damp.

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