How to Send Plants in the Mail

Sending plants through the mail is not difficult with prudent planning. Packaging needs to be light weight, secure, and prevent damage. Different types of plants require a variety of packaging methods. You will want to keep similar plants together in a package, for example, tomato seedlings should be packaged together in one box and daffodil bulbs in another. Seeds require no special packaging to be shipped.

Things You'll Need

  • Plants
  • Newspaper
  • Ziploc baggies
  • Sterile soil
  • Paper towel
  • Clear plastic wrap
  • Jute twine
  • Masking tape
  • White labels
  • Permanent marker
  • Planting instructions
  • Packing peanuts
  • Priority shipping boxes
  • Mailing labels

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Select plants for shipping. Make sure that the plants are free from disease and pests. Remove soil from plant roots to prevent the spread of pathogens that may be in the soil.

Wrap cacti, succulents and bulbs in newspaper. Use the permanent marker and white labels to label each individual plant.

Place woody rooted plants and dormant perennials into sterile soil. Wrap the soil and roots in clear plastic wrap and secure with jute twine. Wrap the whole plant in a double layer of newspaper. Label each individual plant.

Wrap the roots of ferns and non-dormant perennials in damp sterile soil and secure with clear plastic wrap and jute twine. The plastic wrap should be wrapped around the stem. Place a damp paper towel in a sealable plastic bag and then place the entire plant inside the bag. Label each individual plant.

Place a damp paper towel in a sealable plastic bag. Place bromeliads or orchids into the bag. Only include one species and variety in each bag. Label each bag with its contents.

Soak plant cuttings and stems that are not rooted in water until they are turgid (swollen with water). Wrap the entire cutting in damp paper towels and place into a zip lock bag.

Wrap aquatic and bog plants in wet paper towels. Place into a zip lock bag.

Choose a shipping box that is two inches longer than the tallest plant being mailed and deep enough for two layers of plants.

Line the bottom of the shipping box with packing peanuts, approximately one inch thick. Place one layer of plants and cover with two inch layer of packing peanuts. Place another layer of plants and then cover with packing peanuts to the top edge of the box.

Lay planting and care instructions on top of packing peanuts. Close the box and place the correct mailing label on it.

Take your package directly to the shipping center. Use a reliable fast mailing service, such as United States Post Office priority mail, to send plants. This lessens the risk of damage and spoilage.

Tips & Warnings

  • California, Hawaii, and many foreign countries have regulations regarding plants entering their borders.
  • Work with one species and variety at a time to avoid mislabeling plants.
  • Label each plant individually.
  • If you have access to a printer you can print out labels and instructions for the plants.

References

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