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Old 04-23-2005, 08:29 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Packaging plants when shipping

As many of us in Canada are relatively new to swapping plants with each other I thought about making a post that gives "how to" instructions to ensure that we package in a way that ensures that the plants we ship arrive in the best condition.
If anyone has additional remarks please post them so we can trade trade

1) Take plants out of aquarium when ready to ship.
2) Ideally plants should have roots and if they are cuttings they should be a fair size so that they survive.
3) Wrap the plants in a thick paper towel.
4) Moisten paper towel well ( personally i run it underwater and gently squeeze out excess water so that its not dripping wet)
5) Place in ziploc bag - if not ziploc ensure you tape the opening well, you do not want water to leak out into the packaging.
6) Place in box or sturdy packaging.

1) I use Canada Post and have never experienced any issues with them.
2) I use 1 to 2 day delivery option here
3) To be on the safe side never count the day you submit the package for delivery as day 1. So if you drop of package on Monday, day 1 would be Tuesday and day 2 would be Wednesday.
4) Accordingly never ship packages after Wednesday as they may not arrive till Monday (why risk it)

If anyone has anything else to add please do and lets get trading Canada.
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Old 04-23-2005, 11:07 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm not from Canada but I know people who are

Anyway...if you need to insulate, the cheapest way is probably to go to your local home improvement store (Home Depot up there?) and get a 3/4 inch insulation sheet. They can be pretty big (4x8 ft) but are easy to work with. Score it with a razor blade and bend/snap at the cut. Cut the base of the box to 1.5 inches shorter than dimensions in each direction. Cut the sides to 3/4 inch shorter than dimensions in each direction. Cut the top to fit all dimensions. Put in one side, then the next. Should look something like this
_| where the edge of one is against the face of the other. I'd put the bottom in now and work the other two sides in around it and continue edge to face all the way around. This construction will keep the sides from pressing in.

Once plants are happy and safe inside, put to top on and seal the box...

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Old 04-23-2005, 11:21 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The Canada Post Xpresspost speed is excellent. Toronto to BC takes two nights and from Toronto to Montreal over night. Keep in mind this is from the day at the Post Office. The cost is $7.50 and you get a tracking number (Item number). Not bad, eh?

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Old 04-26-2005, 07:10 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Much easier with express post. With the extra $7.50 you are going to spend, you get piece of mind. Not only that, unless its a nice rare one (Downi), I think that a 1 to 2 day delivery time is pretty good. I've sent out Crypts (C.lingua, C.wendtii Mi-Oya...) this way. Most plants can handle the shipping.

I've never encountered a lost package yet, but Canada Purge sometimes likes to throw a loop. Those RARE ones, I would suggest an actual shipping company like Fedex or UPS.

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Old 05-05-2005, 04:43 AM   #5 (permalink)
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hello everybody!

i can ship my aquarium plant with DICOM EXpress, in Toronto and Kingston area (depart of quebec province) in less than 24 hours!

last year, in winter, i have ship, a box at kelowna (BC) with express post and its good also!

Stephane from
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Hey Stephane. Nice to see familiar names around here. I thaught you were taking the summer off!

If you ever get some more pencil fish, I`m still interested.
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Old 08-01-2005, 07:47 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Mosses are generally shipped differently than other plants. Not to mention they are cheaper to ship! =D

Follow that link to a great How-To. I do only one thing differently. Instead of sealing the bag with a lighter, i squeeze (by flattening) most of the air out of the bag. Then I fold the opening over and over again until i reach the moss and tape it shut. Remember to drain off as much of the water as possible (DO NOT pat the moss down with a paper towel, it needs some moisture.)
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Old 08-01-2005, 02:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I think that cuttings should be floated in the tank with good light, CO2, etc. for a week or two before shipping. The cut ends will heal and roots will get started. I have lost from stem rot that proceeds rapidly up the stem many cuttings sent to me .

Emerse grown cuttings are definitely tougher than submerse grown cuttings of the same species.

I am doing some experiments to find out if plants last in plastic bags:
a. longer if they have more water versus only wet with excess water
b. longer if they are sprayed with a commercial hormone mixture
that is supposed to increase the freshness of cut flowers.
c. longer if they are next to a window as compared to complete
d. longer if they are refrigerated (4 degrees C) as compared to my
office temperature (36-38 degrees C)

Results will be out in about a week.
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Old 10-13-2005, 01:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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It is better to ship plants without paper towel. The paper towel tends to suffocate the plant and turn it into a mush. You are better off using a high quality ziplock bag with 5 to 10 ml of water to keep the humidity up. The non paper towel route will require a little more stuffing on the outside to keep the plants from crushing.

Shipping cost around $10 to 11 to Ontario from BC.
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Old 10-27-2005, 04:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I always double bag!! I've had wet cardboard delivered in the past - yuk!

Also, wrap in bubble wrap (for protection and some temp. stability) then put into a small box (generally a VHS sized box works great for plants).

Always ship on a Monday!

I use Express Canada Post - never a problem.

Check expected temps for the next few days. I try to limit my shipping to spring and fall due to extreme temperatures.

Just my $0.02
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