04-19-2006, 07:17 AM
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Metro Detroit
iTrader Positive Rating: 100%
| | shipping plants
As a hobbyist, I've been shipping and receiving plants for about 10 years now, which constitutes ~lots~ of packages, and would like to share some of my thoughts. During this time I have seen just about every packing method and some real failures. I know some folks will disagree with what I'm going to say, especially a couple of commercial groups. They are entitled to their opinion.
Water that isn't absorbed by paper is a serious no-no. Newspaper is usually a bad idea and it has a tendency to flatten and fold and snap leaves. If you insist on using paper, go very, very light with it. The only time I have found damp paper necessary is with the more delicate stem plants. Paper towel is better because it clings to itself when wet and doesn't tend flatten as much as newspaper.
This is the most effective shipping method I've found. Pull the plants out of the water and let them air dry for a minute or two to allow the excess water to drain. Lightly wrap the plants in paper if you insist. Then put the plants in a bag (ideally a fish bag and not a zip lock) and trap enough air in the bag to nearly fully inflate it and tie or rubber band it closed. Try to find a bag that fits the plants size without smashing the plant or having the plant bang back and forth when you give the bag a couple of short shakes. Don't cram loads of plants into the same bag. If the plants still thump around after the short shake test, open the bag and remove some of the plants to another bag. Write the plant name on the bag with a sharpie. If you put more than one specie of plant in the bag, make sure they are identifiable, like a crypt and a stem plant. Please don't put 40 stems of 10 different stem plant species together. What would you do with this if you received it?
Ideally, ship in a styrofoam lined box. This is less important with good shipping weather. Put the bags into your box and fill the empty space with packing material or fill a couple of empty fish bags with air and put them in too.
You can cut corners and still have the plants arrive in good condition, but it's pretty easy to follow this process and have a better likelihood of success.