Hi Aaron,Chilling the plants isn't as necessary as making sure they are only moist, not wet. Shipping plants too wet is the biggest reason for plants arriving as plant soup on a hot day.
Plants should always be trimmed the day of shipment or the night before with the exception of very hardy plants such as ferns, Anubias and mosses.
Place the plants on an old cotton towel and gently pat them somewhat dry.
Run a paper towel (don't go cheap or you'll spend all day trying to unravel them without tearing them) under water or dip it in the tank and wring it out as hard as you can.
Unfold the paper towel and gently wrap the plants in the paper towel.
Put the wrapped plants in a fish bag and tightly tie the end of the bag.
Place it in the shipping box and send it on its way.
You can use filter floss or pillow stuffing to wrap more delicate plants in in place of the paper towel. It is not necessary to wet the floss.
I've mailed literally hundreds of shipments this way with maybe one DOA and only when the shipment has been delayed for weeks.
Like bigstick120 I use this method year round. It seems to help keep plants from turning to plantcicles in the winter time as well. They just don't need a lot of water in the bag to survive. It only serves to hinder their chance of survival. I hope to conduct an experiment sometime soon to prove my theory.Hi Aaron,
Does this method apply only to the summer season when everything's really hot? Less water with the plants by "wringing" the paper towel decreases the chance that the plants might boil right?
Do you have a link to a source of those bags, just to see what they are like?Only if you ship them in styrofoam, or as what I am now using, a thermal insulated bag, does it help. Keeping the plants cool makes a huge difference during shipping, but only while they are cool. as soon as they warm up they are more vulnerable.
Or buy some thermal bags. Since I started using these bags this summer, I have not had ONE single case of reported plant loss. Not even one. Thats the first time in the nine years I have been in business this has happened. It is the best investment I have ever made. It has saved me hundreds of dollars. I can't understand why everyone isn't jumping on these bags. Its the smartest thing I have ever done.
Hoppy I think the 5 hour timetable is only for the bags with the Gel inserts, not the "plain" thermal bags. BTW - I found hugh thermal bags at my $1 store and was able to cut it into two pieces. I sent Riccia to Las Vegas, NV it was about 106 and they got there in good condition. I also sent shrimp to Arizona and there were no DOAs.Those pouches seem only to be able to keep something inside cool for 5 hours. It takes up to 72 hours for Priority Mail to get here. I can see how they could be effective in protecting plants from hot mailboxes and trucks up until they finally are loaded in aircraft for transit across the country. But, what if it is even hotter at the destination? I'm obviously missing something here.
It's not magic, just a little trial and error to get the proper technique down. Moisture is the real enemy. If there's too much in the package the plants won't last as long.I need to get some of those magic paper towels! HEAT kills, cool preserves.