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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I would like to offer some of my extra plants to members before trading them in at the LFS. One problem, I have no idea how to ship plants since I've never done it before. So I need help... Please give me instructions on how to ship plants.
 

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Cut length to fit a 1gal freezer bag, wrap in newspaper, fold nicely, moisten, place in zipplock bag, if you have bubblewrap handy that is a nice added feature, then I just carry to post office, and get a priority box that fits close, and tah dah....usually $3.85 priority shipping...
 

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PErsonally, I don't like newspaper as I find it to drying. I have been unhappy with plants that arrived in newspaper. I prefer the cheap brown, crappy papertowls you find in restrooms, schools and the like. The janitor for the building I work in gives me mostly used rools when I ask. I use a spray bottle to wet enough paper towels to wrap around the plants one or twice, usually I double wrap tehm. Wet the paper towel enough that it is very damp. Not soaking wet or anything. To much water and the plants can begin to rot or get cooked in hot weather, or freeze in cold weather. Usually I place single species in each package adn place them in an approbriotly size zipper bag. Fold the bag up withthe plants inside as you squeeze the air out and seal. Leave just enough air that the bag cannot be flattened and squash the plants. Place them a Priority Mail box, pack with newspaper, bubble wrap or styro, seal, address and ship. I print shipping labels and postage on the computer the night before and afix the label to the box, ready for hte next morning. Hardier species get boxed the night before. Once you purchase and print your label you can also request a free carrier pick up. Basically, this notifies your posal carrier that they will be picking up a priority mail package at your residence or work.

Priority mail boxes of all sizes can be order free at www.usps.com and they will be dilivered to your door in a few weeks. You can also get them for free at the postoffice. You can also print and buy the postage from the website, or though paypal by clicking on the ship button when someone pays you. Also, I find that using the website is cheaper as its just 3.85, even for the big box. I have shipped up to a couple pounds for that price, they ask you the weight on the website. Go to the post office and the big box is automatically 4something even if it is under 1 lbs. Can't beat the ease and service you get there:) I have not been to the post office in months:) If you are interested in trying it, you can fillout a fake postage label and jsut hit cancel at the very end.

Hope that helps. We can't wait to get your plants:)
 

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I have to do most of my shopping online (because of our location), so I just save boxes that are the right size for future shipments of plants or whatever. It doesn't matter if they say Priority Mail on them, since the PO will add that when they check the box in.

I use the ziplock method, and use regular paper towel (like Bounty) to wrap at least the roots. I don't squeeze any of the air out so there is some buffer for the plants. As mentioned before, just a bit of water will do it to keep the plants moist, but not enough to rot, overheat, or freeze them.
I've also received plants packed in fish bags, fully inflated, with nothing in the bag but the plant and they've always arrived in great condition.

One thing worth mentioning is that the dispenser type brown paper towels don't work well for mosses. I've received a few packages with the moss wrapped in it and it's nearly impossible to get the bits of broken down towel seperated from the moss.

It's a piece of cake Trena. :)
 

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USPS Priority Shipping Supplies

I use:

Item No: O-1095
Item No: O-1096L
Item No: O-1096S
Item No: O-1098S

I'm in a rural area and know my Postmaster, always drop the pkgs ready to go with labels I've printed. USPS no longer supplies free tape but since I go to PO and know the PostMaster they give me some when I ask.
 

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Jdinh04 said:
Where I can get the free shipping boxes? They cost at the post office >_<
The Priority Mail ones should be free - go right up to the counter and ask for them. There are a number of sizes. Weird thing is, I don't see them on the website any more, and I haven't requested any in a number of months. I only see express mail boxes shown on the site.

Sometimes, if I'm sending plants to somebody with whom I'm not at all familiar, I will *strongly* recommend delivery confirmation. This way, I can't be accused of not sending anything. I recommend it anyway, in either case, so that the package can be tracked.

Packing it is no biggie. I just wet a paper towel, squeeze out the excess water, spread it out, and then wrap the plants (as straight as possible) like a spring roll. The rest is like how Dennis describes. Basically, you just don't want your plants getting bashed around in the bag - this causes bruising and the plants are more likely to get "terminally" damaged in transit. After I roll up the spring roll in the plastic bag and close it off, I roll it up in some bubble wrap for added cushioning, and then I will secure all of this in the box with plastic grocery bags or packing peanuts I might happen to have. And *I* tend to go over-board with the packaging. One time, I sent Paul (HeyPK) some plants and he e-mailed me that they were "packed as if they were going to be dropped on Mars from orbit." :biggrin:

A lot of people don't like having their plants wrapped in newspaper. I'd think that one would run the risk of crushing the plants this way, too. Good luck! After the first few times of sending plants, you'll be a pro ;) .

-Naomi
 

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D'oh! What happened? They didn't show those when I checked the USPS site last month... Okay. I eat my words. Thanks, Gnatster!
 

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Sometimes, if I'm sending plants to somebody with whom I'm not at all familiar, I will *strongly* recommend delivery confirmation. This way, I can't be accused of not sending anything. I recommend it anyway, in either case, so that the package can be tracked.
When you buy and print the postage online Delivery Conformation is included at no extra charge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks guys... I thought it would be easy... I think I'm ready to ship plants now.
 

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id be happy to pay shipping costs with paypal for any trades. All i have is java moss that could be shared atm

waiting on my xmasmoss to grow
 

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I have used the small (1/2 liter) soda pop bottles for shipping plants. I rinse them out, and cut a flap in the side, pull out the flap, insert the plants, let the flap spring back into place, and then tape it with packaging tape. The plants are protected from being flattened. There is enough air exchange that the plants do not run out of oxygen, but not so much that they are in danger of drying out.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
HeyPK... Do you also wrap the plants in a damp paper before putting into the pop bottle?

One more question... Do you need to use a heat pack when shipping plants?
 

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trenac said:
Do you need to use a heat pack when shipping plants?
Depends on where they are going. IF sending to Montana and you see the entire midsection of the country is in the grips of a cold snap, then yes. But normally you do not when using USPS Priority Shipping. It's been noted that plants do ship better in winter when there is a bit of chill then in summer when they get quite warm and often turn to mush.
 

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HeyPK... Do you also wrap the plants in a damp paper before putting into the pop bottle?
I have, sometimes. I take paper towels, brands like Bounty, soak them in a pan of water for a few minutes, and then rinse and squeeze out the excess water. This is in case they treat the towels with wetting agents or anything else that might be harmful to the plants. I don't think the paper towels make any difference to the plants in the small soda pop bottles. During the usual two to three days in the mail, the plants are not going to dry out in the soda pop bottles.

I am planning to do an experiment to see if treating aquatic plants with the plant hormone, cytokinin, will decrease their tendency to deteriorate while packaged for shipping.
 

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I bought some plants from Piscesgirl and she packaged them inside a tupperware type plastic container that fit inside a USPS flat rate priority mail envelope. The container is approx. 7 x 7 x 2.5 inches. (25 ounces) There was some wet paper towels around the plants which arrived in very good condition.
 

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gnome said:
The Priority Mail ones should be free - go right up to the counter and ask for them. There are a number of sizes. Weird thing is, I don't see them on the website any more, and I haven't requested any in a number of months. I only see express mail boxes shown on the site.
Maybe it's different in different areas, but our post office has a rack of the different boxes (including Priority Mail) out in the lobby for sale. To my knowledge they don't give them away any more. Or we're getting scalped in this little town.... :axe:
 
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