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Re: How Should Plants be Packaged and Shipped

> So, would anyone care to describe one or several
> methods that should  stand as standards for 
> packaging and shipping of live plants. 

I'm not a vendor, but I've packed and shipped live
aquatic plants on many occasions.  Stem plants, in my
experience, are more likely to suffer damage during
shipment than plants with root systems or rhizomes.

In my packaging 'system,' I wrap each plant bare root,
in two or three layers of wet paper towels.  The
wrapped plants are then placed in a plastic zip-lock
bag that's big enough to hold the plant (or plants)
without too much folding or cramming.  

Some plants, like nymphaea, are just too big to be
completely enclosed in wet paper towels.  For large
plants, the rhizomes and roots are wrapped in paper
towels and placed in a bag.  The bag is then secured
with a rubber band around stems.

The packaged plant is then placed in the shipping box,
surrounded with newspaper, bubble wrap, shredded paper
or a few dozen of those ubiquitous Wal-Mart or grocery
store plastic bags.

I ship everything via USPS Priority Mail.  I never
ship after Wednesday.  I've exchanged several plants
with listmembers and the denizens of another plant
exchange forum.  So far, I've never had a problem with
plants shipped this way.  

> Sometimes, when plants arrive dead it is the
> vendor's fault, sometimes the deliverer, sometimes 
> force majuer, and sometimes it's the buyer's fault 
> for ordering live plants by ground shipment in
> hot weather (how hot is too hot?).

It's incumbent on the shipper to insure that the
package doesn't sit in a warehouse over a weekend.

UPS Ground has got to be the slowest means of
shipping.  Granted, the insurance that comes with the
deal is a benefit, but when the package has to transit
the continent, you're almost certain to get a package
containing former plants.  USPS Priority Mail usually
makes the trip in 2-3 days, coast to coast, for $4.00.
 There's no insurance, but I've never had a package
lost yet. 

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