Shipping Plants

Subject: Re: Shipping plants

> I must disagree with Karen about the newspaper.  It serves no fu
> whatever except to stick to the plants, causing damage when remo
> If you  put plants in a plastic bag with a tablespoon of water,
> whether or not you add some air to the bag, it will saturate wit
> water vapor in a matter of minutes.  No further water promotion 
> needed.  I like to add some air to the bag so that there is mor
> "space" in the bag for the plant.  

Actually, the purpose of the newspaper (you can use tissue paper 
or paper towels instead, if you wish) is not to keep the plants 
wet.  As you say, in a closed plastic bag, even a tablespoon of 
water will do that.  That, and closing the bag without air are to 
"stabilize" the plant and prevent any more movement than 
necessary.  Particularly with delicate plants, sloshing around in 
a loose bag with air and even a small amount of water can tear the 
plant apart very quickly.

I've had a lot of plant shipped to me (and I've shipped a lot of 
plants) using both methods, and with most species, the results are 
better if the plants have as little room for movement as possible.
I have occasionally had people send me a plant for identification 
that was packed the way you would (correctly) pack a fish, and 
there has been little left to identify by the time it arrived.

Karen Randall
Aquatic Gardeners Assoc.
Boston, MA