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Re: Best way package plants for shipping?

>>>Through trades, I have found plants fare best (and this agrees with his
>post) when placed in a zip lock or bag of this type with some moisture, _no_
>packing material around the plant (newspaper or paper towels), flat (don't
>fill with air) and mailed as is. I always wrap packing stuff around the bags
>and then place them in a priority mail box and send via priority mail--I
>always envision them being crushed through handling, but I've gotten plants
>placed only in bags, within the box, and they come through great. Far better
>than when wrapped with paper towels or newspaper. The box is a necessity and
>priority mail is probably best.<<

Robert Paul H:

>I have found it somewhat amusing in converstions like these that people seem
>much more willing to cut corners in how they send plants by mail when doing
>it themselves, than when buying it from a mail order business. If I sent
>plants to my customers like what has been described, they would demand their
>money back! Truth is that the plants just need to be kept from drying out.
>Wet newspaper is the easiest way and the most common way to do this. Packing
>material is more important to keep the plants from moving around in the box
>while the USPS worker is throwing it around, causing breakage of leaves and
>stems, than it is as insulation. Water in a plastic bag is useless because
>most likely it will leak during transit.  Most plants can live for over a
>week if kept wet and in the dark. Wrapping plants individually as opposed to
>one pile in a plastic bag doesnt really make any difference one way or the
>other. Either way, plants can suffer heat damage, and some delicate plants
>may dry out while others do not. Plants actually fair much better in cold
>weather than they do heat.

I really hated the "wet newspaper" method when I recieved plants from mail
order sources.   The mass of the wet papers themselves oft crushed and
damaged delicate plants in transit.  Not to mention increasing the chances
that you'll damage your plants in unpacking them from the heavy, sloppy wet
globs of paper.  

This is the way many shippers seem to wrap their plants but not all.  The
American south west is where things get problematic.  Low humidity seems to
lift mosture right out of the bag should it get damaged or become unsealed.
  A LOT of plant shipments disproportionately go to California and in my
opinion, that is why the wet - paper tradition started amoung some
shippers.  The trick then is IMHO, to make sure the bags don't get unsealed.

I never recommend anyone use the flat priority boxes during the Summer,
neither in the dead of winter.  For one, they provide no insulation if
layed on a hot surface or if temporarily exposed to noon day heat in an
non-airconditioned mail buggy.  Two, they tend to sometimes get crushed and
because of their flat shape, they leave little internal volume for your

There is one particular mail order source that we all know that is
indirectly responsible for me becoming active in on-line plant sales.  I
purchased from them on over TEN occasions over the last two years and
routinely lost much of the plants they sent.   I think ten buys is enough
to fairly judge overall performance.  They were cheaper than the rest of
the  online mail order  sources and I foolishly thought this was the same
all round.  It got to the point I would be just hoping a piece of something
would survive so I could propogate it!   The last straw came when three
shipments in a row were destroyed! 

 I noticed how much stronger and healthier plants were that I got on TRADES
that were NOT slobbered in wet newspaper.   GEE, THEY ALL LIVED!!
AMAZING!!!  Thus, I figured wet paper was far less critical to sucessful
shipping.   I figured if this company was so well known and that big and
were this lousy, I could do a much better job for fewer, smaller customers. 

This is not to suggest there is any perfect method of getting plants
shipped; at least not for $5.00 and not with the USPS.  There are several
tricks to getting the job done and  I'm sure more will be developed.
However, there is no way currently to garantee success of any one
particular small shipment that does'nt involve at least $15.75 and express

Nifty Aquarium Stuff: