I received my 3rd trade this year of dried out unrooted cuttings yesterday. Everyone is making the same mistake. Here is how I send unrooted cuttings. This method works and mine always make it to their destination hydrated and fresh even if they are going across country.
First I water the plant that the cuttings will be taken from the night before.
In the morning I take the cuttings, at least 6 inches long.
I cut off ALL the leaves except for any at the very top of the growing point.
I then take a slightly more than damp but not dripping paper towel and lay it out.
I put the first cutting on the paper towel and fold it over.
Once it's all wrapped up I then put it in the envelope or box. If it's really hot between here and where it's going I'll also put it in a plastic bag. Don't forget to label the cuttings. If you are sending more than 1 type of cutting then wrap them individually and label each bag.
Thanks. Took years of trial and error to come up with a good system. It works with pretty much anything and especially well on brugmansia cuttings. I tested many types of cuttings using this method and pretty much all of them can last at least 8 days before becoming unusable.
The mistake people make is leaving a lot of leaves on and also putting them in an envelope or box with leaves and unwrapped - they usually just wrap the cut ends in moist paper towel. Paper/cardboard will suck out the moisture from the cuttings very fast .. that is why putting crumpled up newspaper in wet shoes works so well to dry them out.
Well I don't normally send anything, even seeds through the mail if the temperatures are consistently in the 90's between here or there and being wrapped in damp paper towel usually keeps things from cooking unless the package is sitting in direct sun. All my packages have a label that says "Live Plants. Please keep out of direct sun" on the outside.
I have basically used the same method as Xeramtheum in the past except I didn't water the mother plant the night before.
Also I always left the top part of the cuttings exposed.Always good results and feedback from members.
In each forum there are threads that are semi-permanent and stay at the very top of the forum. These "sticky" threads are set by DG admin on request of members if they illustrate useful information as this thread does. In the plant trading forum, there are several sticky threads such as how I send rooted cuttings, how to ship plants, how to save on postage, etc.