Plant Packing Tips...See Pictures 1-8

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I've hear many people say they have never packed plants. Here is a good method to use. I had to mail this brugmansia today so I figured I'd take a few pics. I know there are other methods but this method has given me a 100% NO WILT or Damage rate. Even for plants I have sent out of the country. If mailing multiple plants. Use the same method, except individually wrap each plant in newspaper and lay it down on the shredded paper. Therefore layering each plant wrapped in paper between shredded paper. Under NO circumstances allow the plant foliage to touch plastic or wrap in plastic. This causes wilting, rotting, and breakage.

Here's what you'll need:
1. Paper Towel
2. Plastic Bag
3. Shredded Newspaper
4. Label

First: I removed the Brugmansia from the pot. Then gently removed as much soil as possible without damaging the roots. I then run the plant and roots under cold water (kitchen sink).
Then I wrap the roots in the Paper Towel (Bounty is the Best! LOL). Next shaped the roots and towel into a circle. I then placed the root ball into a ziplock bag. Now I have placed the ball in the center and taped it on four sides to the bottom of the box. I have also taped the sides of the ziplock bag down to form the perfect ball. It may seem like a lot of work.. But when you get use to it it isn't. I can usually box up a plant in about 3-5 minutes.




This message was edited Apr 24, 2005 10:44 AM

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Now I begin to place shredded news paper at the base, around the plant.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Continue to place shredded news paper at the base, around the plant.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Continue to do this all the way around and to the foilage. Make sure it's somewhat tight.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Remeber that your foilage should be damp, and continue all the way over the plant.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I like to make sure my plant does not move whatsoever! So I add peanuts around the sides to make sure it stays in tact.

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

When you are finshed...Close the box. If the box does not require you to gently press it down to close. This means there is not enough packing protection. You want to stuff slightly over the top of the box. Therefore the contents are very secure.

Time to mail!

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Willoughby, OH(Zone 5a)

Thank you so much for this,Kim.I have avoided trading plants as I was nervous about sending them.I am a ''visual learner" and these pictures are just what I needed! You have done a great service.
Thanks,
Gail

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

No number 8...LOL it was just a pic of the plant and the box...
Although I hope this help someone :-D

Thanks Kim, I HOPE I'll need these tips someday :-)

Wichita, KS

Thanks so much, Kim
I am gonna save this for future reference.
~Nut4Spuds

Pocahontas, TN(Zone 7b)

Great pictures Kim. Thank you so much for taking the time to post this information. You have saved many plants I'm sure.

Judy

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

LOL LOL...

This message was edited Apr 23, 2005 8:16 PM

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Thanks Kim. Someone has just asked me to do a trade, but I was unsure as to how to do it. Your post has given me all the information I need. Now I can start trading.

jnana

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

Lol. Was it me jnana?

A lot of people wrap plants rolled up in newspaper. Do you recommend that way also?

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

Kim,

If you don't mind, may I add a little more?

I have done a lot of trading as well as received a lot of plants. I watch how other people do it as well.

Last week I shipped a Dave's mug off to a friend. I recycle packing materials. In this case, I cushioned the bottom of the box with a cheap sponge, placed the mug on that, standing up. I packed shredded paper snugly around the sides of the mug. I was also sending a couple seedlings, so after preparing the roots as you show above, I slid the seedlings up into 2 toilet paper cylinders and put them right into the mug. Then I continued with the shredded matter like you show and sealed the box up. There was no breakage and the seedlings survived without getting crushed.

Molly

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Thanks Molly! Like I said, There are so many other ways. But the most important thing is the newspaper (or paper). So to have used a tissue roll was great. Packing a plant without paper of some sort is dangerous! LOL LOL
DonnaB just send me a Brug..she didn't use shredded paper. But boy was that the best packing I've ever seen. The Brug looked as though it never left her Greenhouse. But it was totally enclosed in newspaper. Roots still moist...Just great packing!

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:49 PM

Hillsboro, OH(Zone 6a)

I can sure attest to the fact that MollyMc can pack plants! LOL If the first box gets full, she just loads a second one! :) Hey Molly, your generosity is spread all over Ohio now.

As another that has mailed plants practically everywhere in the US and across the water too, these are very good tips above! Paper towel and toilet paper rolls are really good to drop plants down into. If you don't have those, rolling them in newspaper is also a great way to send plants!

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

Chele,
You are so very kind. I'm sorry you missed me at your roundup. I was over lurking in the corner, a little too bashful to come out and talk. Looks like yall had a great time.

Maybe next time. :^))))

Molly

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

NancyAnn, This staement is not the case here...
I figure my traders and my customers are expecting a box of plants, not packing, and I don't disappoint them. Packing the plants tightly together prevents them from moving too much and bruising one another.

This thread is information for packing 1 LARGE plant. And to help them get an idea.

1. As I stated in the begining of the thread, If mailing multiple plants. Use the same method, except individually wrap each plant in newspaper and lay it down

2. I also stated: I know there are other methods but this method has given me a 100% NO WILT or Damage rate.

On Wednesday, I recived plants the way you state here: Packing the plants tightly together prevents them from moving too much and bruising one another

Well Every last one was Broken.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:51 PM

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

This is good. I guess my point was...Not everyone is going to necessarily be trading a box full of plants...LOL Therefore it only applies for numerous plants. I posted pertaining to 1 plant.

Northeast, AR(Zone 7a)



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:50 PM

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

I sent a HUGE box to England..It exceeded the diameters for not having a custom form. Therefore I had to state what was in the box. I listed every plant. It arrived with absolutely no problems. If you are sending a package out of the country you do not have to label what's in the box. If it is within a certain diameter. There's a list on the USPS website. With measurements. It is not required by law that all packages require a customs form. If the box is above the diameters then you have to research, if that country is specific to receiving plants from abroad. I send plants to Kaleem in Pakistan. But I make sure my package doesn't exceed the diameter for his country. I hope this helps.

Taylor, TX(Zone 8b)

great post! I wondered what a good way was to send one plant, without it bouncing around. I like the idea of taping it down. thanks!

Michelle

South Florida, FL(Zone 10b)

Yes, it was you CaptMicha LOL. You have mail.
jnana

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

I have a large assrt. of boxes too. Too many infact... I saw free and I couldn't help myself I guess!

I close using the closest fitting box possible so it cradles the plant. That way it doesn't slosh around in there.

I've been using big plastic bags to wrap the entire plant in. I secure it around the roots but I punch holes around the foliage. I don't think I've ever had a complaint. Even in very hot weather. Newspaper would probably keep them cooler though. I should start doing that.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Wow! You are very fortunate! it would be my luck the foliage would be rotted when it got to me! LOL LOL. Although I give these tips..I never complain. 9 out of 10 times my plants are damaged or I end up totally cutting them by the time I received them. I never tell the sender. It's no big deal....It's just a lot of extra work for me (getting it back in shape). Unless the plant is totally snapped in half! Then there might be a little problem..he he he.

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

Yeah, I think I'm going to stop the plastic bag method. I'm always in a hurry to pack the plants because I always make whomever is going out take them to the PO for me. Lol. I received brugs in those newspaper cones they were in GREAT condition. I like that method because it's free and fast.

The shreddness I'll use for delicate or small plants. I bet that'll work great on episcias.

Roseville, CA(Zone 8a)

Thanks KimGaither! I had to mail a plant today....but saw this thread AFTER I did my mailing. I'm crossing my fingers...I did it slightly different. I like your way...so I printed this page for future references. Thanks for taking the time and posting this thread.

Willoughby, OH(Zone 5a)

Has anybody ever used a shoebox to ship plants?My DH threw out a great box full of Ghost poo I was saving.:(

Roseville, CA(Zone 8a)

great idea Golgi! I have some shoe boxes...usually use them to put fragile or odd shaped gifts in. I'll have to save them for plants now :-)

But I wonder if the box would be to flimsy?

This message was edited Apr 26, 2005 8:35 AM

Frederick, MD(Zone 6b)

I'm new to shipping plants, but I've sent out a couple of things. I've started using a handful of well hydrated powdered WaterSorb polymer squished around the roots in addition to the moist paper towel, figuring that might help keep the roots nice & moist. I rolled up the foliage in a paper towel cone, and that seemed to work fine. I've used Kim's method of taping down things I didn't want shifting around, such as a little jar of jam I recently included with some rooted cuttings, and that works well.

I'm crossing my fingers at the moment because I just packed up a couple of mints -- in bubble envelopes! I found a thin cardboard box that some doodad came in, cut it to fit into the envelope, and slid the baggie & most of the leaves into this protective cardboard sleeve (not unlike using a TP roll for a seedling). Mints are pretty tough, so even if the foliage gets mangled, the roots should still be good as a start. We'll see how they do!

Brookeville, MD(Zone 7a)

I think a shoe box might be too fragile. I received some plants in one a while ago and it was all caved in and crushed.

Archer/Bronson, FL(Zone 8b)

A heavier quality "Boot Box" might be strong enough though.

Just a thought.

Molly

Winchester, KY(Zone 6a)

Just bumping this thread up to answer some questions.

Hamburg, PA(Zone 6b)

Hi Neal!

Belleville , IL(Zone 6b)

I think it is a great way to package the plants, Kim. Thanks for the thread. I have mail ordered from several different companies and all the places had different methods and they all came out fine.
I only had one bad experience, and that was when a bareroot plant came as bareroot in a plastic bag with no packing. LOL I learned really quick that this was not a company I wanted to order from. Even though it did look like it was run over by the mail truck also, it survived. LOL
Since then I found the watchdog and it has saved me a lot of grief.
Some of the problems with shipping plants is probably due to different zones and temperatures. I never know when it is a good time to ship things.
So, Kim, do you have any suggestions on when it is safe to ship without fear of the plant succumbing to high temps and humidity or cold temps and frost?
I have a plant that I would like to trade, but it never seems to be a good time for it. It pops up early in spring and often dies back because of late frost. Then in the fall, the foliage dies back to the ground. And ideas when to dig this and offer it?
It is a Tetrapanax and it suckers well so I always have too many and lots to share. But the timing seems almost impossible.

Milton, MA(Zone 6a)

The biggest problem I've found with receiving plants shipped to me is rarely the fault of the sender, it's more often the US post office and its representatives. I mean sure, I've gotten plants in incredibly perfect 6packs with lids in perfect fitting boxes, and the mail carrier is having a good mail day, so everything goes off without a hitch. But if some loser on eBay dug up some stuff from a field, chucked the whole thing, dirt and all into a brown paper bag, stuffed a few of those into a box, with no extra moisture and nothing to store water (like the paper towel in Kim's method), AND THEN the mail guy feels like delivering our mail tomorrow evening instead of this morning and I get it Sat. after dark, then my DH gts home Saturday at 11pm, sleeps until Sunday at 11:30am, wakes up and goes back to work. Did I mention that I garden from a wheelchair with help? The perfectly packed plants survive next to the sink not being planted or in the driveway nearly getting planted before DH gets around to them. The clumps of dried out dirt rarely make it - unless they are daylilies (LOL). We get a refund ~and~ plant the dead stuff anyway. Everything else is somewhere in between. Someone - I think it was also on eBay - sent well rooted seedlings in a 6 pack that was made like a distorted transparent egg carton; plenty of room for everybody's foliage, everything was perfectly moist and happy. All I'm saying is it doesn't have to be that perfect, even the clod with his clods in a brown bag would have been ok if I had gotten them sooner and been able to plant them sooner. It's being dry in a paper bag for week in the back of the mail truck that we can't control.

xxxx, Carrie

This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 5:52 PM

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