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Plant Trading: Plant Packing Tips...See Pictures 1-8

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Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
4:55 PM

Post #1422012

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
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Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
4:57 PM

Post #1422015

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

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Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
4:59 PM

Post #1422018

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

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
5:00 PM

Post #1422020

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

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
5:01 PM

Post #1422022

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

Thumbnail by Kim_M
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
5:03 PM

Post #1422026

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
5:06 PM

Post #1422032

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
Click the image for an enlarged view.

golgi
Willoughby, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2005
5:10 PM

Post #1422036

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
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2005
5:10 PM

Post #1422038

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

April 23, 2005
5:26 PM

Post #1422069

Thanks Kim, I HOPE I'll need these tips someday :-)
nut4spuds
Wichita, KS

April 23, 2005
8:36 PM

Post #1422353

Thanks so much, Kim
I am gonna save this for future reference.
~Nut4Spuds
judycooksey
Pocahontas, TN
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2005
12:03 AM

Post #1422701

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

Judy
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2005
12:15 AM

Post #1422712

LOL LOL...

This message was edited Apr 23, 2005 8:16 PM
jnana
South Florida, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 24, 2005
12:25 AM

Post #1422730

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
CaptMicha
Brookeville, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2005
6:40 AM

Post #1423355

Lol. Was it me jnana?

A lot of people wrap plants rolled up in newspaper. Do you recommend that way also?
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2005
12:05 PM

Post #1423504

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
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2005
2:42 PM

Post #1423758

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!
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2005
4:57 PM

Post #1424098



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:49 PM
Badseed
Hillsboro, OH
(Zone 6a)

April 24, 2005
5:04 PM

Post #1424110

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!
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 24, 2005
5:24 PM

Post #1424158

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
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2005
5:49 PM

Post #1424213

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.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2005
8:47 PM

Post #1424562



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:51 PM
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2005
9:06 PM

Post #1424598

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.
ButterflyChaser
Northeast, AR
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2005
9:06 PM

Post #1424600



This message was edited Nov 11, 2005 4:50 PM
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2005
9:15 PM

Post #1424624

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.
Witch
Taylor, TX
(Zone 8b)

April 25, 2005
2:34 AM

Post #1425284

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
jnana
South Florida, FL
(Zone 10b)

April 25, 2005
4:57 AM

Post #1425520

Yes, it was you CaptMicha LOL. You have mail.
jnana
CaptMicha
Brookeville, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 25, 2005
5:37 AM

Post #1425546

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.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 25, 2005
9:26 AM

Post #1425625

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.
CaptMicha
Brookeville, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 26, 2005
1:05 AM

Post #1427352

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.
lisamr
Roseville, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2005
2:37 AM

Post #1427603

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.
golgi
Willoughby, OH
(Zone 5a)

April 26, 2005
3:23 PM

Post #1428418

Has anybody ever used a shoebox to ship plants?My DH threw out a great box full of Ghost poo I was saving.:(
lisamr
Roseville, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 26, 2005
3:34 PM

Post #1428430

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
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 26, 2005
3:52 PM

Post #1428451

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!
CaptMicha
Brookeville, MD
(Zone 7a)

April 27, 2005
12:13 AM

Post #1429350

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.
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 27, 2005
12:24 AM

Post #1429384

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

Just a thought.

Molly
gemini_sage
Winchester, KY
(Zone 6a)

August 8, 2005
12:28 PM

Post #1678747

Just bumping this thread up to answer some questions.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 8, 2005
2:47 PM

Post #1678987

Hi Neal!
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

September 29, 2005
2:46 AM

Post #1787593

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.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 11, 2005
9:44 PM

Post #1870483

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
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 11, 2005
11:51 PM

Post #1870694

Hmmmmm...Sorry to hear that. But I don't have those kind of Postal Problems. I pretty much can count on my postal workers do or die.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 12, 2005
3:33 AM

Post #1871102

That must be such a wonderful thing - we are really at the mercy of our Postal Powers That Be. I realized I was threatening this poor eBay guy with bad feedback, and while he could have done a better job, it was the Postal Carrier who broke the camel's back! LOL.
weegy12
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

November 12, 2005
3:50 PM

Post #1871640

Try to figure this one out...I mailed 2 packages, one going to Texas and one going to Sacramento, CA. I live a days drive from Sacramento...the box I mailed to Texas got there on Monday...I mailed Satruday...the box to Sacramento took 3 days...go figure.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 14, 2005
11:28 PM

Post #1875729

I hate it when people tape plants to the box. I always tear them up trying to get them unstuck.
NatureWalker
New York & Terrell, TX
(Zone 8b)

November 14, 2005
11:46 PM

Post #1875768

Who in the world would tape a plant to the box?

~* Robin
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 15, 2005
12:06 PM

Post #1876569

ME :-D
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

November 15, 2005
2:34 PM

Post #1876775

Not "tape a plant to a box," tape the baggie/root ball to the box! So it doesn't rattle around! Just use a knife and cut it loose. I usually pack several plants to a box, wrapping the foliage florist-style in newspaper cones, and they hold one another in place with no need to tape.
flowerjunkie
Hot Springs, AR
(Zone 7b)

November 15, 2005
5:40 PM

Post #1877050

Hi Kim,

Just got your begonias...taped to the bottom of the box. Its such a wonderful idea taking the pots out. I never ship anything with pots. Its a waste of money and the plant arrive beat up and dirt all over the place. What a mess! But you box arrived nice and neat, every plant in its place. For begonias to arrive with all their leaves attached in a miracle. Here's a photo of the begonias I got from you yesterday. I need to get out an plant them now. :-)

Thanks a bunch!

Daisy

Thumbnail by flowerjunkie
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 15, 2005
5:50 PM

Post #1877073

Kim, I have to admit I 'skimmed' this, so please excuse any redundancy! I just wanted to add that the polymer crystals are a wonderful way to keep the roots hydrated in shipping... and the flat rate boxes are great if you are packing several plants or bare root items... around $8 with confirmation receipt.. no matter what it weighs.

I'm amazed you sent plant material to England, declaring the contents. I thought sending live material was prohibited without special certification. I'd love to be able to trade plant materials oversees.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 15, 2005
9:44 PM

Post #1877431

I hate it when they tape the root ball to the box too, lol. I've bought several plants off of ebay where they taped the rootball(wrapped of course) to the bottom of one of those tube boxes. It might have been nice when it arrived at my door, but by the time I got it out of the box, it was not in good shape. I tried to cut the box open without cutting the plant, impossible. I tried to reach down inside the box to free the plant, impossible. I tried to pull the sticky flap open, also impossible...I finally tugged on it till it came out and got dirt everywhere.(I hope y'all can picture this, it was not a pretty site. I made a big mess in the kitchen)
I guess if it was a square box that I could open and reach down in, it wouldn't be so bad. Like the one in the picture, it's not deeper than my arm will reach!
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

November 15, 2005
9:55 PM

Post #1877452

could it depend on the plant being mailed? I notice that african violet vendors tape the plants and it works really well. IMO it's the only way they don't get all broken up in shipping. Have also seen it done w/ cacti/succulents and it worked well.

plants are potted in teenie tiny pots and the pots are then taped to box.
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 15, 2005
10:46 PM

Post #1877600

I think you're right Vossner. These were long vines and plants with long skinny stems. I got some elephant ears(alocasias, kind of fragile) in itty bitty pots. I know they were in perfect condition when they arrived, but I can't remember how they were packed. I think they were in little paper bags inside a box.
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

November 16, 2005
12:53 AM

Post #1877850

Maybe soaking the box in water would help to get the plants loose that were taped to the box. Wouldn't the tape lose its stickiness that way? You usually have to soak a bareroot plant anyway.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 16, 2005
1:47 AM

Post #1877973

Soaking the box puts me in mind of some rhizomes I received in a flat rate box. The box was so soggy that the post office put it in a plastic bag! LOL!
Calalily
Deep South Coastal, TX
(Zone 10a)

November 17, 2005
5:01 PM

Post #1880857

Hey, I never thought of wetting the box, that would have made the sticky turn loose or made the box soft so it could be torn open! Thanks, that's a great idea!
The plants weren't bare root, they had dirt wrapped in plastic around the roots. Then that part was taped to the box.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 17, 2005
5:05 PM

Post #1880867

I'm really cautious about putting the entire plants in plastic bags, but using a plastic liner in the box seems to work if I don't seal the top of the bag.

carrielamont

carrielamont
Bedford, TX
(Zone 8a)

November 17, 2005
6:08 PM

Post #1880945

I just unpacked my box from Hazzards, and it was packed exactly like this (which is how they describe it on their web site:

Plants are usually removed from the containers they are growing in and most of the soil is removed in order to reduce the weight. A small amount of moist soil is left around the roots and the plant is then placed in a plastic bag and tied off at the roots with a twistie tie. The top of the bag is stuffed with shredded paper to protect the plants during shipment. Plants are then carefully laid in a box which is layered with more shredded paper. This method has worked well.

It worked well for me because everything arrived in good shape, save a few squished leaves here and there.

xxxxxx, Carrie
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

November 17, 2005
7:50 PM

Post #1881065

When I was just starting out and didn't know any better I ordered some bareroot shrubs from one of those cheap mailorder places, The plants arrived in nothing but a plastic bag, no padding or anything. lol
And I am not kidding, one of the bags had black tire marks on it. It was a disaster. I took them out of the bags and soaked them overnight. They must have been extremely hardy because they did survive. It took several years for them to recuperate. It is the new gardeners like myself who kept people like them in business. lol
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 17, 2005
8:28 PM

Post #1881129

Tire tracks! LOL!
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 17, 2005
8:39 PM

Post #1881142

Alas, I received a big box of cuttings that someone had sent me, with the numerous baggies taped to the box - somehow they'd worked themselves loose and an incredible amount of the foliage was stuck to the tape - to the box - to each other. Quite a mess! Now I'm a nervous wreck about taping, so I just try to pad well. Thank heavens for paper shredders. (They all think I'm nuts at work - no, that's ok, I'll empty it for you!)

Kim and Molly - you both have the knack. Could be "packed with love and nurturing" does it best!
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

November 17, 2005
8:57 PM

Post #1881167

Sequee, Thanks so much for the compliment. This means a lot to me.

:^))))
Molly
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 17, 2005
11:23 PM

Post #1881367

There is a gentleman from England that sends me seeds that are encased in some sort of translucent surgical tape. I really have no idea how I could extricate those tiny seeds, unless I planted them surgical tape and all!
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

November 17, 2005
11:34 PM

Post #1881396

Your babies are happy and doing well! I LOVE THEM!!!
CalamusGardens
Guayanilla, PR
(Zone 11)

January 28, 2006
6:34 AM

Post #2005845

This is the longest thread I've ever read !! Something missing here . . . SPHAGNUM MOSS Dampened Spahgnum makes a cussion for plants in bags and it is "anti fungal" (prevents fungus or rot for plants in box over long periods of travel) Also . . .

There is a large box about 8 x 8 x 14 at your post office for free with big notes on it "FLAT RATE BOX" ( different from regular priority mail box) For 8.00 it will go anywhere U.S., Hawaii, Puerto Rico !!
Last box I sent from Puerto Rico to Oregon got there in THREE DAYS!!
Logos Formont Calamus / plantcollectors.net
NatureWalker
New York & Terrell, TX
(Zone 8b)

January 28, 2006
7:29 PM

Post #2006757

Quoting:This is the longest thread I've ever read !!


Welcome aboard to Dave's Garden!

Some threads are into the 268-300 posts!

~* Robin
Sequee
Carmel, NY
(Zone 6b)

January 28, 2006
9:54 PM

Post #2007045

Yeah, Robin - I had a real chuckle over that myself!
jooolster
Santa Barbara, CA
(Zone 10b)

January 30, 2006
12:06 AM

Post #2009487

Great thread! But how do you get all that shredded newspaper?
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

January 30, 2006
12:19 AM

Post #2009521

Paper shredder..LOL
skaz421
Wesley Chapel, FL
(Zone 9a)

January 30, 2006
3:00 AM

Post #2009802

Consider using Press N Seal to wrap the rootball, instead of putting it a plastic bag. I use it to seal a damp paper towel wrapped around the rootball. It works extremely well; every plant I've shipped, so far, has arrived in excellent condition.

Also, I never tape the plant to anything. With enough newspaper, the plant(s) are packed firmly enough so that they don't move, and are well protected.

Steve
Anitabryk2
Long Island, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 21, 2006
11:06 AM

Post #2060032

I found a reference to this tread in the AV Forum - excellent! Thanks so much for taking the time to explain the packing procedure. I am planning on doing some trades in the spring and this is exactly what I needed.

I have a question for shipping out of the country - Canada..What is everyone's experience with that?

Anita
corgimom
Pontotoc, MS
(Zone 7b)

February 23, 2006
5:49 PM

Post #2065975

Thanks, everyone.
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2006
5:15 AM

Post #2199045

Kim, Did you moisten the paper towel that is wrapped around the root? I am going to send out some plants and want to make sure I do it correctly.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2006
1:12 PM

Post #2199500

Yes I do moisten :-D
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

April 18, 2006
2:15 PM

Post #2199662

Thanks I needed to know that. I am off to get paper towels. LOL

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 18, 2006
4:02 PM

Post #2199966

If you don't have the press and seal and need to use a zip lock bag, just flip over the side that tends to cut, twist gently that protion beneath the leaves and then one loop around that area w/just reg. scotch tape does the trick...some folks have good luck with the rubber bands but I believe only on the less fragile plants.
As for the moist paper towels - just remember moist not soaked and I was told my those more knowledgable then I - never with Cactus and Succulents (although younger sedums seem to do better WITH the moist paper towel) unless they're going to be in transit for 2 weeks. LOL
JaxFlaGardener
Jacksonville, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 19, 2006
4:17 AM

Post #2201833

Hey, Kim. Happy Birthday!

I'm glad this message got bumped up as I had not seen it before. The tips were very useful. Thanks! I'll put them into practice now that I find myself getting completely swept up in obsessive plant trading (I ran out of money and the credit cards are maxed out from buying plants and I already have one of everything available in the local nurseries, so I have to go panhandling to you other addicts to get my plant fix for new and exotic varieties).

I will ditto the comments on the Glad "Press-N-Seal" wrap. I just recently got plants wrapped in it and I was so impressed that I immediately went out and bought some for pending plant swaps. The stuff really wraps tighter and holds moisture better than any plastic bag could do, I think.

I wonder if you wish I had read your post prior to sending you the recent A. laxa, T. ohioensis, and C. bungi? LOL I had put off trading until after the major fund raiser was over a few weeks ago and then found I had 15 pending trades to catch up on. Did them all in 2 days, so there was lots of wrapping and packing going on in a flurry of flying plants. I hope I don't get that far behind in trades in the future.

Jeremy
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 19, 2006
12:05 PM

Post #2202128

I am cracking up laughing! And I got your plants. Thanks so much! I have all kind of plants so never fail to ask what I have :-D
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

April 19, 2006
9:17 PM

Post #2203184

Well, I sent them all out yesterday and only time will tell if the shipment was packaged ok. It didn't shift in the box that I could see.
I'll just have to wait and see how it goes.
With Priority how long is the box usually in the mail system before it arrives? My confirmation number isn't telling me much of anything except that it was accepted. Sigh.
Those begonias are really nice looking for having traveled. I don't envy plant traders one bit. It is so worrisome.
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

April 21, 2006
9:18 PM

Post #2209148

Kim, you should ask for a sticky for this post. I wouldn't have found it had I not remembered it from the past and searched for it. It is very helpful.
It is one thing to read information, but you have it all sorted out and planned out step by step right here with pictures to further clarify what you are saying.

Truly, see if you can get a sticky for it.
So far the people who have received my plants that I wanted to use this information for said they arrived in great shape and loved the packaging.
Windy
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 21, 2006
9:24 PM

Post #2209165

Or maybe the basics could be incorporated into the trading primer. I read the primer when I first started trading, so I assume other new traders would too and it's easier to find than a specific thread.

JMO
Molly
:^)))
berrygirl
Braselton, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2006
11:46 AM

Post #2210616

Kim,
Since you are the resident DG plant packing Queen, I thought I'd ask you a Q.
I need a bit of advice: if you were sending a NEWLY-rooted sedum [Autumn Joy type] to India, would you pack the roots in wet paper or send it dry? I don't want it to dry out and die nor do I want it to mold/rot. I will mail it the best way [according to the $$$] so I am assuming it would take a couple of wks to get there.
THANKS!
Deb
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

April 22, 2006
12:03 PM

Post #2210640

I'm jumping in here to ask a pertinent question Deb. How hot is it in India right now? And on the way there? the temps?

Last year I had sedums/succulents sent to me from Ok and Canada. Both were packed in wet/damp paper towels in the summer heat. Both came to me as sedum soup.

Your thoughts Kim?

:^)))
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 22, 2006
1:36 PM

Post #2210801

Well for sedum..just my opinion..
Because you're sending it to India I wouldn't use any plastic of any type in the package. The sedum wont die. They are tough guys! LOL To send them bare root would be the best bet. They can go without water for some time. Also if you send your package air letter post (regular air mail) it shouldn't take more then 7 days. Most of my international packages reach their destination within 4 days (except Cananda) Mail between Cananda and the States seems to be very very slow.
berrygirl
Braselton, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 22, 2006
6:48 PM

Post #2211400

Molly,
I don't know what the temps are there right now, but I can dmail and find out- I'll let ya know. A very good Q and thanks for the input!
I too have rec'd plants in the summer that were cooked/steamed-and once from a mail-order Co who should have known better!!
**************************************************************************
I had also thought about waiting 'til the sedums go dormant [for me] and ship it bare-root. Don't know if that would make a difference. This is what I had suggested to the DG'er I'm trading with but I want him to have and enjoy his plants now- lol!

**********************************************

Kim,
Thank you so very much for the suggestion. You are right- they are tough little buggers- lol! So is it terribly $$ to send them the way you suggest? I have never sent anything overseas- at least I dont think I have- lol!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 22, 2006
8:06 PM

Post #2211623

Just Watch the ounce..pounds etc. No need to send a big piece. Sedum grows fast. A start is what he/she should be interested in?

Up to 1 pound - No Custom Form Needed

Over 1 pound - Custom Form Needed

I never send over a pound, except for twice and I filled out the custom form.

To India - Airmail Letter Post (just a few)
1. 3 ounces - $2.40
2. 6 ounces - $4.80
3. 10 ounces - $8.05
4. 16 ounces - $9.75
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 22, 2006
8:15 PM

Post #2211649

There are a lot of plants that can be sent bare root. You just have to use good judgement. A few are: grasses, flowering bulbs, sedum, hosta, corms, tuberous plants..
berrygirl
Braselton, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 23, 2006
1:08 AM

Post #2212306

Wow Kim you went to a lot of trouble to give me that info! Thanks so very much.
You are a treasure here at DG!
vossner
Richmond, TX
(Zone 9a)

April 23, 2006
1:10 AM

Post #2212313

Kim I didn't know the "under a lb" deal. good info

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 23, 2006
1:32 AM

Post #2212379

Kim,
Ditto to everyone else...good info to have!!
luvsplants
North MS (near Tunic, MS
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2006
1:11 AM

Post #2215069

I didnt know it was legal to ship plants or seeds to another country? If I am wrong please let me know as I would love to trade with people outside of the states. However, I was told that it was illegal to ship plants to other countries or to have plants sent to you from another country. Is this correct? I only ask because I saw on this thread people in the states talking about sending plants and seeds to England and vice - versa. Ok, I will sit back and learn.

Thanks

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2006
1:18 AM

Post #2215088

I agree...would be wonderful to add the diversity of trading with those in other countries!!
berrygirl
Braselton, GA
(Zone 7b)

April 24, 2006
1:31 AM

Post #2215157

I don't know if it is legal or not but if it is illegal there's a lot of it going on here- lol! http://davesgarden.com/forums/f/intl/all/

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2006
1:47 AM

Post #2215303

LOL
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 24, 2006
2:59 AM

Post #2215509

Well when I sent that Huge box to England. I put the plant names on the custom form. The box arrived fine and unopened. There were a lot of plants in this box.

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

April 24, 2006
11:56 AM

Post #2216021

Yeah they're probably happy to have specifics on the form instead of having to guess at possible illegal "unknowns" - LOL Not to mention...I'm certain they've got the drug dogs doing their thing - probably keeps the boxes from having to be rummaged through.

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 24, 2006
5:37 PM

Post #2313047

How would you ship a young growing canna lily that's about 2 ft. tall? From Houston to Florida.
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 24, 2006
5:54 PM

Post #2313107

In a triangular tube priority box. They have them in 24" long size.
Molly

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

May 24, 2006
7:59 PM

Post #2313428

tHANKS!
ElysianFields
Arcadia, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 25, 2006
1:00 PM

Post #2315722

Hi, all. This is a great thread. We are a new nursery and I just got a small website up and going. I had a call the other day from someone in Kansas wanting plants and since I have never shipped I was reluctant to do this. I may be a little more relaxed about it now with all these great tips. Most of our plants are large and I don't really think it would be cost effective to ship them, but this would be great for some of my started plants from the greenhouse. Anyway, I am just wondering if you mark your boxes with a "live plant" statement or something or just ship them without marking the box. I didn't see any mention of this in the thread, and am just curious. Thanks! Vicki
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 25, 2006
1:08 PM

Post #2315749

Ely,

I don't know what is right or wrong, but I don't generally mark my boxes. I tell the postman there are plants in there. I don't believe the post office will treat the package any differently (better) if you do mark it. Except maybe in California and any other states that do not want soil shipped into their country, then they may open the package for inspection.

:^)))
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

May 25, 2006
3:09 PM

Post #2316086

My son told me once he marked a package fragile and it was received in horrible shape. Postal workers sometimes have a sick sense of humor. I therefore don't mark anything and it seems to arrive in good shape.
Good luck with your business.

Chantell

Chantell
Middle of, VA
(Zone 7a)

May 25, 2006
7:37 PM

Post #2316839

I've been marking mine "Careful Plants" b/c earlier in the season I didn't want the boxes to be left out in temps that wouldn't be healthy for the plant. I was told if it were marked they would be kept aside. No one's told me of the boxes arriving in bad shape...makes me rethink things though given what has happened with some of ya'lls
ElysianFields
Arcadia, FL
(Zone 10a)

May 26, 2006
12:51 PM

Post #2318710

Thanks for the replies. Yesterday I received the hard copy of our nursery license/registration, and I guess we are in an area that is quaranteened for Fire Ants. I guess I will stick to selling locally, or at least only within the state; having had to deal with those suckers for 17 years, I certainly wouldn't want to be responsible for sending them anywhere else!
weegy12
Rancho Cucamonga, CA

May 26, 2006
3:51 PM

Post #2319151

I do mark my boxes, I have a nursery stock certificate. I either write "live plants" or "iris rhizomes." This is what our agriculture department suggested.
NatureWalker
New York & Terrell, TX
(Zone 8b)

May 26, 2006
7:25 PM

Post #2319767

Most of the plants I send in the mail have never been outside yet; & need hardening off, so I state that on a piece of paper in large print in the box. I also mark the outsides of the boxes in red marker Perishable.

If the PO asks me why perishable; then I tell them it's house plants or new seedlings. They've never marked the box after that; & no more questions.

I send some plants (like Hostas) Bare-Root & I state that too. The're washed & inspected by me very carefully.

~* Robin
blckwolf256
Springville, AL
(Zone 7a)

October 20, 2006
4:12 AM

Post #2833938

This may be a DUMB question...but how do you determine the weight of the package? I had a scale, because I sell on ebay...but it is not working, and I have not bought another one.
I use the USPS printed postage, and have the PO pick up here at the house. I know the weight of my ebay items...but I have quite a few plants I plan to offer cutting of. Last year I shipped out over 100 cuttings and seeds to DG folks. This year i will be offering even more.
I am guessing that a box filled with a few of each cutting will weigh about 1 1/2 lbs... I think.
I know all over the US a 1 pound pkg goes out for $4.05...but then it gets messy after a pound.
A 1 1/2 pound package to Lake port, CA is $6.05...but a 1 1/2 pound pkg to santa clara, UT is $5.30. I know one of the rules on DG is you can not charge for items...if I figure full pkgs at a flat rate of $6.05, and actual cost is $5.30 will folks get mad?
I am sorry...I have not been here for a year, until the past few weeks...so I have forgotten how to go about this.
Thanks for ANY help!!!
Sue
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


October 20, 2006
5:04 PM

Post #2835148

If I am shipping quite a few plants, I send them in a flat rate box. There are squarish ones and long narrow ones. They cost around $8, no matter the weight.
AbbieOriginal
Vista, CA
(Zone 10a)

November 12, 2006
1:54 AM

Post #2906037

I have spent so many hours at the post office this year I can't even begin to count! I love this thread. I fret over EVERYTHING I ship no matter how long it takes me to package...rolled newspaper i find works great for things like lilies with long growing foliage...with the paper towel and plastic bag at the bottom..as an addition to CalamusGardens comment...on usps.com you have the option of ordering numerous FREE boxes in various sizes...you can also order free envelopes an stuff your own box in the envelope if it will fit! But the free boxes...I couldn't believe! In my area they will also deliver them right to your door for free...i wonder if they do that all over the US? My post office has never hear of a phytosanitary certificate...
Sue, I shipped a box of 50 cutting priority mail last week (2 actually...) across country, cost 8.05 flat rate ...if that helps!
I absolutely LOVE the packed shreddings idea and have been begging my finace to bring them home from work..but he never seems to remember, after this post I am settled on it..maybe walmart tomorrow to get a cheap shredder while on my hoya hunt!
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


November 29, 2006
7:29 PM

Post #2953741

Great info, Abbie!
doccat5
Fredericksburg, VA
(Zone 7b)

November 11, 2007
1:00 AM

Post #4180308

Wow, I'm so glad I found this thread. I was getting ready to ship out some peony slips and was a little nervous about the packing. This is great! Thanks so much.
jhochges
Somers, NY
(Zone 6b)

February 18, 2008
1:06 PM

Post #4554440

Kim - When you wrap the roots in a paper towel, is the towel dry or damp?
Thanks, Joyce
NatureWalker
New York & Terrell, TX
(Zone 8b)

February 18, 2008
4:40 PM

Post #4555406

Joyce,

Kim hasn't paid for a membership in a while. From what she told me; she uses a spray-mister to dampen the paper towels ever so lightly with just regular water.

HTH,

~* Robin
beautifulchaos
Indianapolis, IN
(Zone 5b)

April 3, 2008
2:11 PM

Post #4750380

Awesome thread! Thanks, DG, for making it "Sticky"...it is worthy of not being missed! (Coming from someone that goes on DG info sprees and then tends to disappear for months at a time)...

~Shelley
shokami2
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 8a)

April 14, 2008
5:18 PM

Post #4807490

hi kim...
at the beginning of the thread you said to make sure the foliage is damp when packing it. so do you spray it a bit after you get a bit of the paper around it?
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


April 15, 2008
1:06 AM

Post #4809766

Hi, Sokami2. I don't think Kim is posting here anymore, so you probably won't hear from her directly. I think it would be fine to mist the foliage, but not to get the paper too soggy.
shokami2
Coos Bay, OR
(Zone 8a)

April 15, 2008
11:39 PM

Post #4814543

ok thanks! i just started my first trading this week but i think i packed them ok.
Windy
Belleville , IL
(Zone 6b)

April 16, 2008
3:28 PM

Post #4817072

Anyone keep in touch with Kim? I wish she were still here as she was such a good addition to the forums.
Weezingreens
Seward, AK
(Zone 3b)


April 17, 2008
6:08 PM

Post #4823013

I've tried contacting her a few times, but didn't have any luck. I miss her, too.
Jumpin4Joy
Orangeburg, SC

May 16, 2008
2:19 PM

Post #4959403

Kim Long time no see. We did a trade a few years back and you sent me a cookbook with my package. I think it was a swap or something. I just wanted to say hello.
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

May 29, 2008
5:03 AM

Post #5019056

Hello!

I am looking for a place to take all the packing peanuts. I will not use them, and I won't throw them away. Is there anyone who wants them? They do not break down so I would like to recyle mine. All the plants that I received well, came wrapped in either newspaper, or a similar paper, plastic only for the plant or around a small pot, and shredded paper. That can be reused or recyled or be used to start a burn pile. I live where we have to burn our leaves and pine needles to keep our land cleared away from our house, since we live in the forest.

Any suggestions?

Thanks!

Evelyn
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

May 29, 2008
9:18 AM

Post #5019312

Hi Evelyn,

Try the Freecycle Network. http://www.freecycle.org/

Here's in the Gainesville, Florida area there are a lot of participants and many offer up the packing peanuts. Check ours out to see how busy it is. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/freecyclegainesville/

Molly
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

May 29, 2008
1:26 PM

Post #5019976

A friend of mine used packing peanuts to stuff some bean bag chairs she made...

I wanted to add a link here to today's article on

Trading Plants: How to Pack Plants for Shipping by Mail.

It's a photo tutorial on wrapping and packing multiple bare root plants. :-)

http://davesgarden.com/guides/articles/view/1202/

Thumbnail by critterologist
Click the image for an enlarged view.

Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

July 26, 2008
2:23 PM

Post #5322256

Hi All,
I used to work in the post office and they dont squash them on purpose they sorted by hand in the past but think they now use a machine and the heavy packages are thrown on top of the small one and that is why they get crushed. Fran
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

July 26, 2008
3:54 PM

Post #5322606

Fran, I'm sure you're right about the downside of machine sorting... that's why it's good to use packing material inside boxes and sturdier boxes also... although at times I'm tempted to skimp in order to keep a little package under 13 oz so I can send it first class! LOL
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

July 27, 2008
1:04 PM

Post #5326518

Hi All, I was in the post office yesterday and noticed they added some more flat rated boxes. Bigger than the ones for about 9dollars. A couple dollars more but lots more room. Would be good for daylilies or bulbs in bulk. Fran
Azalea
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 29, 2008
1:21 PM

Post #5337469

As I have said before, I have rarely sent a box that weighs over one pound, thus Priority boxes are much cheaper. A pound or under is only $4.75 and the boxes come in so many sizes and shapes. I order them with free delivery from the PO. They used to keep a supply in the PO, but I guess they'd rather sell those $8.00 - $9.00 ones.
If the box does weigh over a pound, it is not that much more, depending on it's destination. You can go to the USPS website and print out a weight schedule. You can also order the boxes online, free delivery to you. They come in bundles of 25 - I keep a supply of all sizes. I have shipped well over 2,000 boxes and can't remember when I had one that cost $8.00.
When you print out your address label, you also get free delivery confirmation. No more standing in line with a stack of boxes. My little digital scale is the answer, and I marked out 36 inches with a marker on my formica desk so I can meausre them quickly. I print out the label and cut off the half with the receipt to staple on my copy of the packing slip for my records. I use a paper cutter to cut off the label - then I lay the label on my desk and put 2" clear tape on all 4 sides, pull it off the desk and slap it on the package.

I also have a stamp to mark them Perishable.



This message was edited Jul 29, 2008 10:04 AM
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

July 29, 2008
2:29 PM

Post #5337852

Azelia,
I was over at the postoffice and I didnt see that many boxes . MOst of them were for sale and not free. Fran
Azalea
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 7b)

July 29, 2008
3:19 PM

Post #5338078

This is what I said, they don't keep the freebies anymore for Priority, you have to order them. I got an order blank at the PO for the first ones I ordered a few years ago - now I fax in my order or do it online.
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

July 30, 2008
12:06 AM

Post #5340503

You can also order the boxes and any other supplies by going to USPS website...here is the pages for supplies: http://shop.usps.com/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/ProductCategoryDisplay?catalogId=10152&storeId=10001&categoryId=13354&langId=-1&parent_category_rn=11820&top_category=11820 Hope this helps.

Molly
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

August 2, 2008
9:50 PM

Post #5359771

Thanks, MollyMc!

I took 5 large blue recycle bags full of peanuts to the local UPS store. They just said thank you. I am sure someone pays for these in the beginning. I have also gone back and given them clean boxes with peanuts, since, as the boxes we have here are not clean.

I recycle all the clean ones, and the dirty ones are waiting for fall in the "burn pile", with all the dried weeds and leaves and pineneedles. I have tried composting, and it ended up to be a messy garbage pile. Maybe later on, I will invest in one that you turn and out comes the "liquid gold". Well, maybe not liquid but better than having to buy mulch in bags from Home Depot. Does anyone has any of those?

Evelyn
budgielover
Pinellas Park, FL
(Zone 9b)

August 10, 2008
2:08 AM

Post #5392672

I had several cases of Priority boxes that I no longer for that particular size. I had my son take them to our local post office at night and left them at the door to the back part of the office. Hopefully, that put some out front. (I removed the labels from the box so that couldn't readily ID for brought them.

breeindy

breeindy
north coast nsw
Australia

June 6, 2009
10:25 PM

Post #6651210

Ive bought hundreds of plants via mail and i hate it when the sellers lets the plant move around in the box. "Lets just say the post contractors don't be careful with parcels even when you write fragile on them". I found the bast way to receive and send plants is wrapping them like you have kim but taping them to the box(box has to be strong so it won't squash). This is neally the only way the plant doesn't move crushing its own leaves. I just use a knife to cut the tape to unpack. I'd rather take longer to unpack then risking wrecking the plant. I feel if a seller has gone to all the trouble of careful packing and taping it shows they care abit. Sending the plant in the pot usually ends up falling out and wrecking it more. just my 2cents worth! hehe!
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 7, 2009
12:19 PM

Post #6653279

From the receiver's end, it helps a lot to know when opening what side of the box the plant is taped to... :-)
Sendone2me
Orlando, FL

June 7, 2009
2:36 PM

Post #6653725

Old news the postage has gone way up. I sent a very small box and it cost over 7 dollars priorty. from fla to miss.Fran
fizzbomb
Lenora, KS

June 8, 2009
5:07 PM

Post #6659107

Just want to add a few things based on my experience as a USPS employee:

For domestic mail, it is better to mark the package "Live plants" than "Perishable". Also, do everything possible to ensure your package will not leak. Packages with wet spots are immediately designated as "potentially hazardous" and REMOVED from the mail stream for safety.

Addresses, both return and delivery, should be placed parallel to the LONG side of the package. Both addresses should be on the same side of the package: return address in the upper left corner; delivery address more or less centered in the lower 1/2 of the item (either envelope or package). Also, the bottom line of the delivery address should be AT LEAST one inch above the bottom edge of the item.

Either type or write the delivery address clearly, without any punctuation, using a permanent black ink marker so that it can be read an arm's length away.

If hand-writing the address, use block letters and be as precise as possible. (A zero that has a little bit of "tail" on top can/will be read as a six by the sorting machines.)

Packages weighing over 13 ounces WITH stamps already affixed must be taken to a Post Office and accepted by a clerk; otherwise, it will be returned to you.


Although the Post Office receives a lot of flack, most misdirected and delayed mail is due to *how* the item is addressed: unclear writing, incomplete addresses, etc. For example, my P.O. here in KS receives mail every single day for a town in New Jersey whose zip code begins with zero and has the last 4 digits the same as ours - that zero is mistaken for a six., usually because the handwriting is not clear. Sorting machines do the best they can - with what they have to work with, so "help" the machines by following the USPS guidelines as closely as possible.
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

June 9, 2009
11:02 AM

Post #6662530

Great tips -- thanks!
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 25, 2009
1:20 PM

Post #6862943

One more tip (which is probably above somewhere). Put clear packing tape over the places where you have written the addresses. A postal employee told me that sometimes things are misdirected because the putside of the box gets rained on and they can't read the addresses.

This thread is great.

Donna
MollyMc
Archer/Bronson, FL
(Zone 8b)

July 25, 2009
6:04 PM

Post #6863839

You can also get the clear plastic stick on sleeves to put your printed label in, seal it up, stick to the box and all stays neat and dry. These are free through the Click 'n Ship USPS site.
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

July 26, 2009
12:34 AM

Post #6865052

Thanks Molly. This is so good to know. Freebies from the post office. Almost too good to be true!

Gymgirl

Gymgirl
SE Houston (Hobby), TX
(Zone 9a)

July 28, 2009
2:20 PM

Post #6875141

Ya'll know anything about the FEDEX shipping boxes? The ones they're advertising now, for one price for whatever fits inside the box? Please, LMK. Thanks!
lakesidecallas
Dandridge, TN
(Zone 6a)

August 7, 2009
2:27 PM

Post #6918309

I might also suggest (this may have been mentioned before), that it is a good idea to see a photo of the plant you are going to receive. That way there won't be any surprises, and no complaints to Dave. These days most people have a digital camera or can take a photo with their phone.
Be particularly careful with Hostas, that can carry a virus which will spread to your plants. Another list I'm on is all upset about a person that is trading her Hostas even though she knows they are infected.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

August 29, 2009
1:50 AM

Post #6999826

lakesidecallas...very very TRUE. If not a camera, please describe exactly what you are shipping, size, condition, etc. I don't like drama...but I have definitely been in a position that I did not receive nearly what was sent. Condition etc. But I have learned in this trading business that if it's something I really really want. I will love it, nurse it, and bring it to my liking :-) But who complains to Dave??? LOL
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 22, 2010
6:11 PM

Post #7728500

Just looking through the pics...Boy oh Boy! 2005 was the good ol' days when Postage wasn't Painful!! LOL???
My boxes are costing $9, $12, and more! And you use to could use stamps! Trading just isn't them same...
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2010
11:49 AM

Post #7730373

Dear Kim, I'm so pleased you are still on this thread. Thank you for making something I was unwilling to do, out of fear, so easy. I have shipped all kinds of this with your great guidance, including bulbs in bud that were planted and bloomed within days at their destinations! The info you have given us facilitates relationships. Do you kow how great it is that, ultimately, you help people build relationships?

Donna



This message was edited Apr 23, 2010 7:05 PM
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2010
12:06 PM

Post #7730404

Hi Donna, Thank goodness we are both still here! Gardening gets better and better. And the more I look around my yard I see all my friends at Dave's Garden. I have plants I received many years ago from folks here. Very very rewarding. I think I owe half my Garden to Carol! Weezingreens...I was walking through the gardens yesterday and could remember where I got some of the plants. But I know I traded for most and came from Dave's.

I remember when I came from the other site (The one who sent me to Disney! LOL) Someone here sent me a beautiful Texas Gold Columbine..Don't know or remember his name. But it wasn't even a trade. He said "Let me send you these" for no reason!
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

April 23, 2010
12:08 PM

Post #7730407

I just noticed! It was TODAY 5 years ago I posted this thread..ha ha ha

This message was edited Jun 16, 2010 12:45 PM
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 23, 2010
5:08 PM

Post #7731022

Exactly! I think it's great!

Since I am a recent to trading, I can remember who gave me every single plant. It's Steve's peony or Neal's geraniums or Felisia's thalictrum, Pam's digitalis and Tracey's delphinium.

Wonderful. Thank you again.

Donna
SobeGardener
Miami Beach, FL
(Zone 10b)

June 16, 2010
10:15 AM

Post #7893767

Thank you ,
That is easy and well splain That is all i needed to know !
sending out my first trade today ...


This message was edited Jun 16, 2010 12:16 PM
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

June 16, 2010
7:18 PM

Post #7895298

Great! You'll do just fine. Good Luck mailing your first plants! :-)

Happy Gardening
tikipod
(Ang) Bremerton, WA
(Zone 8b)

October 31, 2010
3:09 PM

Post #8187210

Kim I'm sending off peppermint runners with roots. Any advice? It's my first time sending something living in a trade so I'm a bit worried. I can do shredded paper but I'm not sure how to do the roots since the runners are usually located so close to them.
Azalea
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 7b)

October 31, 2010
6:28 PM

Post #8187554

May I give you some tips ...
Rinse most of the soil off in a bucket of water.
Just spread out a piece of plastic wrap about 12" wide/long
Then lay a piece of paper towel on this,
then lay out the roots and runners and wrap them carefully with the paper towel,
wet the paper towel from a bottle and bend them up to form a pouch
wrap another towel or 2 over this and wet again.
Then wrap these up in the plastic wrap from underneath.
Lay out a newspaper diagonally and place the plant on it, wrap the whole thing up and secure with masking tape.
Use a box that will be large enough not to smash the plants, but as small as possible to keep shipping cost down. I fill in any spaces with crinkled newspaper, but not too tight.
I have shipped many hundreds of plants with this method - works like a charm.

Print your shipping lable using Click & Ship- you get free Delivery Confirmation this way and you don't have to stand in line at the PO., just drop them off. Good luck.
tikipod
(Ang) Bremerton, WA
(Zone 8b)

October 31, 2010
6:37 PM

Post #8187578

Thanks Azalea. I'm hoping the box I bought isn't too small. My dad, who use to work in the post office, said it should work fine. I have it all ready to pack up in the morning since my son is quite the distraction this evening.
Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 3, 2010
10:30 AM

Post #8192378

Very Good advice from azalea I hope it helps:-) Thanks..
I don't even use shredded paper anymore..I can sure tell this was in 'The Beginning' LOL

Most Plants Live Bare Root in Plastic for quite some time. So actually you could rinse this plant let it dry on the counter a little, place it in a plastic bag...little peat moss or none. I would suppose this isn't a beginner method but it is amazing how well this does work. This past year I kept plants for months this way. Just threw them in the closet and planted in Spring and they all grew lovely.

But maybe this is too much info for the first time shipping...But Good Luck and I'm sure whatever method you choose you should be fine.
Azalea
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 7b)

November 3, 2010
5:12 PM

Post #8193129

Hummmmmmmmm - This might be ok if the weather is "Just Right" - but if it's too hot, your roots might well be "cooked" if left in bare plastic. I believe the damp paper towels help to insulate and protect them . I remember recieving some plants wrapped in bare platic and they were total mush and unusable.

Kim_M
Hamburg, PA
(Zone 6b)

November 3, 2010
5:54 PM

Post #8193216

In the middle if Summer? Yes I would definitely suppose. This is only done in Fall-Late Winter for me (Nov-Mar). I sent a bunch of bare root plants today. Some in plastic and some not. I should have mentioned the time of the year..wouldn't want anyone thinking they could ship plants in plastic during the summer...ha ha!

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 6, 2011
11:03 AM

Post #8476076

Maybe this would help resolve the difference between :
"tape them down so they don't rattle"
vs
"but then they're hard to get out"

Maybe cut a piece of cardboard from some other box, so that it fits snugly into the bottom of your shipping box. Now it's like a removable floor. Tape things down to that floor, then drop it into the shipping box. Maybe cut and bend that "floor" so it's a U-shape wedged in place.

The reciepient can open the box, tip it over, and the floor plus plants will drop right out. Now they can reach eveything easily to cut, tear or soak as needed.

At work once, we received an industrial computer very securely packaged and padded in very heavy cardboard. This was via UPS, which is usually less random than USPS. Well, that box had been so mangled and crushed that the HEAVY STEEL CASE the computer was embedded in had been dented, twisted, and a weld sprung loose.

You probably couldn't have done that by throwing it down a flight of stairs onto concrete. We speculated that they must have backed a forklift into it fast and pinched it against a concrete piling. Or their sorting machines included a hydraulic press!

(It was so expensive that when we placed a claim, UPS sent an inspector. His eyebrows went up and he approved the claim right away.

Nothing can protect anything against the occasional creative shipper!

Corey
critterologist
Frederick, MD
(Zone 6b)

April 6, 2011
11:46 AM

Post #8476157

That's a good way to use cardboard to secure your plants! I have a huge stash of packing peanuts to reuse, so I just put plenty of them on all sides to secure & protect the plants in the box. :-)
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
11:45 AM

Post #8487896

Corey ~ If you ever get an order from Forest Farm, you will be challenged to get the plants out of those boxes. They are really in there and the boxes are not just taped but stapled as well.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
3:08 PM

Post #8488318

So far, plants from DG people have been packed MUCH better than mail order plants ... "Hirt's Garden" is my only MO experience. They held soil in place with copious grass, moss and weeds growing in the pot ... plus a TINY, TINY bit of the Lavatera that I had paid for ... or rather, apparently, a somewhat different cultivar than had been advertised.

Corey
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
7:48 PM

Post #8488964

OUCH! I hope you filed a claim with them.

RickCorey_WA

RickCorey_WA
Everett, WA
(Zone 8a)

April 11, 2011
11:25 PM

Post #8489228

It was ages before I could grow them out big enough to realize the flowers were the wrong color. and I still don't know how unusual that "mossy pot surface with grass and weeds " is in mail order plants ...

I just posted a bad review (I think it was on Amazon). And finally checked their reviews in Garden Watchdog (or whatever it's called in DG). They have mixed reviews, which I interpret as "they SOMETIMES send what they advertise".

Sometimes energy spent complaining is energy wasted, and I read one article that claimed some companies deliberately create negative Internet buzz - so their name comes up first in Google, an that's all it takes to get a lot of sales.

Sometimes greed and sleaze make me tired, other times indignant. Oh, well, 3 years later, 2 of those Lavatera are big, and the others are recovering from being root-bound all last summer (my bad, not Hirt's)

Corey
DonnaMack
Elgin, IL
(Zone 5a)

April 13, 2011
3:00 AM

Post #8492073

With Forest Farm, you do indeed have to wrestle them out of the box. Thy are beautifully protected. I remember getting a deliver of a plant that was three plus feet tall, and the gentleman from United Postal Service showed me a crushed box, assuming I would want to send it back. He stood there as I opened it, and his jaw dropped when he saw a fresh, perfect shrub - a cotinus Grace.

I love Forest Farm.

Donna
evelyn_inthegarden
Sierra Foothills, CA
(Zone 8a)

April 19, 2011
9:27 PM

Post #8507905

Yes, Donna ~ They do prepare for any disaster that may threaten the life of their plants.
timmijo
Ellendale, DE
(Zone 7a)

May 5, 2011
1:20 PM

Post #8541858

I am going to be shipping long pieces of Queen of the Night with roots.

The plan is to take them out of their pot of soil, remove most of the soil, wrap just the rooted part in plastic, then cushion the whole plant in paper of some sort to be placed into a sturdy cardboard box of some sort.

Any suggestions?

I don't want any parts of these rooted pieces to rot; at the same time, I don't want the roots to dry out.

I don't want the green parts of the plant to rot or dry out, either.

I have sphagnum moss here at home that's long and dry, almost like a bird's nest (if it would help to use it).

Thanks for any and all ideas.

Sincerely,
Timmy Jo

Azalea
Jonesboro, GA
(Zone 7b)

May 5, 2011
2:33 PM

Post #8542026

Ok, I would definately either use damp Sphagnam moss or 2-3 sheets of paper towels, dampen after the roots are wrapped. Then wrap the rooted part woth plastic wrap. Never put the plastic wrap next to the roots or plant - they will gather moisture and rot. You then wrap the whole plant in newspaper and seal the edges with masking tape.
I have been shipping plants of all sorts for over 10 years, I have 2376 positive feedbacks from Ebay , and only about half of the buyers bother to give feedback.

Good luck.

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