How I Send Unrooted Cuttings

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

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.

This message was edited Jun 14, 2011 7:57 AM

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I fold over again and put down the second cutting and fold it over. I keep doing this til I either run out of cuttings or paper towel. Then fold the ends over.

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

I then take a piece of plastic wrap and wrap the paper towel with the cuttings in it.

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Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

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.

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Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Excellent! I will be using your method from now on. Thanks so much for posting this.

(Di) Seven Mile, OH(Zone 6b)

This needs to be a sticky. Great method - I've never been exactly sure how to send cuttings so this is perfect. Thanks!

Cocoa Beach, FL(Zone 10a)

Very good tutorial. Thanks, much!

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Ditto on making it a sticky.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

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.

Baytown, TX(Zone 9b)

Just curious about this working in the really hot temperatures. I received cuttings once in plastic and they had cooked. This is a great method but wondering about extremely high temps.

Thanks for all the info. I agree on this being a sticky.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

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.

Baytown, TX(Zone 9b)

Great I will definitely use this. I am sending out a couple plants tomorrow and will be my last until fall as it is just getting way to hot. I can barely survive.

Thanks for sharing,

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Quick question. If I am planning to send my prepared cuttings the next day or the day after that how should I store them? Fridge? Room Temp? It's awfully hot here and I don't have AC.

Summerville, SC(Zone 8a)

Fridge would probably be ok.

Christiana, TN(Zone 6b)

Thanks. Any other opinions?

Gardiner, ME(Zone 5a)

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.

Mulberry, FL

If it gets there fast ok i had a person send like this and black mold took over took 3-4 days to get to me

Casper, WY(Zone 4a)

That is how I have always shipped cuttings of outdoor plants except I leave an inch of the top showing on non- succulent plants.

Succulent plants such as Sedums, I only wrap a damp kitchen towel around the bottom half just to keep the cuttings fresh. Even Sedum will wilt somewhat otherwise.

Indian Harbour Beach, FL

What's a sticky?

Greensboro, NC(Zone 7b)

jon -

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.

San Juan, TX(Zone 9b)

Very helpful. I had no idea how to do it before. Thanks:)

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