How To Mail Plants: A Comprehensive Guide


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How To Mail Plants? Sending plants through the mail may seem like a daunting task, but with the right knowledge and care, it can be a rewarding experience for both the sender and the recipient. This is perfect for sending plants as holiday gifts or for saving money and trading with other plant enthusiasts to get new plants. In this guide, we’ll explore the purpose behind sending plant mail, how plants can survive the journey, proper packaging techniques, dealing with extreme temperatures, ensuring plants survive long journeys, and the legal aspects of plant mail.

Purpose for Sending Plant Mail

People send plants through the mail for various reasons. Whether it’s a thoughtful gift, a way to share a piece of nature with a friend or family member, or even for business purposes like shipping botanical specimens, the purpose is diverse. Plants carry sentimental value and can be a unique and meaningful way to connect with others. 

In the world of plant enthusiasts, there’s a growing trend of plant swapping or trading through the mail. This practice allows individuals to exchange their beloved plants, expanding their collection with new and exciting varieties. It’s a form of botanical bartering that fosters a sense of community among plant lovers, creating connections that span geographical distances. 

Trading plants by mail not only facilitates the exchange of greenery but also cultivates a shared passion for nurturing and appreciating these living companions. Whether the motivation is a gesture of friendship, a desire to diversify one’s collection, or a commitment to sustainable plant sourcing, sending and receiving plants by mail has become a vibrant and interconnected aspect of plant culture.

How Can Plants Survive in the Mail?

Plants can survive in the mail by carefully considering their specific needs. Selecting hardy and adaptable plants is crucial. Avoid sending delicate or high-maintenance plants that may not withstand the stresses of transportation. Choose plants that are resilient and can endure changes in temperature, humidity, and limited sunlight. If you need to send sensitive plants be sure to package them well. With proper packaging and skilled plant rehab knowledge even the most sensitive plants can do well being shipped. The longest plants have been known to survive in shipping and still survive was around 30 days so many plants are more resilient then we think and shipping plants does not have to be scary or intimidating. 

How to Package Plants Properly for Mailing

Proper packaging is essential to ensure the safety of the plants during transit. Begin by securing the roots(potted or bare root) in a plastic bag or with paper towels, polyfill, and tape to prevent soil spillage. If bare rooted you can use a slightly damp paper towel, moist soil, or sphagnum moss around the roots to prevent them from drying out. Add padding around the leaves and branches to protect them from damage. Polyfill is great for this as well. You can use plastic bags, lids, paper, or even plastic wrap with the polyfill around the leaves to secure and protect the plant. Use a sturdy box. Tuck the plant in the box and surround the plant with packing material to minimize movement. You can also tape the  Label the package clearly with “Live Plants” to alert handlers to the fragile contents. 

How to Keep Plant Mail Safe in Extreme Temperatures

Extreme temperatures can pose a threat to plant mail. During any extreme temperatures you can use silver reflective bubble wrap. It is also often referred to as thermal packaging or thermal bubble wrap. This shiny material will trap the cooler or warmer temperatures inside the package and will protect the plant from the extreme outer temperatures. Wrap the plant or line the entire box on all sides for protection to be at its highest. 

In cold weather, use insulation such as newspaper or bubble wrap to provide a buffer against the cold but you can also tape an activated heatpack to the bottom of the box. Do not let the secured heatpack touch the leaves because it can burn them. You can wrap the heatpack with paper or place layers of packaging in between to prevent the leaf burn.   Timing the shipment to avoid extreme weather conditions is another strategy to safeguard the plants. It is always better to plan for the extremes just in case though. 

How to Help Plants Survive Long Journeys

For long journeys, choose expedited shipping options to minimize the time the plants spend in transit. Ensure that the plants are well-hydrated before packaging, and include a note with care instructions for the recipient. Consider using a reputable courier service with experience in handling live plants. Ensuring the plants received enough light, are fully hydrated, and healthy before being packaged will give your plant the best opportunity to survive a long shipping time. Another important factor is humidity. Sealing the plant between two cups, a shipping pot with lid, or even a plastic bag can trap that humidity and allow the plants to rehydrate and sustain itself longer despite being in a dark box. 

Legality of Plant Mail

Before sending plants through the mail, it’s crucial to be aware of the legal restrictions and regulations. Different countries and regions have specific rules governing the import and export of plants. Check with relevant agricultural authorities to ensure compliance with phytosanitary certificates and other necessary documentation to avoid any legal complications. It is legal to send plant mail to and from most places. In the united states it is allowed to mail plants all over the country. However importing them in can be several fees depending on where they are coming from. 

In conclusion, mailing plants can be a rewarding experience when done with care and consideration. By understanding the purpose, selecting resilient plants, packaging them properly, addressing temperature concerns, planning for long journeys, and adhering to legal regulations, you can ensure a successful and thriving delivery of plant mail.


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