There are 4 main considerations when sending plants in the mail

1. Robust outside and soft inside packaging

2. Adequate water and conditions to survive several days

3. Timing – when to send for fastest delivery

4. Quarantine

Preparation

• If sending un-potted, remove the plant from soil and shake off the excess, but do not wash the roots as the residual soil will keep beneficial microbes active and help make establishing the plant easier.

• Wrap the roots in sphagnum moss or several moist paper towels and put the bundle in a plastic bag. For long trips, consider adding a couple of teaspoons of water crystals in a slurry surrounding the roots.

• Stabilise any delicate leaves and branches to prevent breakage – using twist ties, plant ties or rubber bands. Simply rolling the plant in newspaper may also protect the foliage.

Packing

• It sounds obvious, but be sure to use a sturdy box! They can really take a beating. Also consider creating a triangular ‘tube’ box using a sheet of stiff cardboard, as this can have greater inherent strength than a square or rectangular box. Also it’s a good idea to reinforce the edges of the box with packing tape.

• Choose a box size that is barely big enough so the plant doesn’t rattle around and get damaged – although you might like to have some space for the foliage. Also, tape the base of the plant to the inside of the box to keep it in place.

• Use extra padding such as newspaper, shredded paper, bubble wrap or foam to fill pockets.

• For potted plants, use bubble wrap to protect the pot and roots. You could also use a collar of cardboard over the soil around the plant base, and a plastic bag around the base of the plant to keep the soil in.

• Consider insulating the package with bubble wrap if shipping to a cool climate, or paper-based insulation like newspaper for a hot climate. It’s a good idea, however, to avoid shipping plants during extreme weather conditions.

Un-potted example;

Potted example;

Labelling

• Use clear labels such as ‘This end up’, Live plant’ and ‘Perishable’. Your post office or shipping company may also provide ‘Fragile’ stickers.

Timing

• Choose express or priority mail.

• Many postal services do not deliver on weekends, so to avoid your plant spending weekends in postal storage, you may consider sending early in the week.

Quarantine

• Be sure to check Quarantine regulations.

• Also consider using a plant postage ‘concierge’ service, especially if sending to the ‘Quarantine’ states of Western Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory. They take care of packing, postage, and any quarantine paperwork that may be required.

**These are suggestions only – Indoor Plant Trader does not accept responsibility for items lost or damaged during shipping.