How to ship plants?

How To Ship Plants: Tips And Guidelines For Shipping Live Plants By Mail

Plant sharing is a big hobby on gardener’s forums and for collectors of specific species. Shipping plants by mail requires careful packaging and preparation of the plant. Mailing garden plants across the country is fairly easy to do, but the best way is to choose the fastest method for your plant to travel. Also, check to see if it is legal to ship to the jurisdiction you have in mind; some areas have laws and limitations. Knowing how to ship plants and the best way to box them up for a trading experience will enrich you and the receiver at the end of the line.

Guidelines for Shipping Live Plants

Sending plants through mail successfully depends upon careful packing as well as acclimating the plant and sending it with enough water to survive several days. Plants that get sent to hot regions or are shipped in winter will benefit from some insulation. You can use the U.S. Postal Service or any of the shipping companies that fit your needs. Either way, you can learn how to package them for best arrival and least breakage.

There are four basic guidelines for shipping live plants. Preparing the plant, packing the plant, labeling and choosing a shipping company and speed are the primary important aspects to shipping plants by mail.

Preparing The Plant For Shipping

Preparation starts with removing the plant from soil and shaking off the excess. But do not wash the roots as some residual soil will help provide familiar microbes from the plant’s native soil and will make the transition easier for the plant. Wrap the roots with several moist paper towels and put the bundle in a plastic bag. If the trip will be long, add a couple of teaspoons of polymer moisture crystals to water to make a slurry and apply this to the roots before the plastic bag. Stabilize any errant growth to prevent breakage with plant ties, rubber bands or twist ties. You can also just roll the plant in some newspaper to protect the tops and stems.

Packing The Plant

Choose a box sturdy enough to handle rough treatment when mailing garden plants. Boxes literally get kicked and thrown and dropped. You need your plant to arrive in one piece, so pick a box that can take a licking.

Also, choose one just barely big enough for the plant to fit inside so it doesn’t have room to move around during handling. Extra cushioning is a good idea if there is any extra room inside the box. Use newspaper, shredded bills, or foam to fill any pockets. If you are worried about the handling of the box, reinforce the edges with strapping tape. Lastly, don’t forget to place a tag or label inside with the name of the plant.

If you are sending plants through mail that are potted, use bubble wrap to protect the pot and the roots. A collar of cardboard over the soil and around the base of the plant, followed by a plastic bag closed around the base of the plant will help keep the soil in the container. Stand the plant upright if possible, making sure to mark “This End Up” on the box, and pack around it. Remember though, that shipping the container and soil will greatly increase the cost of shipping the plant.

Labeling

Put a label on the outside that says “Live Plant” and “Perishable” so they know to treat it with a modicum of gentleness. While it is no guarantee that this will prevent abuse to the box, it may win over a few package handlers to take extra care.

Shipping guidelines today also require that you include a return address as well as the shipping address on the outside. If you are reusing a box that previously was used for shipping, make sure to remove or black out all old labels so that the package is not accidentally shipped to the wrong location.

When and How to Ship Plants And Choosing a Shipping Company

The post office does a good job shipping plants. You can also go with a private shipping company. The key is to find out who can do it fastest and safest. For the postal service, choose priority mail at the very least.

If you ship frequently, have a service pick up the plants so you can keep them cool until they are ready to go. This will help them travel better.

Remember also that many shipping services do not deliver on Sundays and possibly not on Saturdays, depending on the service you use. To make sure that the shipped plant spends as little time as possible in the box, plan on shipping early in the week, such as on a Monday or Tuesday. This will ensure that the shipped plant doesn’t languish unnecessarily in the box over a weekend.

Also, check the weather in both your location and the location of the person you are shipping to. Wait to ship plants if either you or the recipient are expecting extreme weather. It would be a shame to lose a plant simply because it got stuck in a broiling shipping truck during 100 F+ (38 C+) temperatures or because it froze to death on someone’s front porch while waiting for them to get home from work.

Swapping plants is a fun and economical way to get unique specimens or rare cuttings. Pack it right and your plants will arrive ready to brighten someone’s day.

How to Ship Live Plants by USPS

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Trading live plants with a long-distance friend isn’t difficult and doesn’t require any special equipment. In fact, according to the USPS mailing code, most plants are mailable within the United States, as long as the USDA does not prohibit them. Just make sure that you’re gentle with the plant as you remove it from the soil. Dig far enough away from the plant so you don’t damage the roots. Loosen the soil away from the roots, and rinse them off. Package and ship the plant as soon as possible.

Soak five sheets of newspaper in a container of water until the paper is wet but not sopping.

Fold the papers in half and place the live freshly dug-up plant, with the roots and stems in the center of the newspaper, and position the foliage outside the edge of the newspaper.

Roll the paper around the roots gently, keeping the foliage sticking out of the top of the roll.

Place the bottom of the newspaper inside a small grocery plastic bag, the type that you place produce in. Don’t close off the top of the bag. The roots need moisture and air to stay alive.

Wrap three to five more large plastic grocery bags around the entire plant to help cushion it. Wrap the plant in each individual bag, one at a time, rolling the bags closed.

Squeeze excess air out of the bags gently. And place the package into a similarly sized cardboard box.

Include a label or instructions in the box, so the recipient knows what the plant is and how to care for it. Don’t send instructions on a piece of paper that might absorb moisture; write on a piece of plastic or an ice cream stick instead.

Seal the box with packing tape and label the box with your return address and the recipient’s address. Include the extended zip code for speedier delivery.

Ship the package as soon as possible once packaged. Although the plant should arrive fine with normal delivery times, avoid sending live plants when shipping times might be slow due to national holidays or heavy mailing events, such as Mother’s Day.

Shipping Succulents: How to Mail Plants

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Sublime Succulents may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page.

Shipping succulents and cacti may seem like a risky venture, but with proper packing techniques, you can ensure your plants’ survival.

Table of Contents

Shipping Succulents

Succulents and cacti are generally quite hardy and can go long periods of time without water, so they are ideal plants to transport through the mail. Professional nurseries regularly ship their plants across the country and around the world with very few problems.

Whether you’re moving and need to send your collection to your new home or you are sharing your passion for succulents with a long-distance friend, shipping succulents and cacti through the post is a safe and easy way to move your plants from one location to another.

Methods of Mailing Succulents

Professional nurseries tend to ship their plants either bare root or in small containers (or pots). Certain plants do better when shipped in small containers, rather than bare root, so do your research on what method works best for your particular plants. In general, if it has fragile bits that like to fall off, it should be in a container.

Not everyone is sending whole plants, either. Succulent mail often takes the form of cuttings or leaves. Dry cuttings also do well in transport and can be packed in an egg carton for convenience and safety.

Whichever method you choose, ship your plants using the quickest method available from your choice of shipping company. Although succulents do well in transport, it’s best to minimize the stress on your plants by making their journey as short as possible.

You may also consider purchasing additional insurance for your package, especially if it’s a large shipment or a valuable plant. If you’re mailing plants to another state or country, check with the destination’s Department of Agriculture to verify that the type of plants you’re sending are allowed.

(Looking at you, Australia)

Shipping Succulents Bare Root

To prepare succulents for bare root shipping, you’ll need to be sure that the plants have not been watered recently. Succulents and cacti ship better when they are a little dry.

Gently grasp the plant at its base and pull it out of the pot. Shake off the excess soil. If the roots are too moist, you can leave the plant out for a day or two until they are dry enough for packaging.

Wrap each plant with soft paper, such as tissue paper, using an extra layer or two if necessary. For cacti, you may need to use a few layers of a stiffer paper, such as newspaper, to help prevent the spines from poking through.

Shipping Succulents in Containers

Shipping succulents in containers or pots is not much different from bare root shipping.

You’ll still need to wrap your relatively-dry plants in paper, but take care to wrap and pack the plants in a way that will minimize the amount of soil that falls from the container.

If you’re feeling particularly dedicated, you can cover the surface of the pot with plastic wrap. That’ll help keep the dirt in (but also moisture, so make sure it’s totally dry!).

By wrapping them carefully you’ll also prevent the plants from coming out of their pots during shipment. You should mark the outside of your box to indicate which side is up as well as a warning to prevent tipping.

Packaging Succulents and Cacti

Choose a strong corrugated cardboard box for your succulents. Boxes can sometimes (always) be mishandled during shipment, so you’ll want something that will prevent your succulents from being easily crushed.

Remember to label each plant as you wrap it and place it in the box. Appropriate labeling of the outside of the box will tell package handlers to treat your box carefully. Write ‘perishable’ or ‘fragile’ or both on all sides of the box so your warnings will be visible from any angle.

Be generous with packing materials. Whether you’re using packing peanuts or paper, you’ll want to make sure that all the empty space in the box is filled. You want your plants to move as little as possible during shipment to prevent damage.

If you are shipping delicate succulents you may need to use extra packing material around them. Make sure your box is roomy enough to accommodate this.

Once your box is fully packed, it’s a good idea to include a packing list before you seal the package. This list will let the recipient know what to expect and ensure that smaller plants or cuttings don’t get lost in the packing material.

Challenges in Shipping Succulents

Be cognizant of these pitfalls so you can be certain your plants arrive happy and healthy!

Temperature

It’s important to remember your plants’ temperature preferences when sending them in the mail. Certain plants, even succulents or cacti, may not survive a midsummer trip to Phoenix. Likewise, if you’re planning to mail your succulents in frigid weather, you may have to make certain accommodations.

Heat packs made specifically for plants are a great product to include in your shipment to keep your precious plants from freezing. If temperatures are expected to be below freezing, it might be worth your while to postpone your mailing date until the weather warms up a bit.

Cacti

Cacti come in a variety of shapes and sizes that can make shipping them somewhat difficult. Their spines can puncture packaging material and skin. If packed near delicate types of succulents they can even damage other plants in your box, so take care to pack them well!

Experienced shippers generally choose to either wrap them in extra layers of paper or strategically place packing peanuts over the spines before wrapping them.

Definitely use thorn-proof gloves if you’re handling cacti. The big thorns are no joke, and glochids (the tiny hair-like spines) can be a serious irritant.

Remind the recipient of your prickly package to take care when opening. A warning note on the plant’s label or a quick note placed on top of the packaged plants should suffice.

Caring for Succulents and Cacti that have been Shipped

From APairAndASpareDIY.com

Including a few care tips in your package can assist your recipient in helping their succulents and cacti recover from their trip as quickly as possible.

Remember, the plants have been in the dark for several days by the time they arrive at their destination. It’s important that they are exposed to sunlight as soon as possible. It may be wise to place the succulents in indirect sunlight at first and slowly introduce them to direct sunlight to prevent burning.

Most nurseries find that their plants ship better when they are a little on the dry side, so the succulents will need a good watering after being transferred to their new pots.

If the succulents experience a rough journey on the way to their new home, remember that a damaged plant may not be a lost cause. A piece of a broken plant may be treated like a cutting to propagate a new plant.

By preparing your box of succulents carefully and deliberately, you can set your plants up for a safe and comfortable journey!

You’re in Arizona and interested in sending a cactus to a friend in New York. Or you’re in Minnesota and want to send a Japanese maple to your mother in Oregon. Can you do this?

You can mail certain plants within the United States. However, keep in mind that when mailing plants, flowers, roots, seeds, and trees, there are rules governing how and if they can travel through the mailstream. It’s important to note that you, as the mailer, have the responsibility to ensure your mailing activity does not violate any law. USPS Publication 14 is a great place to start.

Threatened and Endangered Plants

One reasons regulations are in place is to protect threatened and endangered species. Not sure if what you want to mail is protected? Take a look at this database of endangered plants maintained by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Some threatened and endangered plants of California, for example, include the Baja rose (Rosa minutifolia), Santa Inez goldenbanner (Thermopsis macrophylla), and the Yreka phlox (Phlox hirsuta).

Pests and Diseases

Rules are also in place to ensure that plant pests and diseases do not spread and wreak havoc to industries and ecosystems. Therefore, for domestic mail, some plants that may be infested by insects or sickened by plant diseases may be subject to quarantine. Further information can be found at this USPS resource.

The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) maintains a useful database of information on plant pests and diseases here: https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/planthealth

It’s important to stay current to avoid penalties. Read up on pests. The coconut rhinoceros beetle, for example, detected in Hawaii, can do serious damage to coconut trees, and also feeds on commercial crops such as bananas, sugarcane, papayas, and pineapples. Citrus diseases like Citrus Black Spot and Sweet Orange Scab can also do damage to commercially important crops and production.

Other Domestic Guidelines

Individual states may have restrictions as well, so it’s always good practice to check with local plant health divisions before you mail any plant. For example, citrus plants are prohibited from entering California from other U.S. states. Fresh flowers of jade vine and Mauna Loa from Hawaii cannot be imported into the U.S. mainland and Alaska.

International Mail

For international mail, plants (along with seeds, plant materials, fruits and vegetables), are subject to the USPS prohibitions and restrictions as well as the quarantine regulations of the destination country. For example, you need a plant health certificate if you’re mailing plants, seeds, or bulbs to France, and the United Kingdom also requires an import permit issued for plant shipments. Individual country listings and restrictions can be reviewed here.

Preparing your shipment

When packing plants, the USPS requires the use of strong waterproof material, such as waxed Kraft paper, to maintain the moisture in the plant roots, but also to secure your mailpiece against leakage and damage during transit. Thorny plants should be wrapped in puncture-proof paper, and the tops of plant bundles should also be wrapped and covered.

Shipping plants to the US from overseas

I’m pretty familiar with this. I went thru all the application for permit steps with USDA and state of Ohio. In the end…I decided that it just wasn’t worth the expense and trouble. I also have second hand experience at this seeing that my buddy Warren in Fl has had plants shipped from Thailand twice now.

If you are going to attempt to obtain plants in the legal manner as proscribed by the USDA, then my biggest advice at this time is this: Make darn sure you want this plant and that there is absolutely no source here in the US or PR where you can obtain it. Depending upon how the plants are shipped, usually 1-2 day air, it can be quite expensive. Also figure on losing at least 50% of your order. If more survive, that is great.

Second…make sure the nursery in the foreign country you will be dealing with has sent plants to the US before and is VERY familiar with our USDA rules, regs, and how to carry them out. You must send them labels and other documentation to be included with your shipment.

Getting the permits is easy and can be done online now which is great. There will be a lot of research you must do first beforehand such as determining whether the plant you want is on a restricted list or will require being quarantined. If the latter…then your State will have to get involved and that requires even more forms and leg work.

Ports of entry is another sticky point. Your box of plants will have USDA labels and they are going to be forwarded to a port of entry to be inspected. You may be required to obtain a broker to handle all of this and they charge at least $80. They will also forward your plants on to your address. Anything out of the ordinary or a “t” did not get crossed, you could be notified that your shipment has been destroyed.

Sounds fun eh??!! I’ve made a lot of calls to USDA folks and there are some who truly try and assist you. Then there are the other ones who don’t give a sh$$ whether you receive your plants or not.

Over the summer I did the “small lots of seeds” permit and had seeds sent from Singapore. Now you must think there is no way in hell that these folks could screw up an order of seeds, right? Wrong!! The shipping you paid to have the supplier send you the seeds is supposed to carry that package all the way to you…even after being forwarded to the port of entry for inspection. They are to just forward that mail on to you with no extra charges…that is if you had them sent regular mail. Many officials I’ve spoken to at the ports of entry had no clue about this and was convinced that I must have a FedEx or UPS account so they could forward on the package thru them…at more cost!!

Needless to say…my $6 package of seeds ended up costing me another $38 because they did not understand their own rules. I did get this money back but only after months of phone calls, emails, and forms filled out and mailed in.

Bottom line? Never again will I use the permits and all that crap. I will take my chances with seeds and plants in the future having them sent directly to me.

Oh yeah…and if you live in Florida, specifically near Miami which is a huge port of entry, don’t think to assume that these folks know what they are doing either! Warren was shuffled back and forth between offices at the airport several times by employees with their heads up their a$$es. By the time he got back to the correct office to pick up his plants…they were closing and told him he would have to come back tomorrow and start all over!!

I hope you have a better experience.

Here is a link that might be useful: USDA

Shipping outside the USA

Due to international agricultural regulations, shipping live plants around the world is a complicated procedure. In order to get your dream plants, please read carefully information below.

Our shopping cart is for the US and Canada orders only. For other countries, please contact us for a quote.
Orders placed in shopping cart for countries other than USA or Canada without our prior approval will be canceled and 6% cancellation fee applied.

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CANADA. Ordering and Shipping to Canada.

SEEDS. International seed order policy.

PLANTS. International plant order policy.

ESTIMATED PRICING

CANADA: importing plants and seeds

NOTE: You can receive your plants quickly and at lower cost if you get them delivered to a U.S. address where you can pick them up and carry them across the border yourself. In this case, you are not required to have a costy phytocertificate, and only pay for the US shipping using our shopping cart.
Use FedEx Hold locations! Convenient Package Pickup at FedEx stores, Walgreens, many Dollar General Stores ( will have over 8000 locations by 2020), and other stores.

There are 4 components to Canadian shipping:

  1. Cost of the plants: see our website for pricing
  2. Phytocertificate: $90 – added automatically in shopping cart
  3. Handing: $25 – added automatically in shopping cart
  4. Cost of shipping: calculate in shopping cart

Shipping International Priority
– Orders are shipped out on Monday and usually get there by Wednesday or Thursday.
– After placing an order, please allow additional 1 to 2 weeks for processing Phyto certificate (plant inspection) and import permit peperwork.

PLANT SIZE
We can ship two sizes of plants to Canada. The smaller size is one gallon, and the larger is grown in a 3 gallon pot. Plants are shipped with potting soil attached (not barerooted).
For box dimensions 8″x8″x48″, 35-45 pounds, we can ship approximately 2 of 3-gal plants or 5 of 1-gal plants.

Prices will vary based on final weight and size.

DUTIES AND TAXES
The customer is responsible for paying duties and taxes. Customs will call the customer directly to pay the fee over the phone.
Unfortunately we do not have a way to calculate this for you. Just an example: for a $450 order to Alberta, customs charged a $60 fee.

BROKER
The customer will be responsible for hiring a broker to handle the package through customs clearance. We must know who your broker is prior to the plants being sent out.

TIMELINE
Once we receive your order it can take up to 2 weeks to process and ship. An inspector must come out and personally look over each leaf. We try to schedule the inspection for the upcoming Thursday so we can ship out early on Monday. Phyto certificate is good for 10 days.

PLANT IMPORT REGULATIONS in Canada

Plant importation to Canada is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: Directive D-08_04 (Effective Date: November 25, 2013) In short:

  • Some plants require CITES permit: Euphorbia sp, Rubus sp, and some species of orchids.
  • Most of our plants do not require “A Permit to Import” – this permit is not required unless specified in directive D-94-14. In this case, the importer must obtain the Permit to Import prior to importation.
  • When plants are shipped to Canada, the The USDA must issue a Phytosanitary Certificate, which must accompany the consignment. Additional declarations attesting to freedom from regulated pests, including soil-borne pests may be required. You need to contact the governing agency for more info.
  • Directive D-08-4, Paragraph 4.7: Eligible houseplants originating from the continental U.S. do not require a Permit to Import nor a Phytosanitary Certificate. Houseplants are usually tropical or semi-tropical ornamental plants that are grown or intended to be grown indoors.
    In order to qualify for the exemption, the houseplants must be for personal use and must accompany the importer at the time of entry into Canada. The total number of plants must not exceed 50 houseplants. Please note that any species-specific requirement or prohibition take precedence over the houseplant import requirements outlined in this directive. The houseplant exemption does not apply to plants originating from areas that are regulated for Phytophthora ramorum (see directive D-01-01 for more information). Florida is not a Phytophthora ramorum (Sudden Oak Death) regulated area.
  • Houseplants of some plant species must comply with the CITES requirements (you can find more information here).

Seed importation to Canada is regulated by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency: The ABCs of Seed Importation into Canada, Section K:

3.Seed analysis certificates and import declarations are not required for lots of herb seed that are 5 kg or less, or for flower seed, tree or shrub seed, true potato seed, ginseng, seeds of aquatic plants or onion/garlic multiplier sets. Please note: This exemption does not apply to wildflower mixtures. Importations of seed lots of wildflower mixtures that are greater than 500 g require an import declaration and a seed analysis certificate. Therefore, small orders of seeds do not require any additional paperwork and can be shipped. Of course, you need to check if certain species are prohibited in Canada.

  • You can check each species requirements using Canadian Automated Import Reference System

Please make sure to read rules and regulations governing plant importation to Canada. It’s your responsibility to comply with these rules and regulations. Contact your local agricultural authoroties if you have questions regarding these rules.

INTERNATIONAL SEED ORDER policy

See also General Information on ordering seeds.

  • Shipping destinations. We ship seeds internationally to most countries. Canada – see details.
  • Shipping methods and costs. We can use different shipping options listed below. Contact us if you live outside the US for most economical and accurate calculation of shipping cost. We will be adding automatic shipping calculation to our shopping cart very shortly. For APPROXIMATE cost of shipping (USPS – Priority, Express, and FirstClass with tracking support), you may refer to this calculator by using Country 2-letter abbreviations. Tracking number will be provided to you for every shipment. Time in transit is usually accurate, but total delivery time to your address can not be guaranteed in case of customs delays; it may also take extra day(s) if going far into the rural areas of the country.
    • FedEx International Priority (1-2 business days)
    • FedEx International Economy (3-5 business days)
    • USPS International Express (3-5 business days)
    • USPS International Priority (6-10 business days)
    • USPS International First Class (only to destinations where tracking/delivery confirmation available)
  • Seed cost. You may use our online shopping cart for calculation of seeds cost.
  • Additional charges:
    • $5 handling fee per International Seed order
    • $85 cost of Phyto certificate (if required)
  • Phyto Certificate. Depending on your country import requrements, Phyto Certificate may be required (at additional cost of $85). It is a customer’s responsibility to provide us with Import Permit that may be requred for obtaining Phyto Certificate. Packages containing plant materials are subject of customs regulations of destination country and may be confiscated and destroyed if not accompanied by proper paperwork. Seeds without phyto certificate are shipped at customer’s risk, not guaranteed to reach destination and can not be replaced or refunded.
  • Payment methods.
    • for orders less than $250: Credit card or PayPal. Do not email us your payment information! Call us with a credit card number.
    • for orders over $250: Bank transfer (we will bill you with our bank info)

What is required from a customer

All packages are subject to customs clearance and proper paperwork is of vital importance. Please make sure to find out all rules and regulations governing plant importation to your country. It’s your responsibility to comply with these rules and regulations. Contact your local agricultural authoroties if you have questions regarding these rules. If something important is missed in the paperwork we prepare according to information you provide us, you may never be able to receive the shipment.

When placing international seed order, please email us with the following information:

  • List of seeds with item numbers and quantities
  • Shipping info: Name, address, contact phone number, email address
  • May be requred: Import permit (called in most countries) or “List of import requirements” for seeds for your country. Without this information, our local inspector may be unable to issue a phyto certificate that is necessary in order for you to receive your package from customs. This document may contain:
    • list of species prohibited for impoting into your country
    • specific regulations regarding packaging (example: heat sealed bags)
    • specific treatments of seeds that are necessary before importing in your country
  • Customer’s consent with our Seed International Shipping Policy above.

PLANT ORDERS – INTERNATIONAL (Countries other than Canada)

We can ship plants to many countries around the World that have a FedEx office. Below are a few most popular destinations. Please inquire if your country is not listed:

  • Canada (see details)
  • Mexico
  • South America and Central America – most countries
  • Asia (China, Vietnam, Japan, and other countries)
  • Middle East – most countries
  • Europe – most countries

Shipping methods and time in transit

We ship internationally using FedEx International Service.

  • International Priority 1-2 business days
  • International Economy 3-5 business days
  • Great Rates Line (China, Asia)

Tracking number will be provided to you for every shipment.

Total delivery time depends on several factors, incluing your local customs clearance and delivery to rural areas. Time in transit is usually accurate, but total delivery time to your address can not be guaranteed in case of customs delays. It may also take extra day(s) if going far into the rural areas of the country.

Customs clearance includes agricultural inspection and in most cases, occurs at Customs Entry Room of FedEx facility at destination, at the same business day upon arrival. If you prrefer, you may want to contact your local FedEx office and coordinate pick up of your package(s) at the Airport of destination to save extra time. Otherwise, it will be delivered by FedEx truck to your shipping address.

What is required from a customer

All packages are subject to customs clearance and proper paperwork is of vital importance. Please make sure to find out all rules and regulations governing plant importation to your country. It’s your responsibility to comply with these rules and regulations. Contact your local agricultural authoroties if you have questions regarding these rules. If something important is missed in the paperwork we prepare according to information you provide us, you may never be able to receive the shipment, or plants may get damaged due to unfortunate delays.

When placing international order, please email us with the following information:

  • List of plants and seeds with item numbers and quantities
  • Shipping info: Name, address, contact phone number, email address
  • Import permit (called in most countries) or “List of import requirements” for live plants (and/or seeds) for your country. Without this information, we are unable to issue a phyto certificate that is necessary in order for you to receive your plants from customs. This document may contain:
    • list of species prohibited for impoting into your country
    • specific regulations regarding soil (example: no soil, no bark, bare rooted, etc.)
    • specific treatments of plant material that are necessary before importing in your country

Documentation included with every International shipment

  • Commercial invoice
  • Packing list
  • AirWayBill
  • Phyto certificate issued by USDA plant inspector at TopTropicals facility
  • A copy of Import permit (provided by customer)

Payment methods

  • Credit card. Do not email us your payment information! Call us with a credit card number.
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfer

Cost of international shipment

The price you pay for getting your plants delivered to you from Florida includes:

  • Cost of the plant according to our price list, less discounts if any
  • Phyto certificate: $120 per shipment (regardless of number of plants or seeds in the shipment)
  • Handling fee – preparing plants, treatments, barerooting if necessary, packaging, boxing – $5 per plant, $0.50 per seed pack
  • Shipping cost by the carrier (FedEx International) – per quote
  • Duties and taxes – can be either paid upfront or at clearance; upfront payment will help expedite your shipments through customs

Our Guarantees

We guarantee that we ship healthy, developed plants.
Our experienced personnel provides the utmost packaging of live plants.

Only selected “tough” plants are recommended for International shipping (example: Mango, Adeniums and other succulents, number of fruit trees and flowering ornamentals). Some tender species that don’t ship well especially for over 1-2 days in transit, are shipped at customer risk only.

When shipped barerooted, plants are at higher risk to get stressed out and even die during transportation. We can not replace or refund items shipped internationally.
Shipping costs are not refundable. International shipping cost is much higher than domestic. Please understand the risks and feel free to discuss with us, prior to ordering, different species sensitivity and their chances to survive a long trip around the world.

Estimated pricing

Example of approximate price structure by FedEx International Priority.

Estimated for 3 gal fruit tree priced at $40. Smaller plants will have different price structure. Please contact us for accurate estimate!

*Customs duties and taxes must be calculated for every invividual country

All About Packaging Plants for Shipping

There eventually comes a time when you want to share your plants with someone in another state, province, or country. This is a tutorial showing one of the best ways to package your plants, ensuring that they will make it to their destination in one piece.

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I’ve sent and received many plants through the mail. Some were a success, some were a total disaster. There isn’t much that’s more depressing than finally getting that highly desired plant in the mail and opening it just to find a pile of rotted mush or dried up twigs.

I’m going to show the shipping method of my favourite e-bay vendor to illustrate, in my opinion, the best way to package your plants for shipping. I’ve received dozens of plants from her and there is never a damaged leaf or a drop of soil out of place. All it takes is a bit of time, but it’s well worth the time. These are plants in 2 inch solo cups, but the method will also work well for larger plants.

Make sure you’ve given the plant a little drink but don’t leave it soggy wet. Wrap cotton balls around the soil on top of the pot.
All wrapped and ready.
Take a small plastic bag and very carefully wrap the pot and snug the bag up to the base of the leaves.
Tape the sides of the bag.
Tape the bottom of the bag.
Roll your nicely wrapped plant up in heavy paper. It was a bit cold when these were shipped so a layer of waxed paper was added inside.
Here they are all rolled up in their tubes. If you don’t have heavy paper, toilet paper or paper towel tubes would work well here, just slice them down the centre, wrap them around the plant and then tape shut.
Pretty rolls all ready to go. They can be bunched together with an elastic. Be sure to label each plant.
Wrap the rolls in bubble wrap or foam.
Place in a box, label, and send.

This method ensures that your plants will arrive alive after even 2 weeks in the mail. The cotton keeps the soil from escaping. The bag helps keeps the moisture in the pots without rotting the foliage. Wrapping them in tubes protects the foliage from damage if the box is banged around by postal workers. Wrapping all of the tubes in the bubble wrap/foam is an added layer of protection, making sure they stay snug in their box.

The next time you ship plants in the mail, give this method a try. The person you’re sending them to will appreciate the time and effort and won’t be disappointed when the plants arrive.

Transporting Plants: A Survival Guide

So it’s time to uproot, huh?

If you want your leafy friends to come with, it’s best to plan ahead. Much like packing your personal items for a small (or big) move, it takes a bit of shifting and ingenuity to get plants packed just right.

Take stock of your packing materials, size up your plants, and determine which ones can safely make the trip. Many professional moving companies won’t move live plants and doing it yourself ensures it gets done right.

These tips work best for smaller plants but can be used for medium-to-large plants, as well. Like all living things, plants require a balance of attention and careful handling, especially during moves.

Whether you’re bringing your new leaf babies home from the nursery or planning a cross-country trip, how you handle transportation is key to keeping plants healthy.

Here are some tips to keep you proud of your role as a plant parent.

Things to consider

If you’re moving, you already have plenty of other stuff to worry about, right? Plants can tag along, too, but it takes some prep work. Here’s a quick list of things to consider before you start shoving plants in boxes.

Size of plants and pots
Take inventory of your plants and which ones you can easily move. Consider your moving vehicle and space at your new destination when choosing which plants to relocate.

Digging and transplanting
Plan ahead for removing garden-based plants. Re-pot in plastic pots a few weeks prior to moving to lighten the weight load, while reducing the chance of pots breaking. When transplanting, don’t dig right next to the plant — dig further out to include more roots. For smaller plants, gently break up the roots when repotting and use new potting soil.

Types of soil
Gardeners usually work with five types of soil: sandy, silty, clay, peaty and saline soil.

Soil helps plant growth by providing nutrients, water containment, oxygen and more. Talk to a local nursery expert to find out which type your plant needs. Easy tip: Add packing peanuts to the bottom of a pot lightens the weight of your planter and reduces the amount of soil required.

Distance to travel
How far will you travel? If you’ll be on the road for a few days, taking plants won’t be an issue. If you have more than two weeks of travel, you may want to reduce the number of plants moved as you’ll be taking them in and out at each overnight stop.

Don’t leave plants in the car
Extreme temperature changes will injure plants. Skip packing plants into the trunk; bring your plants into the car where air circulates better. Keep plants out of direct sunlight, if possible.

Just add water
Two to three days before hitting the road, water all plants. Moisten the soil without drenching the plant, but make sure the roots are damp.

Use protection
A light sheet (for larger plants) and newspaper (for smaller plants) protect foliage from winds and freezing temps. Use these during transport to save plants from frostbite.

Load plants last
Make your plants the last items to load into the car. If you’re moving in the middle of winter, try loading plants through the garage to minimize exposure to cold. Like your kids, plants should be one of the first things you take out of the car upon arrival at your new destination.

Before the trip

Doing some prep work prior to relocating your plants will make the transition smoother for you along the way.

Call ahead
Moving across state lines? Be sure to call ahead to your new home state (or country) to check rules for transporting plants. Certain states — like Florida and California — have strict rules about plant transportation. The USDA website is a great resource for specific plant transportation laws.

Prep your plants
Try not to move plants when in bloom, if possible. Prune away any dead branches and leaves a few weeks ahead of time. A couple days before moving, remove any bugs and weeds.

Collect proper materials
Old bed sheets protect leaves from the elements. Pruners help keep plants healthy along the trip. A spray bottle makes it easy to mist delicate plants without soaking the soil. Boxes, trash bags, and tree netting are other supplies to consider buying for the trip.

Take cuttings
If you can’t take your whole garden, take some clippings for transplant. Clippings take up less space. Wrap wet paper towels at the ends of clippings and secure with rubber bands. Gather clippings the same morning you plan to hit the road.

Consult a pro
If you’re unsure if your favorite orchid can make the trip, talk with a local nursery expert or a horticulturist. Have a list of concerns written out beforehand so you don’t forget to ask your most pressing questions.

With careful planning and preparation, your garden can move along with you. There’s no need to make like a tree and never move if you just can’t leave your flowers behind.

Transporting your favorite plants takes patience and planning — and a bit of careful driving. By creating an atmosphere as close as possible to the plants’ current environments, your plants are more likely to survive. Worst-case, if your plants don’t make the drive, you’ll have an excuse to visit your new local nursery to buy yourself a housewarming gift.

If you’re not sure whether a plant will survive the move, it’s probably best to leave it behind with a friend.

By the end of your road trip with plants, you may be quoting the wise Shel Silverstein: “What did the carrot say to the wheat? Lettuce rest, I’m feeling beet.”

You might be beet, but at least you’ll be ready to take root.

Ordering to California

CA ordering – CA shipping – Saving Tips for CA orders

We are certified to ship to CA, however due to the fact that CA state import regulations recently became more complicated and made processing shipping to CA very costly, certain restrictions apply.
Sorry, California Country rules, not ours!

1) Min order for plants to CA – $200 before S&H. No minimum order for Seeds and Supplies.

2) Phyto certificate
– is required for shipping live plants to California.
$30 handling fee automatically added to all CA orders for additional processing: special plant treatments, phyto certificates.
You need to select proper shipping option in shopping cart. Otherwise, the order will be cancelled.
See example of proper shipping option:

3) Certification
– is done once a year (in Fall) and we can not add other species to that list until next year.
Certain plants that are NOT certified for shipping to CA are marked so in the price-list.
Some species (like palm trees, peaches, persimmons, apples etc) are in CA no-ship (prohibited) list and can not be shipped to CA addresses.

4) Flowers and fruit will be cut
– off plants traveling to CA addresses due to CA state agricultural import requirements.
This means, your gardenias and jasmines will have no flowers on them, and mangoes have no frut when arrive, even if the plant is advertised as in bloom/fruit.

5) Leaves removed
– on some plants, partially or even completely.
This is due to new requirements of CA department of arguculture.
Any leaf with a spot or dot (including those naturaly occured colorations due to sun/weather conditions) can not enter the territory of the Country of California.
All our plants shipped to CA, are 100% free of pests. However we’ve had a bad experience when even sun-burned leaves became a reason why the whole shipment was destroyed by CA department of AG.

6) Processing time for CA orders is longer
– than for orders going to other states.
This additional time is required for preparing plants for shipping (additional treatments and quarantine).
Cut of day is Friday 5 pm for shipping CA orders on the following Tuesday (Monday is phyto certification day).
This means, if you placed your order on Saturday to CA address, it may wait for another week to be shipped out.

Shipping to California

Shipping Methods

We attempt to provide the most economical rate depending on your location using following services:
– FedEx 3 day Express
– FedEx Ground for 7 gal size containers and other large plants
– USPS Express Mail – Expedited Shipping. Occasionally, orders will need to be shipped via expedited service depending on plant sensitivity or customer request. Please notify us of any rush prior to shipment.

Timing

Please note that due to special import regulations for State of California, processing time for CA orders is longer than for orders going to other states.
This additional time is required for preparing plants for shipping (additional treatments and quarantine).

Cut of day is Friday 5 pm for shipping CA orders on the following Tuesday (Monday is phyto certification day).
This means, if you placed your order on Saturday to CA address, it may wait for another week to be shipped out.

Order and Save – tips for California residents

To meet minimum order requirements, and to save on S&H+phyto cost:

1. One large order vs several small orders.
If you are planning to buy several plants this season, try to combine items and place one large order instead of several small orders.

2. Invite friends and combine orders.
Ask you fellow gardeners if they have any tropical plant needs.

3. Order all necessary supplies
Order soil, fertilizers, plant boosters, etc – at the same time when you order plants. They will add to order cost to meet the minimum, while they have FREE shipping!
Those supplies will be shipped separately by Ground services and won’t be included in phyto.

How We Package Our Plants for Shipping

We at Plant Me Green dedicate our attention and care to packaging your plants for shipping to ensure that they arrive safe and sound to you. Understandably, though, we often get asked about the details of our packaging method. It seems a little strange to place a plant in a box and assume it will arrive unscathed at its location, which is why there is a lot more to our method than that.

Our shipping methods depend on several factors – the most important of which are the type and size of the plant. Because of the changing factors, our shipping methods can vary as we carefully consider each individual order and its unique scenario before packaging.

Despite the varying methods, our packaging follows some general rules. After wiping off the plant’s container, we bag the pot and water the soil. We then insert a stake into the soil in the container and tie the bag. Each plant is staked in order to provide structure to the box and protect the plant from being crushed if the box is tossed around in the shipping process. For some plants, we also use paper or cardboard to create a lid which is taped to the pot. Again, these lids are intended to protect the plant and soil from dislodging due to negligent shipping.

After the plant has been bagged and staked, we carefully place it in the appropriate sized box. In some instances, we will prune the top of the plant to fit the box and keep customer shipping prices low. Once the plant is inside the box, we ensure that it is snug. In some cases, we add cardboard around the container to ensure that it does not roll about and injure the plant. In addition to this, we tie the container to the bottom of the box using the same string which secures the bag around the pot.

Lastly, we include a Plant Me Green planting guide with every shipment to provide you with the information you need to successfully plant your new purchase. After closing and taping the box, we also add a Plant Me Green sticker to the front of the box to indicate the top and to make everyone aware that the box contains live plants.

It might seem strange to ship a plant in a box, but with the right care and attention, any plant can be shipped safely and arrive to your door healthy and ready to be welcomed into its new home!

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