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shipping orchids?

This is a discussion on shipping orchids? within the New Growers: Ask the Senior Members forums, part of the New Growers category; i don't know if this is even the right place to post this, if it ...

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  1. #1
    p 1's Avatar
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    Default shipping orchids?

    i don't know if this is even the right place to post this, if it isn't i'm sorry.

    i see lots of talk on here about people mail-ordering orchids, or sending them to one another, and all sorts of things, which leads me to ask: how does one send a relativly fragile tropical house plant through the mail, safely?

    i only ask because i had no idea it was such common place, and i have no idea how i would even begin. also, because my mom has been babysitting my very first orchid for 8 months, and i miss it!

    anyway, long story summarized: if anyone has some nice safe step-by-step instructions for mailing orchids, i would love it if you could share! thanks!

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    1. First find a box that is at least an inch bigger in each dimension than the plant.

    2. Better if it is 2 inches.

    3. Water the plant 2 days before shipping, or the day before if it is fast drying.

    4. get some newspaper or butcher paper, and lay the plant down on the paper with a point of the paper sticking out from under the pot.

    5. Fold that point around the bottom of the pot and secure with a small piece of tape.

    6. Then "roll" the rest of the paper around the plant and pot. You should end up with a sort of V shaped wrapped plant.

    7. Tape.

    8. Fold the top of the paper down over the top of the plant, making the bend in the paper about 2" above the longest leaf.

    9. Tape.

    10.Place the wrapped plant into the box, and using packing tape secure the package to the box, with the pot end set firmly against the end or side of the box.

    11. Add peanuts or crumpled newspaper, etc. to cushion the sides and top of the wrapped plant.

    12. Pack firmly.

    13. Close up box.

    14. Send priority mail or other 2 day service.

  3. #3
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    One of the vendors I deal with bareroots all his orchids and wraps them in moist sphag moss and newspaper. He also puts the roots in a bag. This will probably work well for long shipments to conserve moisture. However I think it works better to ship them in their pots for short quick shipping, since it is less stressful for the plant
    All the vendors I dealt with roll their plants in newspaper. It seems to work well.
    Orchids are quite hardy and I've had plants shipped across the Canada/USA border for over a week sucessfully. Unfortunately one cattleya hybrid did get lost and probably taken by customs. The regulations are so silly, the orchids I bought pose no threat to the both 'endangered' orchids nor Canada's environment and agricultural industry.
    CITES regulations really need to be updated! CITES is based on orchids collection (only way to get plants back then) and cultivation centuries ago. Collection of wild plants is not the way most people get their plants nowadays, most are cultured in vitro by modern technology. I hear that many orchids grow like weeds in native lands and are not endangered. CITES is a scientific hindering. Scientists can't see the plants they need to study because they can't cross borders and there is too much unneccessary paperwork involved. Growing orchids poses no threat to native populations and it is habitat destruction is what really kills them. It is also very odd people can't take plants off construction sites. As well the officials that enforce these regulations really know nothing about orchids. People 'smuggle' in vitro grown orchids all the time, it's the only way to avoid annoying paperwork. I'm suprised they feel insignificant orchid collection is the reason for endangered species.....Sorry im way off topic.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Diane View Post
    1. First find a box that is at least an inch bigger in each dimension than the plant.
    ...
    14. Send priority mail or other 2 day service.
    thank you, this is exactly what i needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by smartie2000 View Post
    People 'smuggle' in vitro grown orchids all the time, it's the only way to avoid annoying paperwork. I'm suprised they feel insignificant orchid collection is the reason for endangered species.....Sorry im way off topic.
    maybe so, but it was interesting to me.

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    The only thing I'd add to Diane's instructions, is to lay the plant on a bed of peanuts, and not directly against the box. Peanuts will fill all the spaces and the plant won't budge.

    I've recieved via mail and carried plants in bloom on airplanes, boxed in peanuts alone, without the newpaper, with no noticeable flower damage. I think the newspaper adds an extra layer of protection, which is good.

    If the weather is very hot or cold, use next day or wait till the weather breaks.

    Julie

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    Also never ship when there is a holiday comming and postal service is slowed down. I almost lost a plant on July 1st (Canada Day). The vendor in the states didn't know about the holiday. I do not buy plants from the states unless I really have to BTW. I do find it interesting that many of the plants offered for sale in Canada are imported from flasks in USA anyways.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Piper View Post
    I've recieved via mail and carried plants in bloom on airplanes, boxed in peanuts alone, without the newpaper, with no noticeable flower damage. I think the newspaper adds an extra layer of protection, which is good.

    If the weather is very hot or cold, use next day or wait till the weather breaks.
    just out of curriosity, did you carry them on, or were you able to check them?

    i can see how the heat, or delays like smartie was talking about could really be bad...luckilly its the end of summer, so its warm, but not too hot lately.
    Last edited by p 1; August 23rd, 2006 at 11:36 PM.

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    I carried them on, because the luggage compartments aren't heated - I don't believe - and can get quite cold. I packed them in a box that would fit in the overhead compartment. It would be a huge pain if security wanted to inspect the box, though. Things have gotten pretty nutty with air travel. I did this a few years ago.

    Julie

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    I will mention my pet peeve here, which is to do something to secure the media so it doesn't all roll out of the pot during shipment. Some tape a crumpled roll of newsprint to the top of the pot; some use a pad of shredded paper which they tape to the pot. I have used a scrap of fabric which I slit to accommodate the plant and tie around the pot.

    I hate it when they arrive essentially bare root but unprotected.

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    Even with the tightened airline security you can carry a plant on board. I did this when I returned from Jouis and BDs. However, if you have to make connections, etc. the box is a very unwieldy thing to carry around for 2 or 3 hours in a crowded airport. Luggage compartments are heated, as they transport animals in them. (and that is where the plants shipped USPS go) I have actually travelled with a plant in a checked bag (very well padded) and it came through fine. But I don't really recommend it as luggage can get lost, sent to wrong destination, etc.

    Sending USPS priority mail or UPS 2 day is the best method for getting plants to their destination in a timely manner. The worst thing is sitting in the heat or extreme cold, depending on the season. I only had one plant come to me that I couldn't revive - that was during a high heat period. In winter the best assurance is to use a heat pack, you can buy them on the net or if you are ordering an orchid most sellers offer them for a small charge.

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