Can You Ship House Plants

Can plants survive transportation?

Plants may travel well as long as they are packaged safely. Make sure to use packing supplies like bubble wrap, corrugated boxes for each plant, etc.

Remove the Plant From the Soil

It is preferable to export most plants as bare roots as opposed to in their pots. Put on a pair of gardening gloves and carefully remove the roots of your plant from the pot, shaking off any extra soil. It’s not necessary to totally rinse the roots because part of the soil residue will keep the plant happy and healthy during transportation and potential repotting.

Wrap Roots With a Moist Paper Towel

Wrap the plant’s roots with a paper towel that has been lightly moistened with clean, room-temperature water. You can wrap your plant in numerous layers of paper towels if you’re transporting it a long way. The plant will receive water along the journey as a result of the paper’s gradual moisture release.

Wrap With Plastic Wrap

Wrap the paper towels and roots in a sheet of plastic wrap to keep everything in place. You might also put the plant in a plastic bag as an alternative. This will keep the moisture within and act as insulation for the roots’ delicate tissues.

Secure the Plant

By using rubber bands or wrapping the entire bundle in newspaper, secure the plant’s top. Both strategies will control wayward growth and guard against plant damage.

Place Plant Inside Box

Your plant should be packed in a robust corrugated cardboard box that can withstand any damage from vigorous handling. Find a box that is beautiful and sturdy to ensure that your plant gets to its destination intact.

Fill Extra Space

Finding a box that properly fits your goods can be challenging. After you’ve inserted your plant inside the sturdy corrugated box, fill any remaining space with newspaper or packing paper to provide additional padding. Your plant won’t have any room to move during handling if you do it this way. Useless paper, packing peanuts, or bubble wrap are more options.

Tape the Box Closed

Tape all box edges tightly with sturdy packing tape before sealing the lid. Add a lot of tape to the box’s edges to reinforce them if you’re concerned about how the product will be handled.


Punch a few ventilation holes in the box if your area is warm or if you’re moving the plant to a warm location. Make a few small holes in the box’s sides using your fingertips. Avoid doing this in cold weather because the cold may harm your plant.

Label the Box

Label the box “Live Plants,” “Fragile,” or “Perishable” using permanent ink so that shipment handlers can easily read it. This won’t ensure that the individuals handling your box will handle it delicately, but it might persuade some of them.

If you’re recycling a box, write the return address and mailing address on the outside and take off or black out any previous shipping labels.

Ship Your Plant

It’s time to transport your plant now that it has been beautifully prepared and boxed for travel. If your plant satisfies the USPS’s shipping regulations, you can always drop it off at the post office for delivery. Select priority mail. Because the plant is in such a vulnerable position while being transported, you should try to cut the shipping time as much as you can.

Another option is to use a private delivery firm, FedEx, UPS, or both. Although some will cost more than others, all will offer rapid shipping alternatives. Finding a service that can ship your plant swiftly and within your budget is the key.

Will USPS accept plants for shipping?

To begin with, you must ascertain whether you can actually send your plant. You cannot send a plant that is listed as endangered or protected! The Baja rose, the Santa Inez goldenbanner, and the Yreka phlox are a few instances of endangered plants.

By looking up your plant in this database maintained by the United States Department of Agriculture, you can learn whether it is endangered or protected.

The Parcel Needs to Identify that Live Plants and Vegetation Are Inside

One of the most crucial things you must do after determining whether your plant can be transported is to indicate that the package contains a plant. The Terminal Inspection Act of 1916 mandates that all packages containing plants be properly labelled, according to USPS. Fortunately, you don’t always have to purchase specialized stickers, as is the case when transporting ORM-D goods. Simply mark your box with a marker to indicate that it includes plants. Simple enough!

Properly Preparing Your Plants for Shipment

In order to ensure that live plants and other vegetation travel safely, adequate packaging is essential. To keep moisture in the plant’s roots, USPS always needs waterproof material, like waxed Kraft paper. Additionally, this will prevent transit-related leaks in your package. Every plant, however, has a unique requirement, therefore you must wrap each one individually. For instance, you must use puncture-proof paper to cover spiky plants like cacti.

Here are some easy measures to take as a basic checklist while exporting plants:

  • a few sheets of packing paper or newspaper should be mildly dampened.
  • Place the plant with the roots and stem in the center after folding the papers in half (if your plant has foliage, make sure you place the foliage outside the edge of the paper)
  • Gently wrap the roots with the paper.
  • To keep moisture from getting into the roots, wrap the bottom of the plants in waterproof waxed Kraft paper. Don’t seal the paper, though, as your plants require oxygen to survive.
  • To safeguard the plant and stop moisture damage to your box, wrap the entire plant in at least two substantial plastic supermarket bags.
  • Put the plant into a fresh corrugated cardboard box, being careful to select one that not only fits it best but also doesn’t overly restrict it.
  • We advise sending a letter inside the package describing the plant’s species and how to take care of it (paper will become wet from the moisture of the plant, so laminating the note is always a good idea).
  • Indicate that there are plants within the packaging.
  • Send it off as soon as you can!

Which USPS Mail Class Should I Use?

The USPS postal class you select will be based on the weight of your plant and how quickly you need it to arrive. In general, First Class Package will be the preferred method of shipping plants because many of them weigh less than 16 ounces. The plant will arrive with this service in an anticipated 1-3 business days and will be the least expensive choice. Priority Mail will typically be your best option if your shipment weighs more than 16 ounces (sometimes this is the case if you end up including soil).

While some plants, like succulents and desert vegetation, don’t require a lot of water to grow, other plants don’t function in the same way. As a result, there are times when you’ll want your plant to arrive at its location as soon as feasible. The ideal service in this situation will be Priority Mail Express. Although Priority Mail Express will set you back quite a little more money, the Postal Service promises same-day delivery (2 days if the parcel is going to a rural area).

Pro Tip: The least expensive shipping option will be chosen for you when you utilize shipping software to purchase postage online! Just be careful to input the total weight and dimensions of your package accurately to avoid being charged extra postage by the USPS Automated Package Verification system.

You May Not Be Eligible for Insurance

One issue to keep in mind is that you might not be able to acquire shipping insurance through your carrier or your shipping software provider if you’re sending plants. All carriers and insurance firms classify plants as “perishables,” and as a result, they won’t cover them under their policies.

Pay Attention to Individual State Guidelines

Keep in mind that some states have limitations on the importation of specific plant species. For instance, you cannot send citrus plants from any other state in the union to California. Additionally, you cannot send the Mauna Loa plant or fresh jade vine blooms from Hawaii to the continental United States or Alaska. As a result, we advise conducting preliminary study. All it takes is a fast Google search for your plant and the state you’re sending to!

Most Countries Also Have Restrictions for Importing Plants

This is where things become a little trickier if you intend to ship a plant over foreign borders. Some nations place limitations on the kind of plants that can be imported. For instance, any plant entering the United Kingdom needs to have an import authorization. Therefore, before you buy any postage, you should research the specific country’s regulations that you wish to export your plant to. On the USPS website, you may get a list of the various nations and the import limitations that apply to them.

Can you send a plant by mail?

Successful plant shipping requires careful packing, acclimating the plant, and sending it with enough water to last several days. Insulation will help plants that are transported to hot climates or throughout the winter. You can use the US Postal Service or any shipping firm that best suits your requirements. You can learn how to package them for the best delivery and the least amount of breakage in any case.

Four fundamental rules apply when shipping live plants. The main considerations for sending plants by mail include readiness, packing, labeling, selecting a delivery firm, and speed.

Preparing The Plant For Shipping

The first step in preparation is to take the plant out of the soil and shake off the excess. However, avoid washing the roots because some leftover soil will assist the plant migrate more easily by providing familiar bacteria from its home soil. Put the roots in a plastic bag after wrapping them in several damp paper towels. If the journey will continue a while, prepare a slurry by mixing a few tablespoons of polymer moisture crystals with water, then apply it to the roots before putting it in the plastic bag. Utilize twist ties, rubber bands, or plant ties to secure any stray growth to prevent it from breaking. The plant’s tips and stems can also be protected by simply rolling it in some newspaper.

Packing The Plant

When mailing garden plants, pick a package that can withstand severe handling. Boxes are kicking, hurled, and dropped literally. Choose a box that can withstand a beating if you want your plant to arrive intact.

Additionally, pick one that the plant can fit into with just a little area to spare so that it won’t have much opportunity to move around when being handled. If there is any spare space inside the box, more padding is a good idea. Fill any pockets with paper, shredded cash, or foam. Use strapping tape to reinforce the box’s edges if you are concerned about how it will be handled. Last but not least, don’t forget to include a label or tag inside with the plant’s name.

Use bubble wrap to protect the pot and the roots when mailing plants that are in containers. To retain the soil in the container, place a collar of cardboard over the dirt and around the base of the plant, then close a plastic bag around the base of the plant. If at all possible, stand the plant upright while packing around it and marking “This End Up” on the box. But keep in mind that shipping the soil and container will significantly raise the cost of sending the plant.


Put a label on the outside that reads “Live Plant” and “Perishable” so that people would know to handle it with some care. While there is no assurance that this would stop misuse of the box, it might convince some package handlers to take extra precautions.

Today’s shipping regulations demand that you include both the sending address and the return address on the outside of the package. If you’re utilizing a box that has already been used for shipping, be sure to remove or cover all previous labels to prevent the shipment from being inadvertently sent to the incorrect destination.

When and How to Ship Plants And Choosing a Shipping Company

Plant shipping is effectively handled by the post office. An alternative is to use a private shipping service. Finding the person who can do it most quickly and safely is the key. Pick at least priority mail from the postal service.

Have the plants picked up by a service if you ship frequently so you can keep them cool until they are ready to depart. This will make their journey easier.

Also keep in mind that, depending on the service you use, many shipping firms don’t deliver on Saturdays or Sundays. Plan on shipping early in the week, such as on a Monday or Tuesday, to ensure that the shipped plant spends the least amount of time possible in the box. This will prevent the sent plant from sitting around in the box over the weekend.

Additionally, be sure to verify the weather in both your location and the recipient’s location. If either you or the recipient expects severe weather, hold off on shipping plants. It would be a tragedy to lose a plant just because it was left on someone’s front porch while they were at work, or because it froze to death in a transport truck amid temperatures of 100 F+ (38 C+).

Getting unusual specimens or rare cuttings can be inexpensive and enjoyable through plant swapping. If you pack your plants properly, they will arrive ready to make someone’s day.

Can plants survive transportation?

The element that can give a house envious curb appeal, paint the brightest hues in the drabbest of spaces, and give the air we breathe vitality is plants. They are a necessary and in-demand item, and contemporary delivery techniques have increased accessibility to them.

A plant can travel for a full 7 days in the mail without any issues. Some plants have a two-week lifespan. Keep shipment under 7 days to prevent dehydration and leaf loss in your plant. You can go over 7 days if your plant requires less water or sunlight.

In addition to being an essential aspect of our environment, plants are also essential to many people’s interests. Without the aid of contemporary shipping techniques, the general population would not have access to a large number of plant species found around the world. Plants are often more durable than they may seem, despite the fact that sending them in the mail could seem a little risky.