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How to ship succulents?

How To Ship Succulents? Everything You Need To Know

Presently we are in the digital world. Our lives largely depend on phone, computer and internet. Everyone is online now, online food ordering, online training, online shopping etc everything is available online now.

Now a day’s even plants are available online, this helps nurseries make their product available anywhere in the world at anytime. Our favorite plants are just a click away now. These are shipped to us via post or parcel services. But one concern for both the seller and buyer is – would the plants be safe in the shipping process. Buyers are concerned whether it would survive the journey in perfect condition.

In this topic we are going to discuss about how to ship succulents, how to pack them properly, what are the things to consider while shipping a succulent.

These methods can also be used to pack them while you are moving houses.

Bare root or in container

Succulents are fleshy plant that can survive long journeys without water. But it is always best to reduce the stress on your plant, so shorter journeys are good and careful packaging is essential.

succulents in containers

Before shipping a plant, check with destination agricultural department to verify, if the law allows shipping of plant to other countries.

shipping them without container (Bare root)

Bare Root Succulents

It is best to ship the succulent’s bare root as

  • Postage rate decreases because the weight of pot and soil are not included. Postage rates are based on weight, so light weight parcel means low postage rate.
  • It prevents rotting of  succulent due to presence of water content in the soil during long journey. The dark environment and zero air circulation inside the package can lead to fast growth of fungi and bacteria, which accelerate rotting of the succulent.
  • Prevents soil spillage – if potted during the journey the package will be in continuous motion which can lead to soil spillage all over the parcel.
  • Prevent etiolation – it is the process where the plant is grown in partial or complete absence of light. So if soil is present and journey is long the plant can grow in the dark which lead to formation of weak stems or leaves.

How to prepare bare root succulents

Don’t water the succulent before the shipping. Pull the succulents out of the container or garden gently. Then shake off the excess soil.

Leave the plant out for one or two days to dry out the root, if they are too moist. You can also trim some of the roots.

shipping them with Containers

Shipping succulents with container is almost same as shipping them bare root. If small containers are used for shipping it’s more convenient.

One main thing to consider while shipping them in containers is to not to water those four to five days before the shipping. This prevents rotting of the succulent as the moisture content in the soil will increase as after packing there is no air circulation in the box and this prevent drying out of soil causing fungal growth.

Also it is best to use plastic containers instead of clay pots as it reduces the risk of breakage during transportation.

how to wrap succulents?

Whether sending bare root or in container, succulents needs to be packed as they are fragile plants that can easily break even with slightest impact.

Wrap the succulent’s bare root or in container with tissue paper or paper, increase the layer of paper as per requirement. Extra paper offer extra protection.

If spiky succulents are there then it’s better to pack them in many layers of paper so that the spikes don’t damage other plants.

It is not wise to cover the top part of succulent in plastic wraps as this may retain moisture inside the pack and cause rotting of the succulent.

Tissue paper or newspapers are the best for this purpose. Wrap each succulent in separate paper.

If the plant is in container then use plastic to cover the soil in the container securely so that there is no soil spillage.

In case of bare root succulents we can keep some peat or moss to retain some moisture.

How to label Succulents?

Labeling Succulents

It’s best to label each of the succulent after wrapping it in paper. Properly label each of the succulent. If any fragile succulents are there it’s important to mark it as ‘fragile’. A good labeling help the consumer understand what is contained in the package.

If any succulent with spike is there it is a good idea to label it with a ‘warning’.

Boxing Succulents

The wrapped succulents are now ready for being boxed.

Now if it’s for moving houses we can put the plant in plastic containers and take it with us. But in the case of shipping we can’t use plastic boxes so in this case the best material is cardboard box. A good hardy cardboard box does the job perfectly.

Strong corrugated cardboard box can be used to pack the succulents in.  Tight packing is best for shipping. Place the succulents carefully inside the box after layering it with bubble wrap or more newspapers.

If there are any spaces in between the succulent and box or between the succulents fill it with newspapers so that there is no movement of the succulents.

Another important fact to keep in mind is that packages are mishandled during transportation. So we need to pack the inside of the box with materials to reduce the damage due to mishandling. We can use materials like bubble wrap or peanuts also. So remember to select a box appropriately.

It’s also good to keep a list of the plants that are inside the package and also to mark the outside of the box ‘perishable’ or ‘fragile’.

Secure the box with tape so that it doesn’t open up during the voyage. The tape should be applied on all sides of the box to secure it.

Things to Keep in mind before you send your first shipment

Two important things to keep in mind while shipping succulents to other countries or states is that

Temperature: – Succulents are drought resistant plants. Succulents cannot survive in low temperature. Frost can kill your succulents, same applies to shipping it to low temperature regions.

  • It is wise to postpone shipping to areas with temperature below zero or if the temperature is expected to drop below zero. As extreme low temperature can do more harm to the succulents and also can kill the succulents.
  • We need to keep in mind the temperature of the region we are shipping to. In case the region is a low temperature area Heat packs are great products to be included in the box while shipping.
  • Heat pack can keep the plants warm for many hours. Most heat packs can keep the temperature for 24,48 to 72 hour maximum. Small heat pack offer temperature for small duration.

Cacti: – While packing cacti, remember to pack them in extra paper and take care that the spines don’t damage the packing material or the other succulents.

  • Also mention above the package a warning that its cacti. so that the parcel handler and receiver are caution on handling the content and opening the content upon receiving.

Not to do while Shipping

  • If shipping to warm weather do not damp the succulent as it can lead to rotting of the plant in the box. if shipping to cold weather a little dampness cant hurt.
  • Don’t pack small succulent in big box
  • Don’t pack the plant in plastic wrappers as it can rot the plant
  • Don’t forget to secure the soil if potted succulents are being shipped
  • Don’t wrap all the succulent in one single paper while packing

The package for succulent should be carefully parceled keeping the do’s and don’ts in mind.


As soon as the plant arrives unbox it. If it’s in container carefully unpack it and water it. Don’t keep it in direct sunlight as the nurseries would have kept it under shade for most of its lifetime and sudden exposure to sunlight can cause stress. Stressing the succulent or cacti can lead to its death or leaf loss.

If it is in bare root, first pot it in a good succulent pot mix or cactus pot mix. Then water it properly so that it freshens up, keep it in shade for few days and then slowly acclimate it to light.


Succulents are a must for every gardener. Not all the species of succulent we want is available in the nurseries, so another easy method to acquire them are online. The seller can send the succulent via parcel services and the succulents will reach the customer with in days.

The seller need to keep in mind that the succulent require special packaging, not equivalent to that of normal plant. If not taken care they can rot quickly in the package before reaching the destination, which is a loss for both buyer and seller. The parcel should also be secured with peanut or extra paper so that the succulent or cacti don’t shake during the journey, if not secured it could lead to loss of foliage. Proper labeling is also an important requirement to be kept in mind while sending a package.

While packaging the succulents for travel the seller should keep in mind the duration of travel, temperature change during travel and handling of parcel during the journey. Hope the point given above on shipping helps you to safely package the succulent and reach their destination.

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