>Tips for Mailing Plants

>If you trade or sell plants that require shipment, the following tips should be useful to you.

Do not mail plants to California or Hawaii because of strictly enforced state laws prohibiting importation of plant materials into these states. Most countries restrict or prohibit importation of plants from other countries as well. Check postal regulations for further information before mailing.

Mail plants bare root if possible to minimize spread of soil born diseases. Make sure plants being mailed are healthy, free of insect or disease problems.

Package plants firmly to avoid damage from crushing enroute. Chosing the right sized and shaped box is important.

Use lightweight packing materials, e.g. newspaper,. noodles, bubble wrap, plastic grocery bags, to lighten shipping weight.but secure contents.

Mail plants by the fastest economical means available such as USPS priority mail (2-3 day delivery), or UPS ground if delivery can be guaranteed in 3 days or less. The point of shipping and destination will affect delivery times. The quicker the trip, the better condition upon arrival.

How to pack plants depends on their type: See suggestions below.

Cacti and Succulents: bare root, wrapped in newspaper

Herbaceous rooted plants non-dormant perennials and ferns: wrap roots with minimal amount of dampened sterile soil or sphagnum moss with clear wrap and tie around stem with twisty. Insert entire plant into plastic zip lock bag with dampened paper towel to maintain moisture around foliage

Woody rooted plants: Same method as herbaceous but not necessary to place in moistened plastic bag. After securing roots and sterile soil in clear wrap, wrap the entire plant in newspaper.

Bromeliads and Orchids: bare root enclosed in moistened zip lock bag.

Bulbs
: bare root wrapped in newspaper

Dormant perennials: wrap roots in minimal amount of sterile soil or sphagnum moss and place in zip lock plastic bag.

Cuttings: Soak cuttings in water until turgid, then wrap cuttings in dampened paper towels and place in zip lock bag.

Aquatic and bog plants: Wrap in damp to wet paper towel, insert in zip lock bag.

Seed: Place seed in dry zip lock bag. If seed is crushable, place bubble wrap around it.

I trade and occasionally sell plants that I have shipped via USPS Priority Mail and have had almost perfect success using the techniques mentioned above.

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>How to Enjoy More Plants with Limited Space

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Click on image for enlargement.

If you are a lover of all types of plants like I am, but only have a postage stamp sized yard, there are ways!
Strategies that I use are:

• Grow miniature or dwarf varieties of a particular favorite plant when available. Commonly grown plants available in dwarf forms include roses, plumeria, daylilies, hummingbird bush, oleander, ornamental grasses, crepe myrtle, pomegranate, Barbados cherry, eleagnus, sages, various tropical such as canna, bananas,just to name a few.
• Grow plants with upright growth forms or train shrubbery to grow in tree form when possible, which free up ground space for more plants below. This is a form of layering plants to allow more texture and color contrast to be displayed in limited ground space.
• Grow plants in unconventional places or use plant containers for hardscape areas. I mount bromeliads on dead cedar, hang staghorn ferns, plant sedums in limestone rock niches – these being a few examples.
• Each growing season, change out your garden plantings so you gain experience in growing more types and specific plants. In my limited native plant area, I switch out a couple each year to try to learn about growing a wider variety of native and adaptive plants over time than my limited space will permit. In addition, the variety and change from year to year is refreshing.
• Often a different species of a plant, or different cultivars (e.g. variegated plants which grow at a much slower rate), are smaller, more compact and take less garden space. These are not dwarf forms, but take up less garden space.
• Downsize plants periodically. An example would be that some Agaves grow to a very large size, but when they outgrow the garden space, you can harvesti pups, digging up the large parent plant and replanting it with the pup. This way, you can enjoy the beauty of larger plants in smaller sizes and spaces.
. Consolidate like plants into a single container, e.g. a miniature cacti dish, or multiple varieties of the same plant that are compatible in a single container. Hanging baskets are good for this and can be hung from tree branches or other supports.

I hope these suggestions allow you to experiment with a wider variety of plants even when limited in actual square footage of garden space. The more types of plants you grow, the more diversity in color, texture, and form you can create in your garden.