1.) Plant packaging - Succulents|
and the drought tolerant types, select healthy plants,
bare root and they can generally be revived with little difficulty even
after weeks in the mail.
Moisture loving plants should be healthy well established specimens, wrap
the roots/bulbs/tubers/rhizomes... in moist sphagnum , a good layer of
newspaper and finally a firm wrap of plastic wrap with rubber bands to
keep it all together. Most plants of these types also travel well
as long as the moisture holds, which if wrapped as above can be several
2.) Plant growth stage. Find out
particulars on the plant being sent. Some have the best chances when
sent during the dormancy stage. Others, beginning - mid growing
season, some could care less.
3.) Receipt and potting. Of course it
goes without saying , however I'll say it anyway, quite often when a plant
fails to recoup from it's world travels it's not the travel so much that
does it in but the inexperience on the receiving end. Generally,
my aroids will look like heck when they arrive. I plant them into
a bed in the greenhouse in a mix of 40% coir, 20 % pumice, 20% perlite,
10% vermiculite, 10% composted media. Soak the area. Day one
, two and three leaves turn brown , yucky and dry up. I clip any
that completely dry up leaving the central newest leaves intact in as much
as they show signs of turgor. Keep very moist within usually 2 weeks
signs of new growth appear.
4.) CITES/Phytosanitary -- This can be a big issue
as CITES (CITES
LISTING) listed plants may be confiscated by customs. A missing
Phyto can also result in confiscated plants. However, if shades of
gray appeal to you smaller packages labeled benignly as gifts seem to make
it through 98% of the time.
There are other issues but these come to mind as some of the more obvious.
Seeds travel very well. Pack in a non moist package place in a
firm container, small cardboard box or something creative( a tic-tac
container for many seeds works great , with some tissue added to absorb
Big issue with seeds is freshness and germination techniques which vary
widely from pouring boiling water and letting soak for 24 hours to storing
in the freezer for 3 months. Sometimes one can discern from knowing
the normal conditions of native growth how best to germinate seeds and
sometimes the best technique is not obvious and must be obtained from those
Most of the time seeds are not listed as a CITES issue but that trend
has begun to change and some countries are forbidding export (i.e.. Mexico)
of all plant material.
There are other things to consider with both seeds and plants and others
with experience should weigh in but these have been some of my observations.