Shipping live roots how to? : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am asking this question as I have always thought of this forum as my back fence that I go to to talk to my neighbors. Just as when that would take place sooner or later one of you is going to say after describing your new or any plant that you have is "why would you like a cutting?" So lets have a descusion on how we can pass a cutting over our backyard fence the forum.

I have contacted Marcee by email about getting some root cuttings of comfrey and she asked and I thought I would pass to question along of how to best ship roots so that they would arive in good condiation.

One new problem I am concerned about is the radiation of mail by the USPS would we need to use UPS? As one who has treated patients using radiation I am sure that a dose of radiation would not be a good start for plants you want to send someone.

I have been told by various nurserys that they dip the roots they are sending to me in somekind of a gel or liquid to ensure that they keep mositure in them and so do not dry out in the shipping process. I wonder if we would just soak the roots or even just dip them in water then wrap in newspaper or papertowel then place in a zip lock type plastic bag then if we can use USPS put the bag in a priority mailer if that would be sufficent. I know that a lot of the states prohibit the shipment of plants eccept bareroots.

Please lets kick this around a little would like to hear what you think.

-- gail missouri ozarks (, January 31, 2002


My mother has sccessfully mailed me bareroot daylillies several times. If she was sending a lot of plants, she would wrap all of them together with damp newspaper and then place that in a plastic trash bag. The bag would then be placed in a box. If she was sending only a few plants, she'd wrap each on in damp newspaper and place individually in a ziploc bag. I've never received a dead plant. Comfrey is a very tough plant so it should make it just fine with this method. The only thing I'd worry about is having too much moisture which would cause the root to start to rot. Good luck!

-- Bren (, January 31, 2002.

Hi Gail, Your on the right track but soak them in water first real well then wrap them in peat moss that you have soaked in water and wrung out to be like a wet sponge. Then wrap in newspaper, spray the newspaper with water and wrap with plastic wrap around and around and secure with a rubber band. Then put it in zip lock bags. Following this proceedure, it will arive just fine - promise! Just be sure you don't do wrap them until you are ready to ship and be sure the reciever knows to immediately get them unwrapped and planted. Wrapped as above, they will need sunlight before they will need water.

-- Karen (, January 31, 2002.

I work at a nursery where we receive bare roots all the time. They are usually shipped in some type of planting media or peat which is just damp, not wet. We make sure we get them unpacked right away, potted up and watered. Most plants that come with greenery already coming up we cut back, but it really depends on the plant...some plants you can't do that. Comfrey you could probably put in a plastic bag in the trunk of your black car for the month of July in Florida and it would still be viable when you planted it, so I wouldn't get overly worried about that one!

-- Sheryl in Me (, January 31, 2002.

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