Shipping in the green

Johannes-Ulrich Urban via pbs
Wed, 17 Mar 2021 07:34:45 PDT
Dear All,

Reading the thread about shipping bulbs in the green or bulbs with perennial roots I would like to share my experience. Hoping that Robin, our president does not mind if I don’t agree on all the points she makes......
I do not know how many times I have received a totally rotten bulb or plant. Always because the very well meaning sender was worried that the poor  bulbs or plants would die from thirst in the mail.
But how could they? Enclosed in a plastic bag water cannot escape. A life bulb or plant will transpire in the bag. It is amazing how much water even a small bulb will set free during a few days in a plastic bag. It is the word „damp“  in Robin’s notes that make all my alarm bells ring. Depending on their experience most people will add far too much water to the peat. I agree that peat has excellent properties otherwise.
I never ever lost a plant that was shipped dry and arrived slightly or even more than slightly wilted. 
My technique to ship fragile young plants or bulbs: I completely immerse them into DRY fine grade vermiculite in a plastic bag. Enough to completely fill the box. No water added, never. The vermiculite will absorb transpired water so it will not be completely dry but it keeps the plants from rotting. At the same time vermiculite acts as a perfect padding and is lightweight. Perlite should do the same but I prefer vermiculite.
On arrival the vermiculite can be washed off and the plant or bulb given an overnight soak in water if necessary at all. I never ever add water to plants wrapped in plastic. If the plant has a rootball, I stop watering ahead of shipping to post it only just slightly moist or even better at the brink to wilting. This way they always arrive alive and recover within one day.

Bye for now 

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