How to Send Perennial Flowers

Overview

Plant swapping allows you to trade plants with other gardeners around the country. Many perennial flowers are well suited to this as they can be easily packed up and sent via the mail. Plants that grow from bulb and root systems, such as iris and daffodil, are sent in their dormant state. Cuttings are taken from the roots of stems of other perennial flowers, such as lavender and phlox. Cuttings are also inexpensive to ship as not much more is needed than a padded envelope.

Bulbs and Roots

Step 1

Dig up bulbs and roots from your garden in fall or six weeks after the plant stops blooming and once the foliage begins to wilt. Spring bulbs are normally dug in mid-summer while rhizomes and roots are dug in fall.

Step 2

Brush off the excess dirt from the root. Break apart bulbs or cut apart root systems, leaving at least three visible buds per root section. Discard any that appear damaged or diseased.

Step 3

Spread the bulbs and roots out to dry in a warm room that is out of direct sunlight. Allow the bulbs to dry for one to two weeks.

Step 4

Fill a plastic bag or small box with dry peat moss. Bury the bulbs and roots in the peat moss so that none are touching each other.

Step 5

Seal the box or bag closed and place in a second shipping box. Add filler material, such as packing peanuts or shredded newspaper, to the space between the two boxes to avoid shifting.

Step 6

Mail with the fastest service you are willing to use to prevent damage to the bulbs from heat, cold or sitting too long out of the ground.

Cuttings

Step 1

Take cuttings from plants in the morning when they are fully hydrated and experiencing no stress from heat. For stem cuttings, cut a 3-inch section of stem from the plant that has two to three leaves attached.

Step 2

Stack six paper towels and dampen them thoroughly. Fold the stack in half then wrap the cut end of the cutting in the dampened towels.

Step 3

Place the wrapped cutting into a perforated plastic bag. Place the bag between to layers of corrugated cardboard and tape them together to protect the cutting.

Step 4

Slide the cutting package into a shipping envelope or small box. Send overnight or two-day service as cuttings must be rooted as soon as possible in order to thrive.

Tips and Warnings

  • Some states and countries limit the types of plants that can be sent through the mail. Verify that the plant you are sending is not considered invasive by the area you are sending it to.

Things You'll Need

  • Plastic bags
  • Box
  • Peat moss
  • Packing material
  • Paper towels
  • Perforated bags
  • Cardboard
  • Envelopes

References

  • University of Minnesota Extension: Storing Tender Bulbs
  • University of Rhode Island Cooperative Extension: Plant Cuttings
Keywords: sending perennial flowers, mailing plant cuttings, shipping flower bulbs

About this Author

Jenny Harrington is a freelance writer of more than five years' experience. Her work has appeared in "Dollar Stretcher" and various blogs. Previously, she owned her own business for four years, selling handmade items online, wholesale and via the crafts fair circuit. Her specialties are small business, crafting, decorating and gardening.