Sending a bouquet of cut roses is relatively easy. Sending a whole plant, though, often poses a problem. Rose plants make beautiful, living gifts. Many varieties of roses grow in gardens, parks and individual landscapes. Landscape centers and garden stores routinely transport large shipments of roses. Occasionally living plants suffer damage during shipment. Successfully package and ship a living rose by following some basic procedures.
Choose the correct time for shipping your rose plant. The best time for shipping roses is when the plant is dormant. This is during the winter in most locations. Although roses survive shipping during other seasons, non-dormant roses often suffer transplant shock. Prepare to ship your rose plant late in the fall after it turns dry and brown or early in the spring before new growth appears on the plant.
Obtain a sturdy shipping container. The United States Postal Service, FedEx, and other shipping organizations provide cartons for this purpose. Select a box large enough to hold the rose plant without bending the branches or breaking the roots.
Prune your rose plant to remove broken branches and lanky stems. Use sharp pruning shears to avoid tearing your rose plant. Remove the pruned plant from the surrounding soil with a garden shovel. Use caution to avoid damaging roots. Gently break away excess soil from the root ball. Do not allow direct sunlight on the roots.
Moisten the roots and quickly cover with absorbent fabric, such as sponge cloths or clean rags. Wrap plastic around the damp covering to hold in moisture during shipment. Use packaging particles or cardboard pieces in order to secure the plant in position within the container. Secure the package with packaging tape. Apply your shipping label and apply a shipping label that indicates a live plant is enclosed. If no label is available, write on the box with a permanent marker to notify handlers that a fragile, live plant is inside. Immediately ship your packaged rose. Select the quickest shipping option to ensure rapid delivery to the recipient.
Tell the recipient that you have shipped the rose and notify them of the expected arrival date.