Best Way to Ship Succulents and Cacti Safely

How to ship succulents and cacti efficiently

Shipping delicate items such as plants requires a proper preparation to make sure you are doing it correctly. To help you out, we have compiled an easy step-by-step guide on how to pack succulents for shipping. Read the packing tips prepared by our logistics experts and discover the best way to ship succulents and cacti so they arrive safely at their destination.

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Plants are usually restricted or prohibited items for shipping. Please note that insurance may not apply.


What to consider before shipping succulents by courier or mail

Succulents and cacti are some of the best plants for shipping because they are sturdy and can withstand long periods without water. Even so, there are still some things you should have in mind before booking a courier service for shipping your succulents:

  • Consider the estimated delivery time to make sure your plant will survive the journey. Schedule the collection for the start of the week so the shipment can be delivered in the following days, without it being stuck on storage over the weekend.
  • If shipping potted succulents, make sure the soil is dry to avoid rotting of the roots.
  • When shipping succulent cuttings, remove the clippings a few days after watering the plant to make sure it is healthy but still fairly dry.
  • You can add a label to the package that says “Fragile” or “This side up”, but please bear in mind that the courier driver is not obliged to treat packages differently when booking standard courier services.


How to ship succulents and cacti

At Eurosender, we offer various shipping solutions for door-to-door deliveries.
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*Please have in mind that some courier companies may include plants, succulents, and cactus in the list of prohibited items. For any clarifications, please contact our team of specialists via chat.


Packing succulents and cacti for shipping

There are two main ways of packing succulents and cacti for shipping: bare-root or in pots (or containers). Below you will find the packing instructions for each.

How to pack bare-root succulents for shipping

Shipping bare-root succulents is one of the most convenient ways of sending your plants by mail or courier. Follow the steps below for packing your bare-foot succulent for shipping:

  1. Water the plants around 4 to 5 days prior to the shipping date.
  2. Gently hold the plant and remove it from the soil, shaking off as much excess soil as you can. If the roots are still too moist, you should wait for another day before packing.
  3. Wrap the bare-root succulent with a soft paper such as tissue.
  4. Add more layers of paper if required, then put the plant in the cardboard box.
  5. If you will be shipping multiple succulents at the same time, make sure to add enough cushioning.
  6. Close and seal the box. You can add a “Fragile” label if you want.

How to pack and ship succulents in pots

Some succulents and cacti aren’t suitable for bare-foot shipping, so you cannot remove them from the soil. Here are the guidelines for packing succulents for shipping in pots/containers.

  1. Use plastic pots whenever possible as they are lighter and not breakable.
  2. Make sure the soil is dry enough before packing it.
  3. Cover the surface of the soil with plastic wrap.
  4. Wrap the succulent with soft paper such as tissue, adding more layers if needed.
  5. Insert the packed plants in a box, add more cushioning if required to keep it still.
  6. Close and seal the box. You can add a “Fragile” label if you want.

How to pack and ship cactus

The main difference between shipping succulents and cactus is that the latter is often harder to pack, due to its different shapes and spikes. To ensure your cactus will be safe during transit, you may need to add several layers of tissue paper around it, and an outer layer of a sturdy cushioning material such as newspaper or cardboard.

When sending a cactus to someone, you can also choose between bare-root or potted shipping, even though the second option is the most used for this type of plant.


Regulations for shipping succulents and cactus by courier

Plants are natural living organisms, which is why their transport is heavily controlled by the authorities. If you wish to ship succulents and cactus domestically or internationally, the first step is to ensure you have all the required certificates for doing so. Check the shipping regulations imposed by the origin and destination countries and follow their guidelines.

Different places will have different regulations. For example, when shipping succulents across the country in the USA, you will have to comply to the rules imposed by the different states, since they are established independently. However, shipping succulents and cacti within the EU is usually possible if the plant is grown and transported inside the member countries. Please assess your situation individually, and feel free to contact us if you need any extra assistance.
See how to ship other plants


FAQ on how to ship succulents and cactus by courier

Will any courier company ship succulents and cacti?
Unfortunately, not all courier companies will ship succulents internationally. For example, DHL, TNT and UPS will not ship packages that contain plants within the content. Each courier has specific rules and requirements for different shipments and services, so we recommend checking this further with the designated courier for your route. When booking Express or Priority shipping services, please make sure not to include these items as the courier will refuse to collect the parcel. If you need further assistance, you can reach us by chat, phone or email before shipping to discuss your options further.
What is the best way to ship succulents: bare-root or potted?
It depends on the plant. Some succulents are not suitable for bare-root shipping because they may be too fragile to be taken out of the soil. In such cases, it is better to ship the succulent in its pot. However, for plants that are strong enough, the best way to ship the succulent is packing it with bare-roots. With this method, your package will be smaller and lighter since you won’t have to ship the soil and the pot. Besides that, the plant will be safely packed, without the worry of spillage or breakage of the container.
Is it better to use a plastic or ceramic container when shipping succulents in pots?
The most recommended practice is to use plastic containers when shipping potted succulents internationally because they are lighter and do not have the risk of breaking. If you do not have the option of using a plastic container, try choosing a small ceramic pot and consider wrapping it with bubble wrap to make sure it will be safe during transport.
How to ship multiple cacti at once?
The easiest way of shipping multiple small cacti at once is to pack them in a cardboard box with internal divisions. The dividers are important to make sure the plants will not be touching each other. You can purchase cardboard boxes and internal dividers online or in stationery stores, or you can make the dividers yourself with cardboard sheets.
How can I send someone a succulent or a cactus?
Sending a succulent or cactus to someone through the mail or by courier is easy because all you have to do is insert the recipient’s information as the “consignee”. The shipping company will be responsible to deliver the package directly to the person you designed.
How to ship succulents in winter? Will they freeze?
If you absolutely need to ship your succulents during winter, the best thing to do is choose a fast delivery method to ensure your plant will be in transit for the shortest time possible. Standard courier services cannot guarantee a temperature-controlled environment.
That being said, in most cases, hardy succulents will not freeze during transit as they are very resistant plants. Succulents that are more fragile such as soft succulents may be more prone to freezing, therefore you should add some extra layers when packing it. For locations that face extreme cold weather, you may want to consider waiting out the freezing temperatures and shipping your succulents abroad once it gets warmer.
Does insurance apply when shipping succulent and cactus?
Unfortunately, insurance does not apply when shipping restricted items. Therefore, if you choose to ship succulents and cacti by courier, you will be doing so at your own risk.
Take into consideration these guidelines when shipping succulents and cactus. Nevertheless, please consider that following them does not guarantee that the courier company will transport your package without restriction. In case you decide to ship succulents and cactus by courier, Eurosender will not be held responsible for any damages caused by the transportation of your shipment.

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