Preparing Sedum and Semps for Mailing
For Sedum you can gather either rooted plants or cuttings. If the plants are rooted, I clean most of the dirt off the roots before wrapping in a damp paper towel, then wrap again in plastic wrap to keep the roots from drying out. This same process works for cuttings, just wrap the ends as if they had roots. This will keep the cuttings from drying out. At this time I place a name tag inside the last fold of plastic wrap so it won’t be separated from the plant.
Many of the low growing sedum will start new plants from even the tiny leaves that fall off, so don’t throw those away. Just sprinkle them on moistened potting mix and soon you will have many new plants growing. Remember this if you get a package in the mail with sedum, don’t throw those little leaves and pieces away. The last step before putting them in the box is to use a dry paper towel or piece of newspaper and roll the prepared plant inside like you are making a paper tube. This will keep the plant foliage separate from others in the box. These methods work for both low growing and upright/tall Sedum.
For Sempervivum harvest the ones you will be sending a day or two before shipping to make sure they are dry, as excess moisture can cause them to start rotting once packaged and mailed. Once dried sufficiently, clean excess dirt off the roots and trim or pull any dead leaves around the crown or stem. You can either place each variety in a paper bag that you have written the name on, or fold in newspaper with a name tag included. It doesn’t get any easier than that. When sending Sempervivum, remember that a mature hen (2 to 3 years old) may not produce any more chicks before blooming that summer. So keep that in mind when choosing plants to send. If you see an older hen that is starting to make chicks, by all means send her after wrapping carefully. The new owner will get to watch the babies grow before she flowers in the summer and dies, leaving her progeny to carry on.
After placing the plants in the box, if there are any empty spaces, fill them with shredded paper so the plants don’t move around in the box, possibly damaging them. Seal the box (I like to leave just a little area without tape for the contents to breath a little), address it clearly as to where it is going. When you put your return address it helps if you also put your screen name along with your given name and address. That will help the recipient know who sent the package. I also place tape over the addresses so they won’t smudge or smear.
When to mail. If weather is either too hot (heat wave) or too cold (freezing temps), you might want to think about waiting to send plants until the weather becomes more moderate. Sending on a Mon., Tues. or Sat. (if your post office is open on Sat.) are your best days to mail a package of plants. Monday and Tuesday insures (barring mishaps) that your package will arrive no later than Friday or Saturday. You don’t want your package to sit over the weekend in the post office. Saturday mailing, many times arrives on Monday. Many find this the best day to mail out packages of plants. Not all post offices are open on Saturday, but still deliver mail on Saturday.
One more thing, if you have plants that require special instructions, type or write them out and place in a water proof bag or plastic wrap. Place them on top of your package contents for quick reading before plants are unpacked.
These methods work very well for many different kinds of plants. Notice in the picture below, there are daylilies, hardy geraniums, bearded iris, siberian iris, and several different kinds of sedum (tall/upright and low growing ground covers).
I hope this has been a help to those just starting to trade plants.