How long can succulents stay in the box?

Since succulents are becoming popular these days, you are planning to buy succulents from online stores and you might be having queries regarding how long your succulents will stay in the box, is it safe to order the succulents. But keeping aside the danger you want to bring the exotic and beautiful plant to your place.

How long can succulents stay in the box? Succulents are hardy plants and can stay about 10-14 days in the box. Some types of succulents can stay up to 3 months without water and some specific types of succulents won’t go longer than 10-14 days without light, so in general, succulents can stay in the box for 10-14 days.

Now you know how many days succulents can stay in the box, we can now see what factors affect them in the box.

What impacts the span of succulents in the box?

Many factors can affect the survival of the succulents inside the box, out of which some are:

  1. Temperature

There are multiple types of succulents so it’s hard to say which succulents prefer what temperature. But most of the succulents prefer temperatures ranging from 60°F to 80°F (15.5°C to 27°C). This is the ideal temperature where succulents love to live. Some of them can tolerate the extreme temperature conditions of 40°F (4°C) and 90°F (32°C) where it is likely that it can change color. If your succulent inside the box has changed color due to temperature then don’t worry it is healthy.

Be aware that if you are ordering a succulent or you are moving to a place where the temperature is lower than 40°F or higher than 90°F then you have to take precautions like including Heat packs specifically made for plants which keep your succulents from freezing.

2. Light

This is the actual factor that can kill your succulent in the box. Succulents slowly start deteriorating after a limited time of 10 days. It is very important to know that succulents cannot stay long without light.

Below are the observations made after keeping succulent (Echeveria) inside the box for 10 days in normal conditions (indoor):

  • Succulent’s color will slightly fade away.
  • Its growth would likely start distorting.
  • The leaves would grow larger and far apart as the plant would start stretching from the center in search of light.
  • It would become more fragile.

If the succulent is kept for a month without light, then it would start dying.

3. Water

This is not an issue for this drought-tolerant species as they can tolerate the lack of water for three months. In fact, you have to keep this thing in mind that you don’t have to water it 4-5 days prior to their packaging and shipping. This will prevent the chances of rotting of the succulents as the moisture content of the soil will increase as after packing there will no air circulation inside the box which prevents the soil from drying out and results in fungal growth.

Methods of shipping the succulents in the box

Before packing and shipping the succulents, just check with the destination’s Department of Agriculture to verify that the particular species of succulents are allowed to send to that particular state or country or you can find some help here.

Two main methods that can be used to ship plants to long-distance safely are Bare root and in the container.

How to decide which method to choose completely depends on what kind of plant you want to ship. Professional nurseries usually prefer to send the plants either bare root or in small containers (or pots).

Some plants do better when shipped in small containers rather than bare root. In general, if the plant or its parts are fragile and likely to fall off then it should be in a container.

Method of shipping to make the succulent stay longer in the box

There are two main methods for shipping the succulents in the box which are bare-root and the other one is to ship them in a container.

Bare root

You must be wondering why or how succulents without soil in a container can survive!! Is it feasible? But trust me I found this method way too safe and easy. Take the succulent out of the pot or garden gently and remove the excess soil stuck to the roots, if you see any brown/black roots then cut them as they are already rotten. Leave the plant out on a mesh or strainer until the roots get dry to make them live longer by keeping the roots healthy.

When the roots are completely dry, wrap them with tissue paper or paper in general. If the succulent is spiky then better to have some extra layer of paper as protection and it won’t damage the other plants either.

Using container or small pots for shipping

As mentioned earlier in this post, use the container only when the plants have some fragile bits that are likely to fall off while shipping or moving to ensure that your precious succulents stay long.

There is not much difference in shipping the plants in containers from shipping them bare root. Wrap the pot and plant properly and should not water the plants 4-5 days from the date of packing. Here it is explained in detail about wrapping a succulent.

So if you are using containers then I’ll recommend you to have plastic bins, nursery flats, and trays, or small containers to pack and move your succulents in the box.

Using the above-mentioned containers will help to minimize the spoilage of soil and falling off inside the box because of vehicle movement and keep the plants stand straight.

You have to ensure two things here:

  1. Cover the surface of the pot or container to avoid soil spillage.
  2. Do the above one only when the soil in the container is completely dry.

Caution: Once you pack the succulents in the box, Please make sure that you have marked outside the box which side is up as well as to prevent tipping.

Why paper should be used to wrap the succulents?

The reason behind using paper is that paper can absorb the moisture from the succulents and can prevent that plant’s root from getting rot. Moreover, paper can possibly help the plants to do an exchange of air.

But instead of paper if we use plastic to wrap the plant then no doubt that will help keep the dirt in but also moisture. If you’re quite sure that your plant is totally dry then only you should use plastic wrap.

Unboxing the Succulents

For unboxing the succulents, the first and foremost thing that you have to keep in mind is that look for the direction of opening the box, mostly all the professional nurseries do that if the succulents are not shipped bare-root.

After gently open the box follow the below steps:

  1. Carefully remove the packing material.
  2. Don’t put the plants immediately in the sunlight.
    • Succulents are greenhouse plants and they need to get acclimated to sunlight gradually.
    • Put them in some shaded or area where they can have indirect sunlight, and slowly introduce them to the direct sunlight.
  3. If plants you received are –
    • in a container/pots then give those plants some days to recover, and then repot if required.
    • Bare-rooted then pot them immediately in well drainage succulent and cactus soil mix.

Hopefully, if the plants that you have received are mushy or unhealthy then they should perk up after getting a good soak from watering. Visit this page in case if you want more info about unboxing and it contains a video as well for a better demonstration. Visit this page in order to know what should be taken care of while and after receiving the shipment.

Learn even more about succulents!

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