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How Long Can Succulents survive in a box?

Let’s say that you have ordered some succulents from a site, and you want to know how long the succulents can survive in a box. That’s a legitimate question because of how shipping can be dangerous to the plant, but it gives you access to a greater variety of species. However, you might worry that your precious succulents will die in the process.

How long can succulents survive in a box? Without any light and a lack of soil, you can expect your succulents to last anywhere from one to two weeks. Some people have talked about how they left their succulent in a closed paper bag for a month, and it was fine. This is a hardy plant.

What if My Plants Arrive Dead?

A good question that a lot of people might have, usually, the seller refunds your money. Provided you bought from a trustworthy source, they issue a refund. That said, it would be a huge disappointment to buy a plant and have it arrive brown and lifeless.

Because of that, you should look for sellers who will not only offer a guarantee, but they also promise to ship in a timely fashion. You want your plant to arrive as soon as possible. If that’s a problem, look for someone who can do it faster. Plants weren’t meant to survive in a box, but luckily, succulents come from the desert, and they have a hardy nature that makes it easier for them to survive this.

That said, it has been known to happen where the plant arrived, and it wasn’t alive. For that reason, you should buy from reputable sources who will cover you if this happened. For the soft succulents, your supplier should ship the plant for arrival after three days to avoid the death of the plant. In general, for most succulents, an acceptable arrival date is anywhere from three to five days to make sure that they arrive in tact.

What Can Impact the Survival of Your Plant in a Box?

The temperatures can have an impact on succulents. While hardy succulents can ship all winter long without a problem, you do have some succulents that require more help. For the extra cold areas, a good supplier will do their best to ship the plant for arrival within three days. This ensures that it gets there on time without a problem.

The Plant Died: What Now?

Provided you have bought from a reputable seller, they will issue a refund without a problem. The one thing to keep in mind, however; some sellers require that you take photos of the dead plant on arrival. While it might be tempting to throw it in the garbage right away, you may want to snap a couple photos as evidence that your plant arrived dead.

Some sellers require this as proof, and you don’t want to be out the money because you didn’t take pictures of it and threw it away without thinking. A trustworthy supplier will do their best to accomodate you for the plants. The death of a plant in transit can and does happen from time to time.

What if I Want to Send This Out as a Gift?

Let’s say that you wanted to send out a succulent as a gift for Mother’s Day or Christmas, and you worry that the plant won’t survive. It wouldn’t be a good Mother’s Day or Christmas present if the plant arrived dead. One way that you can get around this is to first have the plant shipped to your house. In this way, if it were to arrive dead, you could simply replace the plant with something else. The recipient of your gift would never know about it or feel disappointed.

Maybe your loved one lives hundreds or even thousands of miles away to where that isn’t possible. What else could you do?

First, succulents are a good choice because of their hardiness and likelihood to survive in a box. However, if you feel deeply worried, one of the things that you could do is to buy multiple succulents for your loved one. In this way, even if one were to arrive dead, they will still receive two or three more that will offset the loss of the one. The risk that all of them arrive dead isn’t likely.

The other thing that you can do is to add the shortest shipping time possible to decrease the chances that your plant won’t make it. You could also choose to buy it as a seed to ensure that your loved one can plant it when it arrives.

What if I Plan to Ship It Myself?

Let’s have a look at some of the best practices for shipping plants to ensure that your succulents arrive happy and healthy. While succulents have a hardiness to them that makes them worth the purchase, you want to do as much as you can to lower the burden on them. For example, choose strong and quality packaging.

In addition, before you ship to a certain region, make sure that the law allows shipping to this country. In some cases, it might be illegal because of how they don’t want the foreign seeds mutating with the local seeds. Check with the agricultural department to ensure this.

The best shipping practices with succulents is to ship them bare-root. You have multiple reasons for this. First, it prevents the rotting of your succulents because of the presence of water content. Second, the zero sunlight and lack of air circulation can lead to the growth of harmful bacteria and fungi.

You also save on shipping when you do it bare-root. The post office charges based on weight, and the soil adds a lot of weight. In addition, shipping it bare-root prevents the spilling of the soil, which can create quite a mess for whoever opens it.

Finally, shipping your succulent bare-root in a box ensures that etolation doesn’t occur. With the lack of sunlight and possible plant growth, this can lead to the formation of a weak root and stem. That means that the succulent will have a higher chance of dying.

What Kills Succulents in the Box?

In general, it isn’t the lack of water that will kill your succulent in the box. Succulents have been known to go for as long as 3 months without water. It’s the lack of sunlight that will most likely kill it, but even then succulents are hardy plants that can survive things that ordinary plants couldn’t survive.

To learn about how long succulents can survive without water, check out my post How Long Can Succulents Go without Water.

How to Find a Reputable Seller

To ensure that it doesn’t matter if your succulent arrives dead, be sure to buy from a reputable seller. How do you find a reputable seller of succulents? First, a reputable seller will offer a guarantee upfront for a full refund if the plant doesn’t arrive alive.

Second, look for sellers who have a long and proven track record of excellence. For example, you might look at their ratings to see that they have many satisfied customers. Also, when they first opened their business matters. Usually, you can trust business that were established five to 10 years ago.

You also find how many sellers won’t sell a live plant because of the need for a phyto certificate. This attests to the plant meeting phytosanitary conditions for export. Because of that, you may even find it more worth your time to buy the plant from seed.

What Happens if My Seller Refuses a Refund?

You have had cases where people buy from a seller only to get a dead plant. When they go to request a refund, the seller tells them to find the deepest dock and leap in. Nothing worse than this kind of seller, and you shouldn’t support them. In some cases, the succulent arrives in the box dead, but you also have cases where the seller fails to ship it altogether.

What do you do in these cases? For cases like this, you buy with Paypal or with a credit card to back yourself up. They can’t rip you off because Paypal and credit card companies will literally force them to play fair. They take the money right out of their account if they refuse.

That said, you should understand the deadline for this opening a dispute. For example, Paypal allows you 180 days to get a refund. With credit cards, it depends on the company. You also have to be careful not to pay off your debts before your plant arrives because you can’t file a dispute if you pay it off and it arrives dead.

In general, you shouldn’t have a problem with your succulent arriving in the box and healthy because these plants are quite hardy. They usually ship between five to seven days, and they ship in three days for more time-sensitive plants. There have been cases where the plant died because of seller neglect, but again, you can usually get coverage for this. The key here is to pay with either credit card or with Paypal.

Use a payment method that will cover you if the succulent were to arrive dead.

How Long Can Succulents go without Water?

Perhaps you have just entered the wonderful world of succulents, and you find yourself thinking about how often you will have to water succulents. You have a few things that you need to keep in mind with this. Let’s have a look at this question and figure out how to proceed.

How long can succulents go without water? How long succulents can go depends on the species and the size and age. For small homegrown succulents, water them once or twice per week. Succulents can usually last between two to four weeks without watering, but some can last for 3 months.

Origin of Succulents

To understand why succulents can go so long without water, you should first understand the origin of them. Succulents originally came from dry and arid climates like deserts. You do have some succulents that experienced rainfall like orchids, but they will grow branches or in areas where they may not see as much rain.

This has become one of the reasons that succulents can go for so long without water. Out in the wild, some species of succulents have been known to go for as long as nine months without water.

Beware of Cold and Wet Conditions

No succulent likes cold and wet conditions, and this can lead to a condition known as rot if you leave them to it for too long. Another important thing to know, many species must have several hours of sunlight per day if they will produce flowers.

Hardy Plants Can Go a Long Time

Succulents account for 15 percent of garden center sales because of how they don’t die easily. If you want a plant that will last a long time without water, succulents have a reputation as some of the hardiest plants.

In fact, you have stories of people who might have taken a slip while out and walking. The individual put it in their pocket and forgot that they had it. They found it one week later to drop it into a dish of water, successfully plant it and have the plant survive. The way that they survive the worst conditions has made plants like this popular. It’s a great way to get started with plants because they don’t die easily.

Succulents categorize as xerophytic, which means that they don’t require as much water for survival. With that said, they still do need some water to survive.

How to Water Your Succulents

The best way to water your succulents is through what is known as the soak and dry method. You first soak the soil completely. After you have done this, you will dry it out completely before you water it again. Don’t worry, succulents can last a long time before they risk dying from a lack of water.

When you go to water your succulents, you want to check to see that you put the succulents in soil that drains easily to keep from plant rot. For example, the pot should have a drainage hole in the bottom to let the water out.

Watering Indoor Succulents

Let’s say that you want to water indoor succulents. In general, it would be best if the water doesn’t touch the top of the leaves. That’s because if the water sits on the leaves for too long, it can cause rot. Understanding how succulents differ from other plants can prove especially helpful.

The biggest danger with succulents isn’t that you would underwater them. The biggest danger comes from overwatering them. To water indoor succulents, you might grab a squeeze bottle or a small spout watering can.

Watering Outdoor Succulents

Outdoor succulents differ in that you don’t have to worry as much that you will overwater them because of how more airflow takes away the excess water. They dry more quickly.

With outdoor succulents, you can pour water over them until they have become soaked. That said, don’t water your succulents again until they have completely dried out.

Remember: We want to use the soak-and-dry method because that seems to work the best with succulents.

How Often Should I Water My Succulents?

You don’t have a universal time period for when you should water your succulents. However, you may find it useful to water it anywhere from between 10 days to 14 days. That marks a good frequency, and it keeps your succulents alive.

Pay attention to the individual plant, and if it seems to do good with that schedule, keep with it. If it doesn’t seem to do as well, try another watering method. You want to individualize this to each plant and adjust as you see fit.

Don’t water them too much because of the succulent’s proneness to rot. Wait until the soil dries out completely before you water it again.

Why the Soak-and-Dry Method Works

This usually works because of how it soaks the succulents, but the water soaks them infrequently so that it never leads to rot. Did you know, cacti classify as a type of succulent? In the desert, flash floods happen frequently, and the storms can last anywhere from 24 to 48 hours. Next, you have weeks where no rain whatsoever falls from the sky. That is why succulents are used to the soak-and-dry method, and it doesn’t harm them.

In fact, this helps the plant to develop a healthy root system, and they will develop a stronger system in this way. In this way, too, they can withstand longer periods of drought than many other plant species.

How NOT to Water Your Succulents

With some plants like zebra plants, arrowhead plants and begonias, you might use a spray bottle to mist them. With the exception of orchids, you don’t want to use a spray bottle to mist them because of how this can lead to a weak root system.

With a weak root system, they won’t be as resistant to drought, and your succulents will die more easily. If this happens and you fail to water for a couple of days, your succulents will die. You want plants that will be more hardy and survive anything.

The Right Soil for Watering Your Succulents

The soil that you choose for your succulent is just as important as the watering of your succulents.

You want soil that drains water fast like in the desert. If the soil remains wet for too long, succulents will start to rot. Good draining soil will look gritty, and it will be 1/3 organic, 2/3 inorganic like rock and it will have 1/4 particles in it.

With succulents, traditional plant soil doesn’t work as well because it holds the water for too long, and this leads to plant rot.

To get a soil more suitable for succulents, you can modify soil bought from the store. To do this, you will want the soil to hold the needed water, but you will want it to dry out just as quickly. Also, be aware that most of the nurseries where you buy succulents uses soil that they didn’t design for the long-term growth of the plant. You will want to switch out the soil.

What to Add to Storebought Soil

To get the right consistency with your storebought soil for draining the water, you will want to add this recipe to your mix. In particular, this works best for indoor succulents:

  • 1 Part Crushed Granite
  • 1 Part Turface 
  • 1 Part Pine Bark Fines

This helps the soil to drain the water more easily.

To sum it up, succulents have become a popular plant because of how they’re hardier than many other plant species. They can last a much longer time than some of the other plants without water. In fact, you have stories of wild succulents that have lasted for as long as nine months without water. This also makes them easy maintenance for people who want an easier plant.