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.