How To: Packing Delicate Plants for Road Trips

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Plants in the car.

The Burro's Tail & Jade Plant have been through a lot. Such as one cross country drive...and now another. I'd say the first drive worked best, as they were rather short and could be stashed out of the way on the dashboard. The return road trip started with the burro's tail flying from the back toward the windshield. A dance move that the jade plant would follow a few days after.

So here's how I re-packed the Burro's Tail succulent for travel. It seemed pretty effective, although it's still in shock from its first nose dive. Hopefully it recovers. If I were to do start the road trip over, I'd trim the longer branches of the burro's tail and propoagate them giving me a short dense/stocky plant. And then I'd follow the packing instructions below.

  1. Materials
    1 cardboard box slightly taller than the plant. Scrap cardboard or packing materials. A plastic cup (optional). Shrink wrap (or Ziploc bag filled with holes, large enough to encase the cardboard box). Scissors. Delicate succulent/plant.
  2. Create cardboard foundational support
    Disassemble shallow cardboard box into strips, fold into zigzags, place in larger box.

    I suppose if you didn't have another cardboard box to cut into strips, you could probably use styrafoam, bubble wrap, newspaper, or other packing material. The point is just to put enough in their to hold the plant pot in place. I did this in a hotel room on the road, and happened to have a second shallow box to use. If you're transporting a vine-y plant, you don't want to fill the packing in all the way to the top of the box, the vines need somewhere to rest!
    1. Disassemble smaller cardboard box into strips, fold into zigzags, place in larger box.
  3. Place cup of dropped succulent leaves in zigzags
    Rearrange cardboard zigzag pieces to secure cup. Stuff is going to fall off your plant, it's nice to have a dedicated little cup to hold the odds and ends so they can be propagated later.
    2. Place cup of dropped succulent leaves in zigzags
  4. Place plant in middle of cardboard zigzags
    Zigzag/packing materials should be rearranged to hold the plant pot in place. If the plant shifts around in the box during transport, it may cut off/kill some of its vines.

    This burro's tail (in a small pot) is shorter than the walls of the box, which is key for transporting the plant.
    3. Place plant in middle of cardboard zigzags
  5. Shrink wrap middle of box.
    Don't airtight wrap it! You just want enough to keep the plant from falling out if the box goes flying. And to protect the plant from other things that may rest on it in the car.
    4. Shrink wrap middle of box.

The plant flew from its original resting place and I had to cut/propagate a bunch of vines. I'm expecting mixed success on rehabilitation. Looks about right.
Burro's Tail after 2 weeks on the road.


missris said...

You are so organized it makes me feel like a slacker slob!

rooth said...

My poor plants barely survive a repotting, much less a cross country shift

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