This is a joint blog post that will be featured on both Joi-Knows-How.com and TheHousePlantMomma.com. As there are two voices, we have included our names to show who is speaking. We both thank you for reading and hope you enjoy our post!
Allison: Every once in a while the universe places someone very special in your path. It is never happenstance, but it might feel that way. However, when you meet that person, you can tell right away that they are going to have a positive impact on your life.
That’s how it was when I met Joi of Joi-Knows-How.com.We both began our blogging adventure last summer (2017), and connected via Instagram. Right away, we could tell that while we had many differences, we had a lot in common – specifically, our hearts and our love for plants. We instantly hit it off!
Joi: I wish I could remember the exact post where I first discovered Allison on Instagram. I found her feed to be so inspiring and as a fellow plant-lover, it took no time at all for us to connect. We quickly began liking and commenting on each other’s posts and having side chats where we learned more about one another. I suppose it was only a matter of time before our digital friendship would turn into something more tangible. You know that saying “plant people are the best people”? One of the reasons I know that to be true is because of kindness and genuine friendship I have found in Allison.
Allison: After a few months of getting to know each other, Joi and I decided it would be fun to send each other a “plant care package.” This package was destined to be full of plant-related goodies, a handwritten note, and best of all – some plant clippings from our own plant babies.
I had so much fun taking cuttings from my small (at that time!) plant collection, watching them propagate in water, just waiting for them to be ready to send to Joi. I also had a blast collecting goodies to add to Joi’s package. It seemed like everywhere I went, I kept seeing little plant-related things I want to add – I had to reign myself in!
Finally, it was time to send the box! With excitement, I took Joi’s box to UPS, and with fingers crossed that everything would arrive in perfect shape, sent the box off. I was going to try to surprise Joi with her package, but as soon as I sent it, I texted her that she should be expecting a box within a few days. I counted down until the expected delivery day, and was thrilled when I got the text that the package had arrived!
Joi: “Just shipped your package!” Imagine my excitement when I received this text from Allison! A few days later a box was waiting for me on my doorstep. I braced myself, grabbed my phone (one must document these things!), and opened my box. I moved aside some tissue paper to reveal several clippings, starter plants, a vintage plant book, plant sticky tabs, and several other goodies. The best part though? Allison’s handwritten notes.
Seeing the thought and effort Allison put into making these notes for me (she even did the watercolor technique on the paper herself) moved me to tears. I immediately sent Allison a long text expressing my gratitude and proceeded to carefully remove the clippings from the package and placed them in water so that that they could continue to grow. The notes still hang up on the wall in my office next to my desk.
Although I had received Allison’s package, I was not finished getting hers together. I had this grand idea of decorating a shoe box with some botanical paper and adding a giant paper Monstera leaf on top. It came out even cuter than I imagined it would!
While I was waiting on my clippings to root, I visited the dollar store (and the dollar section at Target) to find some cute stationary to add. For my own handmade touch, I made Allison a set of cactus greeting cards. Because Allison’s package to me had been so thoughtful, I wanted to be sure that I showed my appreciation in the package I sent in return. Putting all the clippings together to ship was a very simple process (we’ll tell you how to do that in a moment), and the payoff of returning the feeling of happiness she had brought to me was priceless.
Allison: When my package from Joi arrived, I was over-the-moon thrilled! All of her hard work to make the outside of the box beautiful did not go unnoticed, and made the arrival of the package that much more exciting! I carefully went through each item Joi had included – each leaf clipping and succulent leaf, stationary item, and the amazing handmade greeting cards – with a smile on my face. However, the item that touched me most was the narcissus bulb that Joi included. Several weeks before she sent my box, she had seen a post on my IG feed of some gorgeous narcissus blooms that I had spotted at my local nursery. With this in mind, she bought me my very own bulb so that I could add this beauty to my home! This attention to detail and level of thoughtfulness truly touched me, and made our plant exchange just THAT much more special!
Exchanging plant clippings with friends can be a fun way to expand your own plant collection. However, my favorite part of exchanging clippings this is the sentimental value that each new plant takes. I love looking around my home and seeing special plants that have traveled from afar to join my plant family.
Now that we’ve shared the joys of sending a plant care package, let’s talk about how you can send one of your own.
HOW TO SEND A PLANT CARE PACKAGE
1. Gather Clippings
The first step in sending a plant care package is to gather clippings from plants that you would like to share with friends. We would suggest taking clippings from plants that are hardier, as sometimes the more delicate plants (especially ones with very specific needs for light and water) do not survive the journey to a new home.
Once you have gathered your clippings, put them into water to begin growing roots. (If you are unfamiliar with water propagation, check out Allison’s blog here.)
Plants propagate at different rates, so if you feel as if it’s taking forever, don’t be discouraged. More hardy varieties (Pothos, Spider Plant, as well as many succulents) will root quickly, while those that are less hardy (String of Hearts, Hoya) may take longer. Until your plant cutting is completely dead, do not lose heart! Roots are very likely to appear if you’re patient.
2. Package Your Clippings
Before packing your clippings, you’ll need to make sure they are ready to send. How do you know when your clippings are ready? Look for well-established roots and foliage that looks healthy and strong. If your roots have not yet developed, there’s a good chance that the plant will not survive the trip or will not be able to survive once placed in soil. Also, if you plant is struggling in water, the shock of being transported could be too much, and your plant may not make it. We suggest placing multiple clippings in water to increase the chances of having at least one with strong healthy roots that will be ready to send.
When packaging up your plant clippings keep in mind these important elements:
- Do everything you can to keep your plants moist, but not wet. For plants that are taken out of water propagation to send, a great technique to ensure that they remain moist is to wrap the roots in a wet paper towel and then wrap the paper towel in a piece of saran wrap or a Ziplock baggie. Secure the plastic around the base of the plant (with enough room that you aren’t damaging the roots themselves) with a small rubber band or a twisty-tie, or simply zip the bag up around the stem.
Ship out your plant packages as soon as they have been prepared; you don’t want to waste any precious moisture by delaying your shipment.
Once you have put your moistened plants into bags and into a box, be sure to use soft packing matter – crumpled up tissue paper or newspaper works great – to ensure that your plants don’t shift in transit. On the other hand, don’t pack your plants so tightly that the leaves could be damaged. Think of it as creating a nice, soft pillow around your plants, rather than wrapping them tightly.
3. Add Some Plant Swag
One of the best parts of sending a plant care package is finding fun little add-ins. Plants are super trending right now, and it’s easy to find awesome little plant-related items to include with your cuttings. The Target Dollar Spot, Dollar/$.99 Store, etc. are even great places to look! Being thoughtful and finding fun little gifts doesn’t have to break the bank.
If you want to include something that costs a little more, there are many unique plant-related gifts available, especially on Etsy. Hemleva and the Apartment Botanist have beautiful plant themed enamel pins. Handheld and Co. sells lovely botanical-themed note cards and adorable pins and patches! Joi just launched her Etsy shop, full of gorgeous botanical photography prints.
4. Include a Personal Touch
Don’t forget to add a personal touch to your package with the addition of a handwritten note! This practice is a forgotten art in today’s world, but this simple gesture can be so fun and meaningful. Both of us have been working on our own hand-lettering techniques, so we have used packages as an opportunity to practice!
5. Ship Your Package
Here in the US, there are two main options for shipping: either the United States Postal Service (USPS) or UPS. Tracking is available through both services, and pricing is very competitive.
Allison: The only upper hand that UPS has over USPS is that in certain parts of the States (for example, where I live in Central Ohio) the USPS has a terrible reputation for meeting their delivery dates. I bought a plant from someone in Florida, who mailed me the plant via USPS. While the Post Office said the plant had been delivered to me, it never arrived. It took over a week for my order to arrive. Amazingly, the plants have survived and are in good condition, but depending on the hardiness of what you are shipping, this wouldn’t always be the case.
Joi: Also be mindful of what you choose to package your items in. Remember that super cute box that I decorated for Allison’s package? Welp, it didn’t fit into a flat rate box and I ended up paying way more than intended to send it out! I had to use a bigger box and then purchase a second box to put in to fill up the empty space, which could have been avoided if I used a smaller box. Instead of decorating a shoe box that is difficult to ship, consider reusing an Amazon box or purchase a flat rate box to fill so that you don’t run into major fees.
6. When Your Package Arrives
As soon as your package arrives, OPEN IT! (As if you’d do anything else – HA!)
But seriously, you will want to get your cuttings out of the box and into sunlight/water as soon as possible. We, personally, recommend putting them back into water for a week or so to get them acclimated to their new climate and humidity conditions. You can always put rooted plants directly into soil, but keep in mind this might cause them more shock.
Allison: My favorite part of the whole plant care package process is waiting in eager anticipation for my package to arrive at its destination. Finding meaningful gifts for friends, and knowing that they are going to LOVE what I sent, is the best feeling ever!
Joi: Making meaningful connections via platforms like Instagram is becoming more and more common. In the plant community, people tend to be so warm and friendly. Connecting with a fellow plant-lover by sending a plant care package is a unique and fun way to make even stronger connections. You really ought to try it!
Be sure to follow us on Instagram (@joi.knows.how and @the.houseplant.momma) because we will be hosting an AMAZING giveaway – starting next Monday, July 16! – to celebrate this blog post. You won’t want to miss it!
Thank you so much for reading our post, we hope you enjoyed it! Please feel free to comment with any further questions. Are you thinking of sending a plant care package of your own? We would love to hear all about it!
Until next time,
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