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Plant Mail 101

These days you can order just about anything online, including succulents and cacti!  At Leaf & Clay, we ship beautiful succulents and cacti to every corner of the U.S. and its outlying territories.  Whether you want one plant or hundreds, each order is given the same amount of care and attention. 

What to Expect When You're Expecting...Succulents!

Whether you're considering ordering succulents online for the first time, or have a Leaf & Clay order on the way, here are a few things you can expect from us:

  1. Leaf & Clay only sells and ships high-quality plants grown under the most stringent horticultural standards. 
  2. All of our succulents are shipped bare-root.  This means that we have removed the plants from their nursery pots and removed most of the dirt from the roots.  This is done both to prevent damage to the plants in transit and to reduce shipping costs.  You will need to have well-draining soil and containers ready for when your order arrives.
  3. We guarantee your 100% satisfaction.  If you are unhappy with your order for any reason, we will do everything we can to make things right! 

Shipping Succulents Safely

In order for our beautiful plants to arrive at your front door in great condition, we have established several shipping practices to ensure a safe arrival:  

  1. The succulents are removed from their nursery pots, stripped of their soil, and set aside to dry if necessary.  
  2. Each succulent is then wrapped in tissue paper to protect them during transit.  The tissue paper serves two purposes; a) to protect the plants from one another and b) to wick away any residual moisture from the root system.
  3. The wrapped plants are then packed into a cardboard shipping box.  The voids within the box are filled with shredded paper or bubble wrap in order to prevent movement of the plants within the box. 
  4. The last step is a bit of a trade secret, but it involves telling the succulents just how beautiful they are before sending them on their way!  Rest assured, we NEVER skip this step. 

While this process requires a significant time investment, we feel it's the best way to demonstrate our commitment to delivering high-quality plants in great condition.  All of our orders are shipped via USPS First Class Mail or USPS Priority Mail, both of which take 1-3 business days to arrive.  Please note that these shipping times are simply estimates and may take longer than anticipated.  Leaf & Clay has no control over what happens to packages after they are in the possession of the USPS.  If your order takes longer than the expected due to a USPS mishap, don't panic; succulents are very hardy and can handle shipping durations of a week to 10 days quite easily. 

succulent soil perlite peat moss sand
Photo: An example of a bare-root succulent.
shipping succulents
Photo: A succulent wrapped in tissue and ready for shipment.
box of succulents
Photo: A box full of carefully packaged succulents ready for shipment.
Photo: All packed up and ready to ship!

Unboxing Succulents

Your package has arrived and it's time to open everything up!  As excited as you may be, please remember to take things slowly and handle the wrapped plants with care, particularly if you are receiving cacti as they may be quite sharp.  Your package will be sealed with standard clear packing tape, or commercial paper tape, both of which can be cut easily with a knife or scissors.

When opening your package, do so from the top as your plants have been packed according to size and weight with heavier, larger plants on the bottom.  The tissue paper used to wrap the your new succulents has likely been secured with scotch tape and may require some finagling to unwrap.  We cannot express enough how important it is the take this step in the process slowly; haste will lead to broken leaves, pricked fingers, and unnecessary plant bruising.

Be sure to double check all of the packing material as to avoid accidentally discarding one or more plants from your order.  We have had multiple customers contact us regarding missing plants, only to later discover them in the trash can, still neatly wrapped in tissue paper.  :-)

The Next Steps

So now what? You've received your order, unboxed your plants, and have a pile of "naked" succulents on your kitchen table.  It's time to get planting!

Check out our Guide to Planting Succulents, or head back to The Ultimate Succulent Care Guide