How to ship flowers and plants

 

To help ensure that your fresh flowers and live plants arrive in top condition, follow these instructions for packaging and shipping with us.

Steps for how to ship floral arrangements

Steps for how to ship floral arrangements

Packaging floral arrangements

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Secure arrangement in the box

Secure floral arrangements inside a box using cable ties or bands secured to the box or to an insert to prevent shifting of the arrangement during shipment.


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Secure vase in the box, if applicable

If you are shipping a vase with the arrangement, also secure the vase inside the box. We recommend a corrugated divider to separate the vase from the flowers. If the vase is fragile, use additional packaging materials to cushion the vase and protect it from damage during shipment. Ship vases or containers without water; shipping with water is prohibited because it may leak during shipment and cause product damage or safety issues.


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Seal and label the package

Seal and label package instructions

Using the H tape method, apply at least three strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide to both the top and bottom of the carton to protect the package and its contents. Tape all seams or flaps.


Steps for how to ship plant seedlings and plugs

Packaging plant seedlings and plugs

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Secure in a corrugated tray

Plant seedlings and plugs are fragile and difficult to secure in the shipping carton, so they require special attention. We recommend a corrugated tray with a top pad designed to push lightly against seedlings or plugs to secure them in their plastic tray during shipment. This packaging method works best with leafy seedlings and plugs, not tall and spindly plant material. Using plastic mesh over the plant plugs will provide added security.

The moisture content of the soil is also an important consideration during shipping. If the soil is too dry, plugs are more likely to spill out of the plastic tray. If the soil is too wet, the corrugated tray may weaken from the moisture. Since you cannot secure plant plugs individually inside the plastic tray, you can expect some plugs to be dislodged during transit and some soil to sift out of the plastic tray, so plan accordingly when preparing your shipment.


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Seal and label the package

Seal and label package instructions

Using the H tape method, apply at least three strips of pressure-sensitive adhesive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide to both the top and bottom of the carton to protect the package and its contents. Tape all seams or flaps.


Steps for how to ship plants

Packaging plants

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Secure plants in a box using corrugated dividers

When shipping plants, secure them to prevent movement inside the shipping carton. If the plant shifts inside the carton, it can cause breakage of plant stems and leaves, so we recommend using a corrugated divider that locks the pot into place.


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Secure pot in a box

The soil inside the box must also be contained. Place the pot in a plastic bag and secure the top opening of the bag around the stem of the plant. If the plant does not have a single main stem, you can place paper between the leaves and over the soil and secure it to the pot.


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Seal and label package

Seal and label package instructions

Using the H tape method, close and seal both the top and bottom of the box with three strips of pressure-sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide. Tape all seams or flaps.


Steps for how to ship orchids

Packaging orchids

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Wrap orchids in paper

Wrap the blooms and leaves in paper to provide extra cushioning when shipping. Cold temperatures can be harmful to tropical flowers like orchids, so when shipping to cold climates, make sure your packaging is designed to protect the flowers from temperature variations during shipping.


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Secure orchids in a shipping carton

When shipping multiple orchids, secure the pots in the shipping carton with enough space to keep plants separated during shipping. Contact between the plants’ blooms and leaves can lead to damage.


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Seal and label package

Using pressure-sensitive plastic tape that is at least 2" wide, secure the top and bottom trays by taping all seams. Tape strips should run parrallel to the seams creating a square around the bottom of the box. 

While we cannot ensure compliance with markings such as up arrows or "This End Up," properly placing the shipping label increases your chance of the preferred orientation.


Steps for how to ship flowers in bulk

Packaging bulk flower shipments

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Secure flowers using telescoping boxes

Place bulk flowers in telescoping boxes that accommodate the size of your plant material. Ideally, the boxes should measure less than 38" in length, 24" in height and 26" in width. Use lateral cleats or bands to prevent shifting of the flowers inside the box.


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Secure flowers in a corrugated carton

Choose corrugated shipping cartons constructed with moisture-resistant adhesive, because when the box is precooled, temperature and humidity can weaken it.


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Seal and label package

Using plastic straps or pressure-sensitive tape, seal the top and bottom trays. Make sure the plastic straps are tight but not bending the box. Tape strips should run parrallel to the seams creating a square around the bottom of the box. 

While we cannot ensure compliance with markings such as up arrows or "This End Up," properly placing the shipping label increases your chance of the preferred orientation.


Packaging requirements for shipping flowers and plants

Observe the following general requirements when packaging your shipments:

  • Secure contents inside the shipping container, because directional arrows cannot always be honored, and plants and flowers may be shipped in different orientations.
  • Protect flowers and plants from temperature extremes that may occur during shipment or after delivery at the recipient’s location; for climate protection, see the perishables section of the How to Pack guidelines at fedex.com/packaging.
  • To prevent leaks and spills, ship vases or containers without water and cover soil in pots and plant containers.
  • Place your shipping label on the top of the box to increase the chance of shipment in the preferred orientation.
  • Make sure your shipments comply with any applicable local, state, and federal laws governing shipment of flowers and plants.

Preparing flowers and plants for shipment

From floral arrangements to bulk flowers, seedlings to mature plants, packaging requirements vary based on the contents of your shipment. The instructions and illustrations are provided here to help you develop effective packaging for your shipments.


Our shipping recommendations

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  • Like other perishables, we recommend that flowers and plants be packaged for a minimum transit time of 30 hours and be shipped via FedEx First Overnight®, FedEx Priority Overnight®, FedEx Standard Overnight® or FedEx 1Day® Freight.
  • The maximum acceptable gross weight per package for most FedEx Express overnight services is 150 lbs., including packaging and refrigerant.
  • For overnight shipment of packages with a gross weight of 151 to 2,200 lbs. each, use FedEx 1Day Freight.
  • For overnight shipments, we recommend that you package flowers and plants for a minimum transit time of 30 hours.
  • FedEx does not recommend shipping perishables like flowers and plants via FedEx 2Day®, FedEx 2Day® Freight or FedEx Express Saver ®, but if you choose to, you should package shipments for at least 12 hours more than the delivery commitment time. We do not recommend shipping via FedEx Ground.
  • Avoid shipment of perishable items on days that will require transit on a weekend or over a holiday period.

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Contacts and resources

  • See the perishables section of the How to Pack guidelines at fedex.com/us/services packageshipment/preparing/.
  • FedEx Packaging Services lab, packagingservices@fedex.com or 1.800.633.7019.
  • FedEx field packaging engineers, pkgfield@corp.ds.fedex.com, or contact your FedEx account executive for a referral.

Ready to ship?

Create a shipment online

Create a shipment online even if you don’t have a FedEx account. All you need is the shipping information and a credit card.

Get your package to a FedEx location

Option 1 - Drop off at a FedEx location

Drop your shipment off at a FedEx Drop Box, FedEx Office, Walgreens, Office Depot/Office Max, select Dollar General and grocery stores, or other retail partner locations.

*FedEx custom clinical boxes are only available at FedEx Office Locations.

Option 2 - Schedule a pickup online

Save time and effort by scheduling a convenient one-time pickup online for a small fee. One of our couriers will pick up your shipment from your home, office or other preferred location.


Let us handle the packing and shipping

We can handle all the packing for you to ensure protection and peace of mind. Pricing includes the right FedEx box solution, cushioning materials, and expert packing service backed by the FedEx Office Packing Pledge.


Test your packaging

Reduce damage with expertise from engineers at our state-of-the-art FedEx Packaging Lab. Basic tests are complimentary to FedEx account holders.


Related reading


NOTICE: This packaging brochure is provided to FedEx customers to help reduce loss or damage due to improper packaging. It is NOT intended to be a comprehensive guide for packaging items we accept for transit. We make no warranties, expressed or implied, regarding this information. Proper packaging is the sole responsibility of the shipper. For more information and comprehensive guidelines, contact the FedEx Dangerous Goods/Hazardous Materials Hotline at 1.800.GoFedEx 1.800.463.3339; press “81” or say “dangerous goods,” then press “4” for the next available dangerous goods agent. (Outside the U.S., request to speak to a dangerous goods representative.) Refer to the current FedEx Service Guide for terms, conditions, and limitations applicable to FedEx® delivery services.