Tuesday, February 15, 2011

How to pack and send rose cuttings through mail

Let me show you how you can share your roses with others.

The joy of having roses in the garden doesn't stop when the blooms age and petals fall on the ground. It is beyond these events. When blooms are spent and dead-heading begins, this is a good opportunity to save some cuttings for friends and neighbors.

Dead-heading rejuvenates my roses to produce more growth and flowers. Sharing rose cuttings builds and strengthens friendships. I could not ask for more from my roses.

This time I am sending some cuttings to my fellow rose lovers from different parts of Malaysia. I usually send rose cuttings via normal/standard mail.

My Kg Pink Classic now has its turn to donate some stems. I noticed the stems were long and arching and just finished flowering, perfect for cutting and enough for give-away.

How to pack rose cuttings for sending via normal/standard mail:

Step 1: 
Of course, get some cuttings first.(How to take good cuttings will be explained in another post)

Step 2:
Wash the cuttings. This will free them from dirts, pests and foreign substance. Don't forget to wash the underside of leaves too. 

This always is the best time to re-evaluate the cuttings, see if they are really good ones. Too spindly or young may not root well, so does too woody.

Step 3:

Soak them in water for few hours to ensure they have adsorbed enough fluid. It's going to be a long journey ahead for these cuttings. Dry cuttings will never get to root.

When soaking, the bottom ends of the stems should be in water. That is the thorns should be pointing down. The leaves should be free from being under water as this will damage them and encourage bacteria/fungus to grow.

Step 4:
Hold stems together and wrap the bottom ends with cotton balls. 

When I am out of cotton balls, I steal some of my facial cotton pads, they work just fine. You may also opt for florist sponges. 

Two or three piece of balls or pads usually are sufficient, depending on the number of cuttings you are sending. Tied these to the bottom ends of the stems with a rubber band. The band should hold the stems together. Be careful when doing this as not to prick your fingers.

I don't snap off the thorns and I don't think you should. Good cuttings are cuttings without any injuries as open wounds are like doors for bacterias to enter and damage the cuttings.

Step 5:
Wet the cottons. It should be wet thoroughly but not dripping wet. Wet cottons works to supply water to the stems.

Wrap the cottons with an aluminium foil and loosely wrap the stems with a piece of wet kitchen/paper towel. This will protect the cottons and stems from drying too quickly. 

The paper towel acts as a blanket covering and protecting the stems and keeping them cool and moist. It helps in absorbing excess water from evaporation and preventing the thorns from sticking out and pricking the envelope.

Step 6:
Place the stems in an A4-size plastic bag. You can have this in any size you like but for the quantity of 4-5 cuttings, the A4-sized plastic bag seems working well for me. Bag too small will cramp the cuttings and damage the leaves. 

Step 7:
Fold the top of the plastic bag and seal it keeping in mind to leave some air in. Be mindful that the cuttings need to breathe too. You gave them water, you also need to give them air!

The inflated bag too will assist in preventing the cuttings from being flatten or folded during posting. It also helps in keeping the thorns away from the envelope/plastic bag.

You may get a thicker plastic bag that is not easily pierced. However, I work with just the normal ones you can easily purchase from grocery or stationary store.

I forgot to put in the paper towel. But sealing should be somewhat like that.
Sealing can be done by running the folded edge along on candle fire. 

Step 8: 
You can wrap the plastic bag with a bubble wrapper for a layer of extra cushion. You may also opt for an envelope that is already bubble-wrap ready (but this can be a bit costly). 

Most of the time I skip this. Thus far, my cuttings are all safely received with or without the bubble wraps.

Step 9:
Put the bag in an A4-sized envelope, seal it and don't forget to tape it as well.

You may want to write the address on first.

I usually write 3 things; the recipient address, the 'Do Not Fold" and my name as sender on the back. I don't usually write my/return address as getting it back after 7-10 days undelivered doesn't serve me any good. The cuttings are a goner by then.

Step 10: 
Stick a stamp and post it. 

For 4-6 cuttings, I would put a RM1 stamp. Please be advised to get the mail weighed at the post office. The cost could be lesser or more than what you thought it would be. Since I do this a lot, the RM1 stamp is usually suffice for that amount of cuttings.

The cuttings will reach the recipient in approximately 3-4 days.

Exchanging and sharing rose cuttings is what rose hobbyists are practicing. It is the easiest and cheapest way of adding new roses into one's collection. It also adds joy and fun in growing roses and sharing always is fun.

Kg Pink Classic:

Kg Pink Classic and Green Apple.
About to unfurl.

Hope these instructions are helpful and hope you find joy in roses and in sharing!

Copyright of Rough Rosa


Malar said...

Very good description and photos for rose lover! It's very informative for me!

Masha said...

This post is immensely helpful! Thank you so much for explaining. I have only received rooted cuttings through the mail so far, but I might have to send some unrooted ones too to share some of the rare roses I grow.

I also enjoyed your trip to the Rose Valley, and will continue to read more of your blog.

It is so nice to meet another rosarian from so far away.

You blog is a treasure.

Stephanie said...

Brilliant idea Rosa Sifu!

Bangchik said...

Thanks for the detailed info. I am sure the same procedure can be applied to other plants....

Natti said...

Next post. How to propagate these cuttings please.

One said...

Thanks for sharing. How long does the stem cutting last?

Thank you for your nice comment.

Malay-Kadazan girl said...

Thank you for the tutorial. Like Bangchik I was thinking that this can be done with other plant as well. A very helpful post. Looking forward for the next post!

Anonymous said...


kita baru je berjinak2 dgn bunga ros
nama atau jenisnya tak diketahui
mungkin dari jenis ros mini kot...
kita cuma nak tanya, kat mana boleh dapat pokok2 ros yg besar macam dalam blog akak nih?

kita suka sangat dgn blog akak ni.

terima kasih =)

ni kita nya email : manjemanja@yahoo.com

James Missier said...

I never knew you can post cuttings in this manner.
I thought by the way the postal service works, the leaves & stem are crushed & the plant a goner.

I would like to know, if I were to ask - what is the rose that is the best hardy and always blooms without any care?
Is there any species that can bloom in the shaded area like my garden?

Rachel said...

Thanks for the information. I wish to know what to do with the cutting after that? Do i just put it in the soil straight away or continue to soak it in water?

AaronVFT said...

Thanks for the tip! Love your gorgeous roses!!

Autumn Belle said...

Very informative and innovative idea. I didn't know cuttings can be sent by mail.

Azreen Afiza said...

Salam Sifu Rosa,

Very informative technique share. Reen baru beli 2 roses after CNY tu.. ikut kata penjual kat nursery tu ros ni tahan panas x macam mini ros.. tapi bila dah abis 1st batch bunga sekarang bunga dia mcm kecik sikit dari asal masa beli.
X cukup nutrien ker ?
Tolong suggest skit mcm mn nak dpt bunga besar2 mcm kat blog sifu Rosa.

KakYang said...

salam puan, tumpang tanya apa beza rose kg pink dengan magentha? saya ada salah satu yg ini, tp kdg2 jd pink, kadang2 jd pink yg hampir merah. (magentha ke tu?)


Sha@Mama Tina said...

Salam kenal sifu rosa..

Saya pun suka tanam ros tapi kekadang tak menjadi la..huhu sedih

more & more info ye sifu..

linked your blog to mine ya..is that ok? thanks!

Mmy Thia said...

Ermmm u jual ke tu...macam mana nak beli eh....

ROUGH.ROSA said...

Malar - Thanks! I am happy the instructions are helpful.
Masha - It is nice knowing u too and your blog is wonderful! I would love to learn from u on how to send rooted cuttings. Would peat moss be the best medium?
Steph, Malay-Kadazan Girl, Aaron, Autumn Belle & BangChik - Million of Thanks!
Natti - I will at some point, though it will be broken down to many parts as propagating mini is different from propagating kampong roses or hybrid roses. I just hope I can find time between my blog and my book writing *sigh*... Thanks for reminding me!
One - it should last the postal transition but no more than 5-6 days.
manje - thanks manje. ros yg besar2 ada kat mana2 nurseri. pastikan dgn bertanya kat sales person tu... Kalau ros datang dari cameron, saiz bunga akan reduce sikit lepas duk kat low-land.. so kena tanya asal mana... kalo nak bunga yg besar yg kualiti maintain kena pastikan ros tu datang dari lowland jugak...
James - Minimal care roses would be from the kampong series and wild roses. 1 tip is to plant roses away from each other to deter attracting rose pests, that is inter-plant them with companion plants. Roses are sun-lovers. Shaded here would mean still receiving 4 hours of sun. Rough Jewel and Medina can be grown shaded.
Rachel - once received the stems must be soaked for at least a day before they're being planted, to freshen them up and add the lost moisture. Dried and drought-stressed cuttings will not root.
Azreen Afiza - kalau saiz reduce ada beberapa faktor; kurang cahaya atau air atau baja. Atau, ros cameron yg di bawak turun dan tanam kat low-land panas... Atau stress transition dari nursery/growers ke garden puan. Ros berbunga besar jika menerima 3 faktor asas yg penting (baja, air, cahaya) dan jika pokoknya sudah besar/matang (bukan pkk anak).
Kak Yang - ros kg pink tu mmg light pink, warna tak berubah. Ros kg magenta tuh pada mata adalah pink gelap tetapi blh berubah ke kaler yg lebih gelap (kemerah-merahan) jika menerima baja yg mencukupi dan di tanam pada tanah yg berlainan unsur.
Sha@Mama Tina - terima kasih kerana ikut blog saya. Saya akan cuba memperbanyakkan info lagi. Jgn putus asa menanam mawar ya!
Mmy Thia - Thanks for visiting my blog. Pada masa ini saya belum menjual mana-mana ros kerana ruang yang tak mengizinkan. Mungkin saya akan buka jualan pada masa depan. T'kasih kerana bertanya.