I woke up at 5:00. We had a severe wind and rain, and it sounded like the End of the World outside.

Texas weather, you know.

The only thing that bothered me was that our Alumnet shade would fly away. But no, everything was in place, except several small figs in pots fell on the ground.

Today is a shipping day. After a long weekend, more than 20 orders were waiting to be processed.

I started preparations the day before: I gathered all the ordered plants and cuttings on a separate table and cleaned the leaves. I prepared all the potted plants by placing damp cotton discs, cutting them in half around the stem, and securing them with craft masking tape.

Cuttings are waiting in a box with a wet paper towel, covered with a lid so they do not dehydrate.

Hoya plants and cuttings ready for the shipping

I also filled out applications so my inspector could have everything ready on Tuesday morning. (Just a note: Monday was Memorial Day.)

I got more orders during the night and before 8 a.m. I filled out the applications for the orders and was waiting for the phytosanitary certificates.

11:00. I could tell none of the applications were processed. Usually, my balance on the PCIT website shows that. I was sure he had a lot of work in the morning. While waiting for the Phytos, I prepared the boxes and bonus cuttings for the orders from my store.

Shipping boxes for the orders

Several weeks ago, I asked my inspector if he could issue Phytos twice a week. He said he had other responsibilities, so I figured my small business was not that important; no matter if I paid for everything like a “typical” plant nursery, it would not count. Oh, well… If the situation with orders gets twice as loaded, I will contact “the Boss” of our USDA department to resolve the issue. 🙂 But for now, let it be.

As I said, I prepared tags for plants, plastic containers, and small gifts while waiting for the papers.

Plant pins

Also, I decided to test a Ziploc method, shipping cuttings in bags to minimize the use of plastic containers. 

I tried that before, but most cuttings arrived “cooked.” It was winter, and I had heat packs in the boxes, which could be why.

Hoya Cuttings in Ziploc bags

Today, I placed different cuttings in Ziploc bags and put them in the boxes with no extra insulation or packaging. Let it be the starting point. I asked my customers to send me a photo of the cuttings upon arrival and maybe a few words. If there are suggestions or advice, I am open to it.

I have been ordering cuttings from Poland for several years. She sends them in Ziploc bags and an insulated box. Even though most cuttings, especially the tiny ones, come dehydrated, I can recover 90% of the plants.

11:30. I am still waiting for the Phytos. I took several photos of the plants and a few short videos for social media.

11:47. Almost everything is ready (I mean papers)! Yay! Now, I can start packing plants and printing shipping labels.
Noon—Here we go. 

13:29: I received three emails with certificates. 

15:21: done with packing.

Plant orders

It was busy at the Post Office—there was a long line. I had many packages. Scanning more than ten packages at once was not allowed, so I had to return to my car, take another ten boxes, get back in line—and then the third time with three more boxes. 

Long line at the USPS post office

Later that day, I got the package: plant import from Indonesia (I will have a separate post about it). I had to unpack and place plants in the box with wet perlite.

Plant import from Indonesia

19:16 – done for today. 

Nope, not done yet. I made a mistake while preparing orders from Etsy. There were two orders from one customer. I forgot to combine them and sent them in two separate boxes. So, as it was my mistake, I refunded the shipping cost of a second box. 

20:00 – it’s time to get some rest.