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miamicuse

Ordering plants online during the winter

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miamicuse

Is it a good idea to order plants online during the winter months?

Even though it may be warm where you are (I am in Fort Lauderdale) and say you are ordering from another warm climate seller, say Hawaii, Texas etc...that the transit may take it through a hub in Chicago, New York or Minneapolis, where it can be below zero, where the parcels may be sitting outside waiting, or being sorted in an unheated space right?

Is this a concern?

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Xerarch

I always wonder the same thing, I'll be interested to see what people's experience has been

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AZ_Palm_Guy

@miamicuse I have not personally ordered during the winter months. I'm located in Arizona and we actually have a mild winter compared to most of the country. I actually do know that a couple of places that I have ordered from in Florida will not ship outside the state from November-March due to the uncertainty of the weather and possibilities of sitting outside. Some places only ship bareroot, so I would say that it could be a problem and possibly kill what you have ordered before it even gets to you. 

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amh

It depends on what type of plant you are ordering. Deciduous are best in the winter, while evergreen and tropical are best in the fall and spring. Gulf and border states are usually safe for shipping tropical plants, I've ordered from southern California to Florida and the packages stay in the south, so as long as there are no crazy cold fronts or storms you should be safe. Northern California sometimes uses Salt Lake city as a hub, so that is the only possible problem I know of.

My best advice is to do what makes you comfortable, so if you do not want to risk cold injury, wait until spring or order from a seller that will let you schedule the shipping.

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Silas_Sancona

I myself order stuff year round and haven't had issues w/ things being damaged..  that said, as mentioned, Spring and Fall are prime time for most things as you typically won't have to worry  -as much anyway-  about the weather being too cold in winter,  or too hot ( pretty important consideration here, esp. during the summer ) < Is something i keep in mind when making trips to various places in Tucson, or S. Cal for plants too. ( Need to stop forgetting to bring a white / light colored sheet w/ me, lol ( to cover plants while on the way home.. ) Tucson to Chandler isn't a long drive, but  some things always end up w/ some degree of cosmetic damage from the heat + sun beating on them on the way home.

Most stuff i pick up online comes from close enough that " layovers " in a cold mailing facility aren't too big of a concern. That said, if it is something really special ( or pricey ), if i can, i might wait to purchase until out of the heart of the  " danger zone " ..say about now until say the 1st week of Feb. for cold,  Late May - 1st < or 2nd > week in July, ..depending on how quickly Monsoon Season moisture begins to temper June's Nuke fest heat  - if concerned about plants that might be especially heat sensitive.

Try to grow as much as possible from seed, which, for the most part, can stand up to weather extremes in transit a bit better than live plants.  Trick is knowing which seed is recalcitrant/ has a short window of viability, and which isn't and being sure the short lived seed is as fresh as possible ..and packaged correctly when sent to me.

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amh
On 12/5/2021 at 3:34 PM, amh said:

It depends on what type of plant you are ordering. Deciduous are best in the winter, while evergreen and tropical are best in the fall and spring. Gulf and border states are usually safe for shipping tropical plants, I've ordered from southern California to Florida and the packages stay in the south, so as long as there are no crazy cold fronts or storms you should be safe. Northern California sometimes uses Salt Lake city as a hub, so that is the only possible problem I know of.

My best advice is to do what makes you comfortable, so if you do not want to risk cold injury, wait until spring or order from a seller that will let you schedule the shipping.

I'll admit I'm wrong, I just checked the shipping status of a package from southern Florida and it is currently in Pennsylvania. 

Logic!

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oasis371

I guess I order depending on the weather around me, so not too concerned in midwinter if we are mild locally, but guess one should consider all the places the plants are passing through en route, and there might be a blizzard in Hawaii while I am in the 70's midwinter here in NJ. . LOL

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miamicuse

When I do tracking on packages often times it is not based on shortest distances, it must have other variables play into it.

One time a package was shipped via USPS from Atlanta to Dallas, along the way it stopped in St. Louis and Los Angeles.

I have also received a package via FedEx, sent from Pompano Beach FL to Fort Lauderdale FL, ten miles apart, but it went through Memphis along the way.

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RyManUtah

I’ve never had a problem with it and all of my mail save for Amazon is routed through SLC. Your package isn’t likely to spend any significant portion of its journey outdoors.. 

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JohnAndSancho

I'm 0 for 2. 

 

I ordered a couple plants from a CA palmtalker that didn't make it after a 30° weekend in El Paso in transit and had some Xmas palm seedlings as a freebie from a San Antonio palmtalker that I think took 3 1/2 weeks to arrive. 3 were DOA and one lived another month or so.  

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oasis371

Probably best to avoid ordering hypertropicals (Cocos, Hyophorbes, Adonidia, etc.) in mid Winter.  Those will be injured by sustained chill and don't need a frost to suffer.

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