How Long Can Succulents Live in a Box? My personal experience is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of, Inc. or its affiliates.

Doesn’t matter whether you order succulents from an online seller such as Amazon, or you bought them from a hundred or thousand miles away garden, your concern is always the shipping of the plant. Because succulents are delicate plants, they can die in the process of shipping.

Succulents need sunlight and good airflow. If they are packed in a box, it means that they do not have access to light and oxygen. This can definitely affect them, or even kill them. So, how long can succulents live in a box? Fortunately, most succulents are hardy and can survive in a box without light for about 1-2 weeks. Some growers found that succulents can survive in a paper bag for about a month–which tells a lot about how resilient these small plants are!


Temperature and humidity play a big role

It is important to keep in mind though that many factors can affect the health of a succulent plants in a box. Probably the most important is temperature. Although succulents are hardy, some of them are vulnerable to extreme cold or hot temperature.

If you are transporting your succulent plants to a certain place during winter, you should take this into account. Online sellers are aware of this, and they will typically do what they can to keep succulents safe during the shipping process. But I have also a negative experience, so success isn’t guaranteed here.

Another thing to consider is humidity–you should pack the succulents in a way that high humidity does not reach them while you ship them from point A to point B. Because of bad aeration in the box, extreme humidity can severely damage the succulents in less than 48 hours.

How to ship a succulent as a gift?

It is hard to ship plants in general, considering how fragile they are. Bad handling can result in a disaster. On the other hand, succulent is a great gift for any plant lover or even for a kid ready to care for their first ever plant, and learn many important live lessons along the way.

So, how will you ship succulents to someone living a thousand miles away? It is challenging to say the least… Honestly, as a sender, you have no control over the shipping process. It is the company that transports the plants and their fate depends on them.

However, you can take some precautions at least. The first thing I can suggest is to send multiple plants to your loved ones. This way you have more chances of success. If a few succulents die, probably a few remain healthy, and they have at least something. If the recipient of the gift is near you, but you order succulents from a seller who with a warehouse a thousand miles away, consider ordering the plants early so that if some of them die in the process, you still have time to order a replacement.  The last option– and probably the safest one, is to order seeds. As long as the seeds are healthy, your loved one can plant them. Of course though, most people prefer to donate a plant than just a seed :).

Few tips for successful succulent shipping

The first thing you need to consider is the packaging. If you ship succulents in a box, make sure that the box is durable enough to protect the fragile succulents inside. You know how it goes with delivery drivers… They see “fragile” on a box, but they may still handle it without needed precautions.

Second, make sure that you research on plant shipping regulation of the place or region you send succulents to. Some states or countries have restrictions when it comes to receiving plant shipments. So make sure that shipping plants are legal in the place of your recipient.

Third, when shipping succulents, it is better to ship them bare-foot. The reason for this is that it prevents the rotting of the succulents. Also, because there will be no sunlight and airflow inside the box, succulents will be prone to bacteria and fungi infestations. Shipping them bare-foot will prevent these issues from arising. What’s more, you’ll save some money on shipping fees this way. Remember that the shipping fee is dependent on the weight of the package. The heavier the plant, the higher the shipping fee. Thus, shipping succulents without pots minimize fees.

What could possibly kill succulents in the box?

When succulents are in a box, there is one main factor that will affect their health. And that is the lack of sunlight. Succulents can survive for weeks or months without water, but they won’t last long without sunlight. Keep it on your mind when packing the plants, and planning the schedule for the delivery.


Final thoughts

So, how long will a typical succulent survive in a box? Succulents can survive in a box for 1-2 weeks. Their hardiness allows them to survive in difficult environmental conditions, even in the box, for longer than most plants would.

If you are planning to ship succulents as gifts, just make sure to take some safety precautions, like I described them earlier in the post.


Related question

Q: Can succulents survive shipping?

A: Yes, succulents can survive shipping thanks to their hardiness. They can live in a box for 1-2 weeks without sunlight and water. In 90% of cases, the shipping process does not take longer than two weeks. Hence if you take the right precautions, most succulents will survive shipping.

Q: How long can succulents live without water?

A: Most succulents can survive up to three months without water before they show symptoms of under-watering. It doesn’t mean that you should test their hardiness though. Check the moisture of the soil regularly and if the soil is really dry, give your plants water…

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