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Your guide to cardboard plant box styles

23 January 2024 by
Quickbox Manufacturing Ltd, Lorna Donnelly


  1. Any size and style to suit your plant (VIDEO)
  2. Popular Styles Explained
  3. Custom Inserts
  4. Cut-outs
  5. Handholes & Airholes

1. Any size and style to suit your plant

Packaging plants is often somewhat of a minefield! The beauty of cardboard however is it’s versatility so it’s perfect for creating plant boxes and can be crafted in numerous styles. The video below gives an outline of some of our cardboard plant box styles:

2. Popular styles explained

Cardboard can be tailor made in a huge range of styles to suit your requirements and not only that, these styles can be produced in any size and any quantity. This brings a number of benefits when packaging plants, which are obviously always unique. The right size box will give the best protection, save on shipping space and avoid excess packaging material. This gives an immediate advantage when packaging something with as much size variety as plants. This is often difficult to achieve with plants, however as cardboard is so customisable, any plant can have its own made to measure box giving it the best chance of reaching its destination safely.

The style options are many and varied. Trays can be used to transport large quantities of smaller plants, whereas a medium sized shrub could be packaged in a more standard box style to give 360 degree protection and allow the products to be stacked.  As all living plants are so unique, telescopic boxes can be a great option too as these slide to fit each plant perfectly and provide the best protection, whilst still giving you the option to purchase in bulk quantities. I’ve explained some of the most popular options below:

1. 360 Degree Protection – Standard Box Styles

0201 – The Standard ‘Meet In The Middle’0203 – Fully Overlapping Flaps0300 – Box & Lid

Most companies shipping plants will need to give them 360 degree protection, and there are a number of box styles that offer this.

The standard 0201 box with flaps that ‘meet in the middle’ is the most common style. This strong box style can be used to package almost anything, from smaller potted plants to something quite large like a tree as shown in the image to the right. To add strength and extra layers of protection to the bottom of the box, fully overlapping flaps are a great addition. For larger quantities of shorter plants or perhaps a gift set, the box and lid can be great. The addition of a custom insert to hold the items inside is often beneficial – you can see more on this below.

2. 360 Degree Protection – Die-Cut Box Styles

Die-Cut box styles are also popular when packaging plants. This method of production uses a pre-formed tool to punch the box shapes from sheets of cardboard, which opens up many more style options. It gives the ability to create boxes with a tuck in lid like the the image to the left, or a lid with tuck in tabs like the image below and many more variations! Die-cut boxes normally offer a much better unpacking experience for the customer and the first impression lasts!

3. Telescopic boxes

It’s difficult to think of something which varies in size as much as a plant, which means the 0320 Telescopic Box is often ideal when it comes to packaging them. The 2 halves of the box will slide up and down over each other and allow the box to be adjusted to fit the exact plant size, offering the best protection and saving space during delivery. The advantage of a one size fits all solution is the ability to purchase larger quantities of boxes and therefore improve the price, without sacrificing the safety of your plant. These are often used with larger ‘tree-sized’ plants as the 2 smaller halves of the box can be stored much more easily than if the box was one piece. This also makes packing and unpacking the box much easier as the box isn’t so cumbersome.

4. Open Top Trays

Trays are ideal for transporting large quantities of smaller plants, or even just for storing them. There’s a couple of styles available with the 0200 Open Top Carton being the most common. This is a standard box style but without the top flaps, so it still gives plants the best access to light and oxygen whilst making them much easier to carry. Hand holes can of course be added to make this even easier – you can see more on this below. The Die-Cut versions of these trays tend to have ‘clip-in’ sides which give added strength, as shown in the image below (left).

3. Custom Inserts

Custom inserts are very popular when packaging plants and are a great way to hold your plant exactly where it needs to stay during transit. Whether this be a simple insert with circular cut-outs to hold plant pots, or something more sophisticated as part of a gift set such as the example below, there’ll be a solution to hold your product securely.

4. Cut-outs

Cut-outs are another clever way to secure a plant inside a box, without the additional cost of a custom insert to fit inside the box. These simply require extra slits in the corners of a box, to create little sections that can be popped inwards to secure the plant pot in place, just like the image to the left.

5. Handholes & Airholes

An easily customisable feature of cardboard plant boxes is the addition of breathing holes to give plants the best chance of survival. Alternatively hand holes can be added to most boxes to make handling easier, which then of course double up as air holes. Small holes can also be included in the design to tie back the product and give extra stability. The video further up this page shows these in more detail.

Discuss your cardboard plant box requirements

You’ll realise plant box requirements are many and varied, just like the plants they hold! Everyone’s requirements are different so at Quickbox we make everything to measure, to suite your exact requirements. Hit the button below to see our custom quoting tool, where you can get an instant quote for the standard box styles, or speak to a specialist about the boxes you need.

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Quickbox Manufacturing Ltd, Lorna Donnelly 23 January 2024

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