Check State Regulations Before Shipping Plants

It’s the time of year when many of us are planning our gardens, planting seeds and getting ready for the gardening season. As time goes on we can share the bounty by trading seeds and plants or swapping them.

Be forewarned that most states have specific regulations regarding shipment of living plants across their borders. These are rules that need to be followed for the safety of crops and ecosystems. California and Hawaii are the most restrictive on what plants can be shipped there.

Some states recognize berry plants and any vine as nursery stock which would require permits and inspections to certify that no pests are present before shipping. Not something to be taken lightly. Other states aren’t as restrictive, but in most cases it is ok to ship seeds and carefully packaged flower and vegetable plants, including herb plants.

Check the laws in your state before you ship. The National Plant Board has a convenient listing of all 50 States with links to their state regulations on plant protection.

Shipping plants successfully requires that the plant’s roots retain moisture in such a way as to not get the packaging or foliage wet. See the best way to ship live plants.


Best Way to Ship Live Plants

If you’re interested in shipping seeds or herbs through the mail, it certainly is possible. With the number of nurseries and greenhouses around, I’m sure it’s done every day.

The best method for packing green plants for mailing is to use damp newspaper to cover the roots and plastic bags to retain humidity around the foliage. Check these links for great explanations:

The best tip is to make sure not to get the foliage wet. If the greenery does get wet, tamp it with paper towels and let dry before packing in plastic bags. Any herb leaves that are wet during transport will rot.