The Q&A Archives: Moving Plants, Safely, And As Cheaply, As Possible

Question: I will be moving from Vermont,To Alaska in June of this year. I have been Gardening for ten years, and have thousands of plants, Roses, Shrubs, Perennials. annuals,
Herbs, as well as Peony, Lilac, and Mock Orange, I have
invested a great deal of time, patience, and labor, into
my Gardens, and have started alot of my perennials from
seeds, so I really hate to leave them here! Do you have any sugestions, for me, that would save me the heartache
of leaving them behind? Please Help*if you can?

Answer: First I would caution you that there may be restrictions
on bringing plants into the state of Alaska and through other states so you should
check that out ahead of time. If you are selling your home, the sales contract may also preclude removing any plants from the ground.

You might consider taking cuttings or divisions from some of your plants with you as well as giving some to gardening friends and asking them to save seed for you, and so on. That way you may not have the original plant but you will literally have "a piece" of it in your new garden.

You might be able to pot up some of them (for a short term, plastic bags left open slightly so the plants can breathe work fairly well for irregularly shaped rootballs) and ship them along with your household
goods by a household moving company or possibly a freight
forwarder. An alternative might
be to find an individual who would be willing to drive them
cross country in a heated van or RV -- this sounds like
something some college students might be willing to do over
the holidays to subsidize a trip home.

Finally, I have moved and left my own gardens behind a number of times and it is a very difficult thing to do. Nonetheless, once installed in my new home I am always thrilled to have all that new empty space and quickly become attached to it -- and to all the new and sometimes newly discovered plants I fill it with! Moving always opens so many new gardening opportunities! It also frees you of those gardening design or tree "mistakes" you made five or ten years back. Exploring the new locale and investigating which plants do well there and asking for recommendations from local gardeners is also a great way to make new friends.

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