The Q&A Archives: Transporting flowers and bulbs from MO to CO in January

Question: I am moving to Colorado Springs in January. I would like to take along divisions of my favorite perennials. Any suggestions on preserving divisions during the winter for the move? Also, I have

Answer: I have moved several times and learned that moving plants on your own is not easy, even though leaving them behind can be heart breaking. Also, often the old favorites do not grow well in the new location, or your new garden inspires you to plant new and different things, or in truth it would not be too difficult to purchase replacements or garner starts from new gardening friends once you are settled in your new location.

First off, make sure the perennials you are hoping to take would thrive in Colorado Springs. It would be terrible to go to a lot of trouble only to discover they would not grow well there. Gardening conditions in Colorado are quite different from where you are now. Here is an introduction and some additional gardening information you may find interesting.

If you still want to try this, you might be able to pot them up in late fall, waiting until just before the ground freezes, and store them in a cool location (but above freezing) such as an unheated garage. Water just enough to keep the soil from drying out completely. That way they would be kept dormant just as they would be if left outside in the garden. Make sure they are packed so they will not freeze while in transit. When you get to Colorado, store them again in a sheltered place until you can plant in the spring.

Your African violets will definitely require protection from cold temperatures. If you are driving you may be able to place them in a cooler (for insulation while moving from the house to the car) and keep them with you in the heated passenger area of the car and then bring them into your hotel at night. Be sure to open the box periodically to allow for some air circulation and unpack them as soon as you arrive. If you have many plants, it may be easier to take leaf cuttings than the entire plant with you. You could also ask a gardening friend to keep them for you until spring when it would possibly be feasible to express mail them to Colorado.

Finally you would also want to check with the agriculture departments of the states to be sure it is legal to bring the plants in. Your local county extension should be able to help you with contact information on that. Best of luck with your move!

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