How to Ship Plants & Agriculture

Categories: Plants & Agriculture
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Any plants, produce, grains, seeds, etc. would fall under this category. Make sure to check regulations and laws in other countries/states concerning import of living organisms.

  1. Check with your local florist or nursery or with your local authorities about any restrictions for the country/state you are shipping your plant to.

  2. Keep your plants moist during transport by thoroughly watering in advance, wrapping newspaper around the pot, and placing burlap around the leaves and stems.

  3. Transfer plants from breakable pots into plastic containers.

  4. Place pots in a carton for easier transport.
  1. Moving such large plants should be done when the plant is dormant.

  2. Root the plant a year before you plan to move it. Using a sharp spade, dig a trench around the plant that is about two feet deep and as wide as the spade. In the procs, you will sever the roots. The trench should be three to four feet from a small tree or shrub, five to eight feet from a larger one.

  3. Fill the trench with sphagnum moss. The plant will form a compact root system inside the boundary and will be better able to withstand the move.

  4. Prune the plant well several weeks before transplanting. (Pruning guide from

  5. Wait until you are ready to move the plant, and then dig a trench in a circle at least a foot from the crown. Dig down at least two feet, separating a ball of earth that includes the roots.

  6. Rock the ball gently back and forth until it moves loosely, and you can lift it out of the hole. Use a board for leverage, and get help for this part of the process - even small shrubs are heavy.

  7. Set the plant and its ball of soil on a piece of burlap, wrap the burlap around the soil to keep it from crumbling, and move it to a spot protected from sun and strong winds. Remember to slide the plant, never roll it, and take care not to let it drop - roots are fragile.

  8. Wait at least two weeks before replanting. Meanwhile, keep the plant in its sheltered spot and water often and gently, keeping the soil moist.

    For more information regarding the shipment of plants and agricultural products in the US, consult with the USDA.

    For information pertinent to the EU, both the Department for the Environment, Food, and Rural Affairs (DEFRA)and HM Revenue & Customs are helpful.