Help with transplanting and potting up ground grown plants

jclepine(8b)March 19, 2012

So, remember when I first started on this board and I was afraid to put my plants in the ground since we were just renting etc? Well, six years later, we are moving and I plan on digging up my little plants! Since we are moving out of state, I contacted the Oregon Dept. of Ag. to get some tips on what I can and can't bring.

Some of the guidelines are very strict but I'd like to try to meet them.

Here is what I need help with:

"2) Outdoor plants growing in pots must be certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture prior to shipment. In order to be certified the plants must meet the following conditions:

a) pot size is limited to one gallon or less,

b) grown in soiless growing mix (field soil not allowed), and

c) meet one of the following conditions: treated with an approved insecticide, or grown in an approved Japanese Beetle free screen house, or grown outside to the Japanese Beetle flight season.

3) Outdoor plants grown in the ground must also be certified by the Colorado Department of Agriculture. Since field soil is not allowed, only field grown plants that have had all of the soil removed from around the roots are allowed. Colorado Dept. of Agriculture officials can provide certification that the plants have had all soil removed."

I have all the perennials from the swaps that I don't want to let go of and the hardy Canadian roses that I really don't want to let go of, all of which are in the ground.

So, if I can track down the flight season, then I can determine if it will work to dig up the ground plants, remove the soil, treat with my enemy known as "insecticide" and plant them in tiny one gallon pots.

What should I use for soiless mix? Vermiculite? I know there are several choices out there but I have no idea if one is better than another or if one is better for roses.

Is there anytime that it is best to do this? Most of them are well established plants from Skybird, so you probably all know what I have. My main concern is how to dig up the roses properly. Most of them have been happily in-ground for a while, one is only on its second winter and one will be coming out of its first winter, having been planted last year.

I'm guessing that summer is not the best time to dig them up and that I might want to dig them soon. Do I trim the rose roots? Once re-potted, should I treat them differently, more or less rose food? Should I no longer keep them in direct, all day sun once the temps rise?

A couple other questions. They had no concern for any of the plants I listed as long as the above precautions and rules are adhered to. But, being the moral dork that I am, I have concerns that the Campanula punctata "Cherry Bells" is something I should not bring, only because it can get invasive. I love it and it doesn't go wild up here, with my ridiculously short growing season but I'm guessing that it would really take off in Oregon, in that dark, damp soil with a longer growing season. Opinions?

So, there it is. I'm sorry there are fifty million questions in one post!! Any advice is welcome!!



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Skybird - z5, Denver, Colorado

Hi Jennifer,

Are you absolutely, positively certain they knew you were just an Ordinary Person who was bringing a few of your Ordinary Plants with you---rather than a nursery or some sort of a commercial operation who was planning to "import" plants into the state? I've done several searches and I can't find anything at all regulating INDIVIDUALS who are bringing plants into the state for their own personal use! All that stuff you posted above sounds VERY much to me like something we would have been dealing with when I was still in the Green Industry! Maybe I'm wrong, but I kinda suspect if you call the Colorado Dept. Of Agriculture and tell them you want them to "inspect" the plants you dug up in your yard they might--well--have you locked up! ;-)

Go to the site I'm linking and look at the Oregon Word document. That's ALL about commercial operations.

I did find info about not bringing pot (not potS, POT!) into the state---guess you're gonna have to start all over again with seed! :-)

And there's information about Noxious Weeds--which are included on that document.

And while WAY back when, there used to actually be "guards" stationed where you went "into" California to check for Illegal Contraband, even CA doesn't do that anymore, so to whom are you supposed to show your Colorado DOA inspection certificate? I'm not sure how you'd go about checking further! Maybe you should call the Colorado DOA and try to explain to them what you were told to see what they say---and be sure you tell them you're just an Ordinary Person who's planning to dig a "few" plants up in your yard--and will be potting them in a soilless mix, and taking them with you when you move to Oregon. Be sure they know you have NO intentions to either propagate or sell them. And, whatever you decide to do to check further, PLEASE come back and let us/ME know what you find out. With all the people moving here, there, and everywhere these days, I just can't imagine that either the Oregon DOA OR the Colorado DOA is running around people's yards inspecting a few plants here and there.

Now, having said all that! The plants you got from me at the swaps were all grown in Sunshine #1. I'm guessing you're gonna use a fair amount of soil to pot the things you're digging up, so I recommend getting a bale of it (30-some dollars) at Paulino's and use that. Bales are by far the cheapest way to buy soilless mixes since it's compressed and you're getting a lot more than it "looks like." Sunshine mix is also what ALL of Paulino's plants are started and grown in (they sometimes use a different # mix for propagation). I'll repeat this one more time! DON'T buy Hyponex---if you want them to still be alive when you get there! And I don't recommend Miraclegro--WAY overpriced, and extremely inconsistent quality.

For the perennials, as soon as your soil is workable, I'd dig up small divisions (they'll get big again!), knock/wash the soil off of the roots and pot them in the mix, keeping them in the appropriate light conditions till you leave (say it ain't so!!!). You can probably plant many of them in pots that are smaller than a gallon to save space.

I can't imagine you're going to be successful getting a rose that's been growing in the ground into a one gallon pot! Even the roses that are planted up at Paulino's, which all come in bare root and which have the roots pruned significantly before being potted, are put into two gallon pots. If you're wrong about the regulations, you could put them into bigger pots. And you CAN prune the roots when you do them, but I'd definitely recommend doing it while they're still dormant--a/k/a, as soon as possible, and I'd cut the canes down pretty short too. The other thing you could try--and I've never done this--is to take cuttings and root them. I can't tell you how, but there have been a couple threads around here over the years telling how to do it.

Now! About the 'Cherry bells'!!! You know I warned you about growing that--even in Nederland! If you really want to take a chunk of it with you, I'd recommend potting it up just like everything else--and then putting it in a BIG POT in it's new home! I very very, veryveryvery strongly recommend you don't plant it in the ground out there. If you plant that stuff in the ground in Oregon it will probably wind up being added to their Noxious Weed List---and it could very well get YOU banned from the state! ;-)

You mentioned on another thread that we should get together before you leave! Darn right, girl! Your place or my place, doesn't matter to me, but I definitely want to get together with you sometime over the summer before you leave!


Here is a link that might be useful: State summaries of plant protection laws and regulations

    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:17AM
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Hmmm, you might be right!! I THINK I was clear that it was just me and a few plants form my yard but, maybe I wasn't.

I'll double check!

Thank you so much, I was wondering how they can afford, at either end, to do all this regulation stuff when most people don't think to even ask.

Maybe I'm just too much of a nerd?

Oh, I do hope you are right! I'll get back as soon as I hear back from tehm.

Thanks Skybird!


    Bookmark   March 20, 2012 at 12:28AM
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