Crossing The Pond with the Intent to Commit Horticulture

Listen 44:53

It’s often a bad idea to take plants across state lines with the intent to commit horticulture. On the latest You Bet Your Garden, Mike McGrath discusses what’s at stake if you’re thinking of crossing The Pond with your plants! Plus, gardening for the curious with Dr. Lee Reich.

Question of the Week:

I teach high school German & Spanish and run a reciprocal group exchange program with a teacher in Munich, Bavaria. (Bavaria is to Germany like Texas is to the US—very big, very conservative, very interesting & a lot of fun.)

Because of my affinity for hydrangeas I came up with an idea I hope you will find interesting enough to help with. When I’m in Munich (the capital of Bavaria) later this July, I want to give my foreign exchange counterpart Veit (pronounced like “fight”) and his new wife Effi a hydrangea (specifically hydrangea macrophylla bavaria), and take cuttings from it home with me, so that after the cuttings take root, we will effectively be sharing the same hydrangea plant across two continents.

The root of the problem (pun intended 🙂 is that Google as I may, I can’t seem to find out who to ask about bringing those cuttings home, as I believe it is highly frowned upon to bring plants into the US without going through proper channels. If you could help me, I would be ever grateful—and invite you to one of my wife’s outstanding dinners during Veit’s next visit this fall. “Danke schön”.

PS: If you think the cuttings might not be viable after transatlantic flights, I could probably just buy two identical plants, which might be clones anyway.

—Chad in New Hanover Township, PA

The legality of globetrotting hydrangeas »

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