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Advice about moving hops plants

Hello All!

I am badly in need of some advice, and am hoping that I can find it here.

Long story made short:

I have two newly emerging hops plants that I need to transfer to a new location. These are hops rhizomes that I harvested from the wild (female plants), and potted. The new bines emerged on Christmas Day, and both plants now have multiple bines 2-3 feet long. The pots are about gallon sized and have a trellis on the back side.

Anyway, these plants are intended for use in a growth project at a remote research facility in Utah. I need to get these two plants from Minnesota to Utah safely. The is no way that I am going to trust delivery services with this, so these plants are going to accompany me on the airplane.

I have a feeling that the TSA won’t be too thrilled about me taking two gallon-sized pots of soil on the plane with me, so I need a different plan. I need to know just how much abuse the newly grown hops plants can take and still remain viable.

Can I remove them from the soil, wrap them in wet paper towels, and put them in a plastic tub for the transfer? Will they be okay if I re-establish them in potted soil afterward? Is there anything I can do to help avoid breaking off the delicate bine tips? Alternatively, is there a way to force them back into their quiescent state, and get them to grow a new set of buds so that I can just restart the whole growth cycle?

These are awesome plants, and I’ve bonded with them. (I’ve named them “Audrey III” and “Biollante II,” by the way.) I’d hate to see them die because of the transfer.

Any advice that you could offer would be very appreciated!


The growing tips are going to break off. I can almost guarantee it. If they don’t break, they’ll wither and die from the transplanting. So I don’t see any use trying to save the green/purple growing tips.

The rhizomes (roots), on the other hand, will survive the journey no problem. Remove all the soil, and just pack them in wet newspaper or even just a ziplock bag with a few drops of water, and they’ll keep fine. It would help if you pack them with some ice, although I’m sure TSA will not let you bring that volume of liquid or ice on the plane. However you could ask for extra ice when you get your drink on the plane and that would help. Throw them into your ziplocks or whatever and roll.

I think this should work. No soil required at all. The rhizomes just need to keep from drying out, that’s the main thing. I might even keep them in the refrigerator until spring, they don’t need to be sprouting on Christmas day, that’s way too early to help anybody!!! Kept wet and cold in the 30s, they should keep fine till spring, at least I believe so.

Thanks for the advice!

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