Savvy gardeners know that the best way to avoid spending a fortune on plants is to simply propagate new plants from discarded or damaged seeds, roots, cuttings and plant material. Although there is nothing wrong with propagating your own plants or accepting propagation materials from friends, family members and neighbors, taking parts of a plant without permission, sometimes called “propagation,” is often against the law. Here’s how to propagate plants you don’t know about without committing a crime.
What is propulsion?
While it sounds like “lifting” might involve shoplifting plant material, the actual act refers to taking discarded plant cuttings and using them to grow new plants. For example, take a broken leaf from a home succulent and care for it until it grows roots. Redditor Sarina Daniels is often credited with coining the term, which she has used to establish a Reddit is popular.
Is publishing illegal?
Yes and no. Ultimately, it depends on the state you live in and how you eat the plant material. Although most “promoters” do their best to ask before taking plant material, some people take cuttings from plants without the owner’s consent, which is against the law.
Just as it is against the law to enter someone’s backyard and uproot a shrub, it is illegal to remove pieces of plants in public without the owner’s consent. Deciduous plant matter is a legal gray area as its legality depends on the location.
For the most part, the best option for potential growers is to ask the plant or property owner to cut them down. Many stores don’t mind as long as the plant sheds cuttings naturally, and some homeowners can help you take cuttings from their plant in a way that doesn’t harm the plant’s health or appearance.
Can you take cuttings from plant stores?
Not unless you ask first. Some stores may allow shoppers to take cuttings from already damaged plants, but if you take cuttings from a live plant in a store without first obtaining permission, you are breaking the law. Taking scraps from the store is both Sabotage And theft Because it harms the plant, reduces its value, and takes goods from the store itself.
What charges could you face for shoplifting?
Most stores will kick the touts out and threaten to call the police for trespassing if the offender returns. But if the police are called to deal with the theft, criminal charges may be filed for theft and vandalism. Since most plant cuttings are not particularly valuable, those caught taking plant material from stores will only face misdemeanor charges. In California, vandalism is always a misdemeanor unless the damage costs more than $400 to repair or replace, and theft is always a misdemeanor when property valued at less than $950 is stolen. In many cases, these charges are filed as violations punishable by no more than a fine.
If someone takes cuttings from valuable plants, these charges could become felonies. This rarely happens at big-box stores, like Home Depot and Lowes, unless the suspect has stolen dozens of cuttings, but in specialty nurseries with expensive exotic houseplants, plant theft can quickly lead to criminal vandalism and Grand theft charges.
For example, a woman in Oregon was subsequently charged with theft and vandalism Transported over $2,000 worth of rare plants From a nursery specializing in rare plants.
Can you pick up fallen plant cuttings from the store?
You can if you get permission from an employee first. But remember, stores are in the business of making money, so many don’t want to let people have cuttings that can grow into the same plants they sell. In addition, some plants are protected by patents and cannot be propagated legally, so stores may be reluctant to let people take home their leaves and stems, knowing that they intend to grow them illegally.
If you take broken cuttings from plants in a store without consent, you may be charged with theft, but unlike those who take plant cuttings, you will not be charged with vandalism. If you return to a store to pick up discarded plant parts after being asked to leave, you may also have a problem Trespassing fees.
Since many of these stores dispose of unsold plants, some people skip picking up fallen stems and leaves and instead take discarded whole plants from trash bins. If the dumpster is closed or off limits to the public, dumpster diving must involve trespassing. Furthermore, dumpster diving in California falls within a legal gray area. Under the 1988 state Supreme Court ruling in California v. Greenwood, trash placed on the curb is no longer considered the property of the previous owner; but, Scavenging laws Prevent taking waste or recyclable materials from the trash. Whether or not taking these plants from the trash constitutes theft is up for debate.
Taking plants from private yards
If you take plant cuttings from someone’s yard without their consent, you may be charged with plant damage, trespassing and theft. It’s okay to take fallen plant material, including seed pods or fruit, from a private yard, as long as you’re not trespassing on their property without approval.
Taking plant material from public areas
Likewise, taking plant parts from public parks and public places is against the law under Penal Code 384a (PC), however, you will not typically face trespassing theft charges in these cases.
Can you take cuttings from nature reserves or botanical gardens?
no. While plant lovers adore these displays, many of whom want to bring the beauty they see into their homes, taking cuttings is against the law because it damages the plants — sometimes beyond repair. If you like a rare piece of plant spotted in a park or garden, contact the ranger, guide or gardener who works there to see if they are offering cuttings or selling plants from the collection.
Note that the San Diego Zoo is one of the largest botanical gardens in our area. Even if their primary focus is their animal collection, taking cuttings from any of the zoo’s 3,100 plant species could get you banned from the park. Returning after a ban could expose you to trespassing charges.
Not all plants can be propagated at night
Aside from the fact that some plants cannot be propagated due to patent issues, some plants cannot be grown or propagated Imported to California Or the United States. Our state is particularly concerned about importing fruits and vegetables because of our widely profitable agricultural industry, which can be easily destroyed by imported pathogens.
If you have any questions about whether it is illegal to take a leaf, cutting, seed, or other plant material to grow your own plants at home, please contact a criminal defense attorney like Peter M. Liss. You can schedule a free initial consultation by calling (760) 643-4050.