At least three gardeners in three states said they not only received the mysterious seeds that appear to have been sent from China, but they also planted them.
A woman in Kentucky said she received a packet of seeds in June and she planted them, WBKO reported.
The package, which had Chinese postage, was delivered to the home of Tiffany Lowery. She thought they were from her planting club and gift-giving Facebook group that she belongs to, so she planted them in a pot near her house and they spouted, WBKO reported.
Then Lowery said she saw the alerts of others receiving the mysterious seeds and warnings that they should not be planted, she reached out to the Kentucky Department of Agriculture. They told her to either burn it or double bag it and throw it away.
Burning didn’t work fully, so Lowery told WBKO she triple bagged it but hasn’t tossed it in the garbage yet.
The KDA is reaching out to the U.S. Department of Agriculture for more guidance on what to do with the plants that have sprouted from seeds.
But Lowery isn’t alone.
A Texas woman said she also planted the seeds she had received in the mail.
Patricia Smith said she received a package in April that said they were rose stud earrings, but instead there were seeds inside. Smith is also part of a gift-exchange group, KXII reported.
Despite having a strange feeling about the seeds, Smith, who says she has a green thumb, planted five of the seeds in a pot. They never started so she forgot about it until she saw reports of others unexpectedly receiving seeds in the mail.
She contacted the Grayson County, Texas, agriculture agent who told her to put everything in a Ziplock bag and keep it all outside.
Smith told KXII she is glad she planted the seeds in a pot because of information she found out from the USDA about potential soil contamination. She said some moss that she planted in the same dirt used for the seeds died, but the same moss planted in fresh soil thrived.
A woman in Louisiana also received the seeds and she also planted them
Shelley Aucoin told WAFB she didn’t think anything of the seeds she planted. She received a pack in May and planted them in a pot. Then she got another mailing this month with two more packs of seeds, then she saw the warnings to not plant them.
But she said she isn’t worried about planting the seeds.
The Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry has a suggestion if someone has not only received the seeds, but also planted them — use some type of herbicide to kill them, and if anything comes back, do it again. Also, wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water after touching anything when connected to the seed shipments, WAFB reported.
If you receive the seeds, the USDA instructs you to contact your state plant regulatory official or the USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service state plant health director. Officials also said to keep everything, including the label until you get further instructions from either the state or federal government.