Know the Regulations

Did you know there are actually laws surrounding moving plants across state lines or out of the country? Most states in the U.S. regulate the importation of plants to prevent dispersion of diseases and pest infestations. For example, Virginia doesn’t allow any plants to come in from Florida without being treated for fire ants.

In some states, houseplants that are brought into the state must be immediately declared and inspected by the state’s Department of Agriculture, and some states will request a certificate of inspection and may even reject your request to transport specific types of plants. For example, California has a strong stance against bringing in citrus plants and pine trees.

If you’re moving between states, be sure to look up your new state’s laws on bringing in plants prior to your move.

Pack Them Properly

In order to keep your plants looking good after your move, take measures to ensure that your plants are kept safe and protected during the transportation from point A to point B. If you are moving within the same city, it is easiest to place the plant in an open box with some newspaper on the sides, which strengthens the container and cushions the plant. Taller plants, however, should be packed in pots that have sphagnum moss on top. Then, carefully wrap plastic around each pot and secure it with a sturdy piece of string.

At least two weeks before the moving date, prune tall plants so that they can be easily packed into a car. For those who don’t know how to prune, simply pull back on new growth using your thumb and index finger. Also, about a week before your move, be sure to do a thorough check on your plants to see if they have any parasites or insects that could damage your new home.

Travel Carefully

Only pack the plants into the car when it’s almost time to leave in order to avoid packing them too early. Due to the sensitive nature of houseplants, it’s also best not to put them in the trunk of the vehicle. The best place is usually in the backseat- just make sure there isn’t enough space for the pots to shift or fall over.

If you experience cold weather during your move, warm up the vehicle transporting the plants before you load them up in order to avoid deteriorating the health of your plants. If additional protection is needed, you can wrap the plants in newspaper. Just be sure the plants are one of the first items unpacked upon arrival to your new home.

Caring for your plants will vary depending on the plant species you own. Plants have their own temperature requirements as well as maintenance needs. Consult your local nursery to get more in-depth information regarding the specific care your plants need. In the end, it’s all worth the energy and time spent making sure your houseplants are transported safely to your new home.