A Helpful Guide for Moving Plants

A Helpful Guide for Moving Plants

Moving plants from your old home to a new one.

Updated 12/20/2022

If you’re planning on moving, you most likely have plants that need transporting. Moving your plants can be difficult at times since they are living things that have needs.

Traveling is difficult on plants just as it is on people. Luckily, there are lots of tips and tricks you can learn to make the process easier.

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Moving Plants Across State Lines

The best way to move plants across state lines is by car. Flying can cause issues as there are unpredictabilities like turbulence.

Your plants should be packed in something that keeps their pots from shattering. Tightly in a box together may be the best option. If you only have one plant, putting it with mugs or other breakable items is an option. These boxes will have protection like bubble wrap in them to keep from injuring the items inside.

There are no laws about how to move plants across state lines, but there are laws for companies moving agriculture across state lines. This can cause some confusion as it can initially seem that anyone moving plant life needs approval.

Think about the Weather

You should think about the climate of where you are moving. Your plants might not be able to thrive in your new home due to the weather of your new location.

Your plant may be better off if you re-home it with a friend or a relative in your current area.

However, you might be too attached to your plants to leave them behind. There are things you can do to help your plant friend adapt to a new home. You could consider investing in a UV lamp, a humidifier, or a dehumidifier to help your plants thrive. You could also try keeping your plants in a warmer room in the house rather than outside.

Plan How to Do It

Planning how you move your plants is crucial. There are so many accommodations that plants may need when moving any distance. It can be hard to find the best course of action.

Moving Companies

Lots of moving companies will not move plants. Plants are fragile and can be expensive, so it is sometimes too much of a liability. Additionally, moving trucks lack fresh air, sunlight, and water. They can also get too hot or cold.

You could call and check with your moving company to see if they will move your plants.

Ship Them

If you don’t want to move your plants yourself, you can ship them through FedEx, USPS, or UPS.

There are steps you should take beforehand to make sure your plants are as safe as possible when you are shipping them.

First, you should take the plants out of your pots.

Next, you should prune all the dead leaves and give the roots a good trim. To protect the roots and prevent them from drying out in transit, you should wrap them in a wet paper towel, and then wrap that in plastic to keep them moist.

You can then wrap tape or rubber bands to secure it. And, you can put a flea collar on your plants in order to take care of any pesky bugs.

Then, you should safely place the plant in a box, surrounded by newspaper or bubble wrap to protect it. You can even weigh down your box to prevent it from flipping over or shifting around too much, as plants are usually not very heavy on their own.  Be sure to poke holes in your box to allow for airflow.

Next, you can put stickers or write on your box to signify that it is delicate. You can label your box with things like “Live Plant” “Fragile” or “This End Up” in order to let everyone know what is inside.

Moving Plants Yourself

Moving plants yourself is also possible You can use some or all of the steps above to protect your plants. Labeling your plants might not seem necessary at first, since you know what’s inside. But, it can be easy to forget what’s in a box. Especially since moving can be busy and stressful already!

Labeling your boxes, especially ones containing fragile plants, can be a helpful reminder to handle them with care. You can usually even take your plants with you on a plane as a carry-on, as long as they meet size requirements.

You can also keep your plants in their pots when you move them. Some people prefer to move their plants to plastic pots when moving plants themselves. This can be lighter and easier for you to carry.

Your plants might get thirsty during your move, so don’t forget to water them!

If you are moving a long way and staying at lodgings like motels or hotels, you may want to consider keeping your plants inside with you at night. Temperatures can drop a lot at night, and that might not be good for your plants if they’re left in the car.

You might think that some of your plants are too big to move, especially if they are things like trees, shrubs, or bushes. While you most likely can’t easily take your whole plant with you, you don’t have to say goodbye to your plant forever. You can take cuttings with you to your new home, and propagate them into plants of their own for your garden.

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Check out UniMovers and save 30-50% on your move as compared with traditional moving!

You’re Finished!

Finally, when you move, be sure to monitor your plants extra closely even after the move is over. You may need to adjust your plant’s watering schedule or move it into different lighting. This will help make sure your plant continues to thrive in your new home.

After you are finished, don’t forget to congratulate yourself on a job well done and all of your hard work.


Are there plants you should not move?

This is a subjective question. Anyone can move almost any plant or take a cutting of a shrub or tree. However, if you’re not feeling comfortable moving a certain plant, then don’t!

Can moving kill your plants?

If you properly care for your plants and give them extra care through the process, then your plants should survive the experience. They may even do better depending on where you move.

What if I can’t find a place to re-home my plant?

That’s completely fine! There is an ‘Adopt-A-Plant’ website that will take your plants off your hands. Anyone can post and adopt a plant from the site.

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Maura De Cicco attends the University of Iowa as a Journalism and Anthropology student. She plans to pursue a strategic communications track when it comes to writing, and an archaeology track when it comes to Anthropology.

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