What to Know Before Planning to Move Indoor Household Plants

Taking care of houseplants is a daily joy for those who carefully maintain them. Most people don’t want to leave their plants behind in a move, but there are several essential details to know if planning to take them.

Moving household plants can be tricky. Professional moving companies can’t transport them since state rules, and other industry regulations prevent them from carrying them on their trucks.

If you are determined to bring your plants with you when you move to your new home, you need to be prepared to manage that. Here are some tips to help you move your own household plants.

Moving Across State Lines

Before taking any plants across state lines, it’s important to research state laws. Also, be sure to follow any applicable federal requirements in their effort to prevent the spread of pests. Some states require permits; others have stricter regulations.

Prep Plants Before the Move

Before the move, about a week (or more if possible), start prepping plants for the trek. Before doing any preparation, be sure the plants can survive in the new climate. Even though plants are indoors, local environments can negatively impact them, so be sure to check. Once you confirm plant hardiness, prep the plants.

  • Prune dead leaves

  • Rid the plants of pests (use a flea collar at the base of the pot to draw them out)

  • Refresh soil with sterilized planting soil

  • Water plants 2-3 days before moving

Additionally, transfer plants to plastic planters if you are not already using them. This will make indoor plants lighter to carry and create conditions for less chance of breakage.

Pack plants in open boxes

For short moves across town, carefully place indoor plants in open boxes. This is the easiest way to transport them.

  • If using cardboard boxes, tape the bottom to reinforce them

  • Cushion the sides of the planters with newspaper or other recyclable items

  • Make sure there is enough space for houseplants to breathe

  • Place box on the floor in the backseat if possible

  • Add a few sturdy items to help keep them still, if needed, especially if the vehicle’s trunk is the only option.

Longer moves are a little tricky because plants need protection from heat and cold. Plan to keep them at a steady temperature that is appropriate for your plant. Keep in mind that sunlight exposure through windows can make them overheat. Trunks are not ideal for long transports since plants won’t receive fresh air or sunlight. Also, remember to bring a watering container along to keep them moist. Be prepared as the process could get a little messy.

Winter Moves

Exposure to extreme cold can damage sensitive indoor plants, even for brief periods. If moving during a time temperatures have plummeted, warm up the car before leaving and carefully wrap plants with newspaper.

Unpacking Plants

Be sure to unpack the plants as soon as possible upon arrival. Understandably, they’ll be plenty to attend to, but it’s essential not to leave plants packed any longer than necessary. After all, you spent all that time carefully packing and transporting them; it would be a shame for beloved houseplants not to survive the move once they’ve arrived.

Shipping plants

In some cases, houseplants can be shipped through the USPS, UPS, or FedEx, but check with company representatives before making arrangements to ensure that you follow guidelines and rules. Keep in mind that boxes will shift, and plants have a higher chance of being damaged, so take extra care to pack houseplants when planning to ship them. Choose the fastest method possible.

Share the Love

Since transporting plants to a new home, especially a home that’s far away, can be a significant chore, consider donating your plants to neighbors, friends, or family before you move. Your friends might appreciate the gesture, and it will give them something to remember you by.

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