House plants improve the quality of your indoor air, release microscopic drops of water, transform your dreary space into your happy place, and do a variety of other things. They are, however, a different kind of animal plant when it comes to movement. They need prep work, planning, patience, and lots of love. Here’s what you need to know before moving plants.


This is an important point to make before we get into the fun stuff. Most states allow you to move your plants as long as they are in sterilized potting soil, but some have strict rules. Because of pest controls and local bans on specific plant species, the United States Department of Agriculture occasionally requires safety checks of plant materials. Certain states, such as California, have additional special plant protections. This is critical for maintaining the ecological health of sensitive areas and avoiding the negative effects of invasive species, so make sure to check the local and state laws of where you’ll be moving — the plants already there will appreciate it.


Climate and growing conditions are among those considerations to newcomers only think about after they’ve moved, often to their disappointment. Before moving, research to see if your current plants will flourish in their foreign atmosphere. Climate information for your plant buddies can range from average temperature and humidity to rainfall and elevation. Extremely dry or moist conditions can have an impact on many indoor species. Before moving your plants, consult the Plant Hardiness Zone Map to determine which plants are most likely to thrive in which locations.


Most movers will not transport plants. There’s a good chance they’ll be damaged, and because of the state laws mentioned above, many will refuse to accept liability. If you hire a moving company to transport your plants, make certain that they will actually move them.


Shipping your plants is an option, but keep in mind that what happens to them during their journey is out of your hands. Shipping is available through USPS, UPS, and FedEx, and here’s how you can prepare your plants to reduce the risk of damage while in transit.


We’ve established that both shipping plants and hiring a professional to move them are dangerous endeavours. It should come as no surprise, then, that your best bet for ensuring their safety is you! This is a particularly wise choice if you are relocating locally.

You are your plant’s best friend, and here are the tools you’ll need to get the job done right.

First, prepare your plants a few weeks before your move. Remove any dead leaves, branches, dust, or weeds from the plants. Repeat this process one week before your move. The soil should then be wrapped in wet paper towels and secured with moving wrap. Then, repot. If possible, avoid using heavy ceramic pots and instead transplant your plants into plastic containers filled with fresh, fertile soil.

If your plants require inspection by a local agricultural department, make an appointment with an authorized official before leaving.

Your plants are going to be thirsty! Water them a couple of days before you leave. Make certain that the soil is moist but not wet. Most plants can survive for a week or more without water, but it is critical that the roots remain moist during the relocation process.


Pack your plant in the same manner that you would if you were shipping it. Use a strong, well-taped box. For added protection, wrap the tops of your plants in a plastic bag.

Packing paper and newspaper should be used to fill any empty space in the box. Allow some breathing room. Poke holes in the taped top of the box to allow for airflow. Label the plant again with “Fragile,” “Live Plant,” and “This Side Up” for a quick reminder that this box requires special care.

Bring your plants inside at night if you’re staying in hotels or motels while moving. This will assist them in remaining healthy and stable. We’ve heard they also enjoy late-night movies and room service.