Moving with Plants: A Survival Guide

Plants can be tricky to move – for starters, they’re living, breathing things. As such, they require extra care. Here are ten of our best tips to keep yours happy and healthy while on the move. 

  1. Repot in advance. If your plants are potted in something fragile — like clay – repot them in plastic containers well before your move date. 
  2. Read up on growing conditions. Some plants can withstand different temperatures and light conditions, making them easier to move. Others, not so much. You may also want to reference this plant hardiness map to see if your plants are well-suited for your new residence if you’re planning to place them outdoors. 
  3. Pack them properly. Use a plastic bag to keep soil contained, and be sure to poke holes in the bottom of your boxes to help regulate air flow. Label any boxes with plants inside “fragile” and “live plant.” 
  4. Be aware of state guidelines. Many states regulate which plants can cross state lines. Check here to make sure yours can travel to your destination. 
  5. Know your options. Consider bringing plants with you if you’re traveling by car, or ship them via air if you’re flying to your destination. You can also ship plants via USPS, UPS or FedEx provided you comply with each service’s guidelines. 
  6. Load plants close to your move date. Plants require consistent care; if your move will be three days or longer, take your plants with you when lodging, and open the boxes to provide temporary light and air. 
  7. Avoid exposure to direct sunlight. In warmer conditions, consider parking periodically in a shaded area and rolling down your windows. 
  8. Keep a comfortable temperature in your vehicle. Plants don’t like abrupt changes in climate, so keep your car’s temperature similar to that of your home. 
  9. Only water if absolutely necessary. Unless your plants are extremely dry, try not to water them until they’re settled into your new space. 
  10. Repot taller plants when you reach your destination. Tall plants can become disoriented or even uprooted during a move — replant to prevent, among other things, decay and rotting. 

Moving plants doesn’t have to be painful. If you’re gentle and follow these guidelines, your greenery should arrive safely at your new abode. 

Need more help preparing for your move? Visit our blogs for a bevy of helpful moving tips — both during your move and beyond. 

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