How to Pack and Move Houseplants

Few items can make your house into a home like houseplants.

It’s no wonder why people are willing to go through the trouble of moving their plants with them in their relocation.

We’re here to help.

We know that houseplants are some of the most delicate items that you’ll move in your next relocation.

However, it’s very possible.

If you’re interested in professional advice to help you move your houseplants like a pro, you’ll love this article.

Let’s dive right in.

Check Regulations and Growing Conditions First

If you’re moving plants across state lines, you’ll need to do your research before packing up.

Some states have strict requirements pertaining to houseplants. You may find it especially strict if you’re moving to the following states:

  • California
  • Oregon
  • Washington
  • Arizona
  • Florida

This isn’t an extensive list, so check your new home state’s requirements before moving houseplants. You should also consider the climate of your new home. Some plants won’t handle humidity or the lack of it well.

The plant hardiness zone map can help you see how each plant will do in your new home.

How to Pack Houseplants Properly

Due to their delicate nature, it’s crucial that you know how to pack houseplants properly. With the right supplies, you can keep your potted plants and cuttings from spilling out and breaking.

Use More Than Moving Supplies

Knowing how to pack a plant for travel heavily depends on having the right supplies. You need the typical moving boxes, paper, and bubble wrap, but plants require specialized supplies too. You’ll need the following items:

  • Plastic pots
  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towels
  • Flea collars
  • Sphagnum moss

Prepare Potted Plants

It’s important to note that you can’t learn how to pack and move houseplants and do everything in a single day.

Plants take time to transition, so start preparing your plants three weeks before moving day.

  1. At this time, repot the houseplants into lightweight plastic pots with sterilized potting soil. This makes them much easier to carry when you move.
  2. Then, pack away the heavy, ceramic pots just like you would other fragile items.
  3. One week before moving day, prune the plants. Removing dying pieces and cutting back additional foliage allows the plant to stay healthy. This is critical since the plant will endure a lot of stress during the move.
  4. Three days before the move, water each plant. This way, they won’t be too damp during the move and leak water. Most plants need water every 7 to 10 days, so they’ll be fine even during a multi-day trip.
  5. Houseplants can also harbor pests that states don’t want you bringing across the state line. Place a flea collar around the pot, and it will draw out any critters.

Pack Each Plant

  1. On the day of the move, place plastic bags over each pot and tie it at the base of the plant. This will prevent soil from spilling in your vehicle and making a mess.
  2. Then, place each plant in a moving box. Large plants need a box to themselves, but small ones can share a box. Make sure there isn’t room for them to shift, and use packing paper or bubble wrap to fill the spaces between the pots and the box.
  3. If stackability is important to you, loosely seal the box and poke a few holes in the top and sides. This allows them to breathe.

Ideally, you’ll transport your plants in your own vehicle or the cab of the moving truck, so you shouldn’t need to seal the boxes.

Care for Cuttings

If you want to know how to move plants in the garden, you can do it by taking a cutting of the plant.

  1. Make a clean cut on the bush or flower that gives you a cutting between three and six inches long.
  2. You’ll then need to know how to travel with plant cuttings. All you need are wet paper towels to wrap around the cut, a rubber band to secure it, and a plastic stem holder.
  3. You can then place it in a box with your other houseplants. You can also plant it in a plastic pot with moist potting soil.
  4. Cover the pot loosely in plastic to keep it humid, and pack it in a box with your other plants.

If You Can’t Take Every Plant

If you’re short on space or some plants don’t meet your new home’s state regulations, you may not be able to take every houseplant.

Ask family and friends if they would like a healthy plant for their homes.

You can also donate to retirement homes, hospitals, and community gardens.

How to Move Houseplants

Next comes the moving part of how to pack and move houseplants. There are a handful of options available, and one method may work better for you than others.

Choose a Method of Transport

The best method of transporting plants is to move them in your own vehicle or the cab of the moving truck. This is because the plants will have access to sunlight, and you can control the temperature to keep them from getting too hot or cold.

Many moving companies refuse to move houseplants, but there are some that will. Putting plants in the moving truck exposes them to the elements and potential breaking, but you can do it for short distances.

If you’re transporting a tree on its side in the truck, place sphagnum moss in the pot and cover it with plastic wrap. This will prevent messes on the rest of your belongings.

You can also ship your plants in the mail.

If you choose to do this, fill the hole with enough paper to keep the plants from shifting and poke holes in the box.

Add labels like “live plant,” “fragile,” and “this end up.”

Be Observant

If you’re traveling with your plants, check on them throughout the trip if it’s a long one.

  • You may need to adjust them so they receive more or less sunlight.
  • If they start drying out, give them a bit of water.
  • If you’re traveling for more than one day and stay at a hotel, take the plants into the room with you. This will protect them from drastic temperature changes.

What to Do When You Arrive at Your New Home

Once you arrive at your new home, your plants should be one of your first priorities.

  • Immediately remove them from the vehicle, and give them water if they need it.
  • Place them in your home where they’ll receive the correct amount of sunlight.
  • As soon as you can, repot the plant back into their original pot.

Establish New Roots Easily by Learning How to Pack and Move Houseplants

Learning how to pack and move houseplants is easy once you’ve done it.

With the right supplies and care, they’ll survive the move, no matter the mode of transportation. They’ll then put down roots in their new home, and you can grow and thrive together.

What was your experience like learning how to pack and move houseplants? Help out others who need information by letting us know in the comments section.