Moving Long Distance? Here’s How to Prepare Your Plants

Moving is a hard task, and bringing your plants along can create more hassles. You might find it hard to leave your plants behind since they have sentimental value, or you have watched them grow since they were seedlings. Before you pack the plants, bear in mind that they are living organisms that breathe, and they, therefore, need special care.

The following are tips for transporting plants to ensure they survive the long trip to your new property.

Know state guidelines

If you are moving from one state to another, it is essential to know the laws and regulations set by the state regarding the importation of plants. There are federal agencies that work closely with the United States Department of Agriculture in regulating the introduction of plants to different states to minimize the spread of hazardous diseases and pests. Some state laws only support the entry of potted indoor plants planted in a specific soil type. Before moving your plants from your garden and packing them to move to your new home in a different state, it is advisable to research the laws and regulations of that state. Some states only allow entry of potted and indoor plants in sterile soil. Some plants may be subjected to inspection and the ones that do not meet the legal requirements can be confiscated. If you are moving from one state to another, look at the state guidelines at the Department of Natural Resources for every state you are driving into or through.

Growing conditions

Different plants react differently to the climatic conditions of an area. Check if the climate is suitable for your plants in your new home. The climatic conditions to consider include:

  • Moist or dry place
  • Availability of sunlight
  • Frequency of rainfall

If by any chance the conditions are not favorable for your plants, it is better to leave them with your family, friends or donate them to your local nursing home.


Prepare the plants for transit a few weeks before relocating. Clean them properly to reduce stress from dead branches, leaves, and other disease-causing factors.

Eliminate pests

Check if your plants host pests a week before moving. If few pests are present, use effective insecticides to eliminate them. Taking pests with you will risk your plant’s health. If the new home is not infested with the same pests, removing them will break their cycle, creating a suitable environment for them to grow.

Pack your plants in suitable containers

The supplies you need to pack your plants appropriately include:

  • Sterilized potting soil
  • Bubble wrap
  • Newspaper or packing paper
  • A sturdy moving box
  • Plastic pots that you can use instead of clay pots during transit
  • Paper towels for cuttings
  • Plastic ties and bags
  • Flea collars

Cardboard boxes are suitable for most plants since they are breathable and sturdy. Use packing paper or a dampened newspaper to position the plants in cardboard boxes. Use a newspaper to protect the leaves and float a damp layer of thin paper on each plant. The coating will protect the plants from dust or any other unnecessary contact with the environment.

Provide your plants with water

Keeping plants comfortable is tough. Water your plants properly, depending on the current weather. If you move during the summer, you have to water the plants regularly during the journey. And if you are moving during cold and wet times like in the winter, water them only once in a few days before traveling to make the soil moist, not porous.

When moving with your plants, you need to prepare them. Proper preparation can guarantee that the plants will arrive at the destination while healthy and intact. When preparing your plants, research on the laws set by the state you are moving to so that you can import your plants correctly and avoid dealing with legal issues.

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