If you’re interested in learning how to pack plants for a move while keeping them safe, we can guide you. Use these professional tips and other things to consider that may not have crossed your mind, to keep your plants safe during your move.

There are many benefits to keeping houseplants. Not only do they enhance the appearance of your home, but they are also good for your mood and health. So, it makes sense that you would want to take your plants with you to your new home. 

Since plants are delicate, you must take extra care and precautions when packing and moving them. As most know, without proper care, a plant’s lifespan can easily be affected. You wouldn’t want to reach your new home only to discover your plants didn’t make it on the drive. 

Fortunately, for plant lovers, there are tips and techniques you can follow to ensure the health of your plants. For those concerned about a long-distance move, rest assured, most plants can travel for up to three days before needing any attention. 

Check regulations and growing conditions in the area

While it may seem silly, some states have strict requirements and rules regarding plants. This means you may need to leave some of your favorite houseplants behind if they are not allowed in the state where you are moving.

It is best to do your research and find out your new state’s regulations rather than get caught with forbidden plants there. California has been known to stop moving trucks and check plants at the border. Be thoughtful, and if needed, gift or donate the houseplants you are not allowed to carry with you. 

While this is not an exhaustive list, it includes the states with the most strict requirements on houseplants: 

  • Arizona
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Florida
  • Washington

You may also want to consider the fact that even if your houseplant is allowed in the state you are moving to, there is a chance it won’t survive there. Depending on the location you are moving to, there could be a difference in the weather, making it hard for your plant to thrive. 

To find out how your houseplants fare in other states, you can check out the plant zone hardiness map.

Things you need before your move

Before your moving day, you will want to think about how to pack your plants for the move and what type of moving supplies you will need to move them safely. With consideration and preparation, your plants should be able to endure minor changes to the environment. 

Items and materials

When moving plants, you will still need to purchase moving supplies such as bubble wrap, packing paper, and boxes, but you will also need additional materials. 

Some of the specialized plant-packing supplies you will need may include: 

  • Flea collars
  • Plastic bags
  • Plastic planting pots
  • Paper towels
  • Sphagnum moss
  • Sterilized potting soil (found at any garden center or hardware store)

Preparing and packing plants

Getting your houseplants ready for the move takes time and patience. You will want to begin preparing your plants a few weeks in advance to give them time to adjust to changes. You want to stay away from drastic changes that may shock and kill them. 

Three weeks before your moving day 

You will want to transplant all of your plants from their ceramic pots into your new plastic pots. Your plastic pots should be the same size as your original ceramic pots and filled with sterilized potting soil. This will keep your plants shatterproof and make them lighter and easier to move. 

One week before your moving day

Prune your plants. This is a simple but necessary step to take to ensure their safety. During your move, your plants will endure a lot of stress, but removing the dying pieces and foliage will help them maintain their health. It also makes it easier for you to handle and transport them. 

One exception here is ferns and succulents. Do not prune them. 

A few days before your move

Water your plants like you usually would. Be sure not to overwater them, or they could leak during the move and become susceptible to growing fungus. 

Transporting your plants 

Possibly the most stress-inducing part of the move is transporting your plants. If you have packed your plants properly for the move, you should have less to worry about. Let’s look at what to do with your plants on the day of the move. 

Moving day

Gently wrap your plants in old bedsheets or with packing paper to protect their fragile branches from breaking. Or, you can cover each plant with a plastic bag and tie it at the base of the plant. Either technique will protect your plant during your move. 

After your plants are wrapped or covered, place them inside one of the moving boxes. If there is extra space in the box, it should be filled with bubble wrap or wrapping paper to prevent your plants from falling over.

While not typically necessary, you may want to label each of your boxes to make it easier for you to see which plant you are handling. 


When it comes to transporting your plants, it is best to keep your plants in your vehicle if possible as packing them in a moving truck is not advised.  Make sure to tightly pack around the base of the plant, to make sure the pots don’t shift or tip over during transport.  If you are traveling for multiple days you may need to adjust your plants so they receive more or less sunlight.  Also, if the plants start to dry out, don’t be afraid to give them a little water.  If your trip entails staying overnight in a hotel, you may want to take the most sensitive plants in with you to avoid drastic temperature changes during the night.  

The takeaway

Moving comes with excitement and challenges, but when you pack correctly and purchase the appropriate moving supplies, it can make your move less stressful. We hope that you now feel more confident about how to pack your plants for a move. 

If you would like more information on Road Scholars moving and storage services, we’d love to talk. Contact us today!