How to Pack Houseplants

If you are planning to take your indoor house plants with you on your next move, there are several important items you must consider before moving day. 

Federal Regulations

According to federal guidelines, house plants qualify as “perishable” items and are not allowed on regulated moving vans travelling more than 150 miles to their destination. They are also not allowed to be packed on regulated moves that will take more than 24 hours to complete. Ask your moving agent for specific details about your move so you can make necessary accommodations.

State Regulations

Some states like California, Arizona and Florida have laws that regulate plants and soil to prevent the spread of certain insects and diseases. It is generally recommended that you repot your plants several weeks ahead of time in commercially available soil to avoid unnecessary quarantine. Check with your destination’s department of natural resources to get the most current information about plant regulation.


The changing temperatures and lack of fresh air in a moving container can be harmful to your plants. When preparing for a long-distance move, the safest, most certain way to transport houseplants is in a stable, temperature-controlled environment like the back seat of your car.

If you are unable to make accommodations for your houseplants, consider taking cuttings to replant. You’ll want to wrap cuttings in wet moss and packing paper to pack in a plastic grocery bag. Place bags in a small box and fill gaps with crumpled newsprint.

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