How Do You Pack Plants For Moving?

How To Pack Plants For Moving From Los Angeles

Is there a particular technique when you pack plants for moving? You bet!

So how do you pack a plant? There are several things to consider when you move with potted plants regarding how to do it safely, with no spills or breakages, and whether you’re allowed to do it at all (some jurisdictions restrict the transportation of certain plants, particularly when crossing borders).

Can I Take My Potted Plants When I Move?

The short answer is yes you can. However, moving with plants isn’t as straightforward as moving with clothes, furniture, or even pianos. If you want to take your plants with you then you’ll need to plan how to do it so that your plants stay healthy and intact.

Even if you’re just moving down the street, check that your plants don’t have any bugs on them. If they’re covered in bugs, it’s better to discard them now so you don’t transport the infestation with you.

Will Plants Survive A Move?

Yes, as long as you prepare them properly, you’re careful with them, and you control the climate they’re in during the moving process. We will address how to keep them alive and healthy further down in this article.

Preparing Your Plants For The Move

In the time leading up to your move, give them a good prune to minimize their bulk. You can check for any dead leaves and remove them.

As with clothes, during this process you may decide that some of your potted plants aren’t worth the trouble of moving.

How To Pack Plant Pots For Moving

Plastic Pots

The good news for plastic pot owners is that they’re the best for traveling. They’re flexible and withstand unexpected bumps better than ceramic pots.

Ceramic Pots

These are a little trickier than flexible plastic pots. If you have spare plastic pots, consider re-potting your plants into plastic pots a couple of weeks before the move. You can then transport the ceramic pots separately and replant them once you are settled. Otherwise, you can wrap the ceramic pots carefully in bubble wrap or newspaper before placing them in boxes.

Watering Your Plants

How often do you normally water your plants? Unless they’re really thirsty, avoid watering them on moving day or the day before. It’s best not to pack plants for moving when they’re soaking wet.

Protecting Your Plants From Extreme Temperatures

Moving in winter? In that case, think about protecting houseplants from the cold. If your plants prefer a warm climate, wrap them up in insulating material before they go anywhere where they’ll be cold.

If you’re moving in summer, you need to make sure they don’t get too hot as well.

Avoid putting potted plants in your trunk because it can get super hot in there and your poor plants may wilt without you being able to keep an eye on them.

Moving Boxes For Plants

Plants can be heavier than they look, so be sure to choose tough cardboard boxes or moving boxes made out of plastic or wood.

Let’s say your plants aren’t super heavy, so you go for the cardboard option to pack plants for moving. You should line them with plastic bags first so that there’s no risk of them collapsing from moisture damage.

Then, when the plants are in, pad them with something soft to stop them from sliding around and knocking into one another.

How Do You Pack Plants For Long Distance?

Generally speaking, you pack plants for long distances in the same way, just punch air holes in the top of the boxes if you have to close them.

Ask us about our range of professional packing supplies.

However, before you pack plants for moving long distance, check whether it’s really a good idea.


You may not be allowed to cross state lines with your plants, depending on their variety. Most plants are OK, but check if you can take your exotic plants where you’re going.

Why so strict? Certain jurisdictions take these legal measures to avoid invasive pests traveling around the country.

Climate Conditions

Before you move long distance with your plants, consider the climate where you’re going. Will your plants thrive in the weather conditions around your new home? In the winter as well as the summer? If so, you’re set.

Why You May Consider Gifting Your Plants Before Your Long Distance Move

Many customers choose to give potted plants to friends and family or sell them before moving long distance or moving internationally. Why?


Plants should go in the car rather than in the moving truck, so consider whether you have the space and whether it’s worth the hassle.


Check your plants in the weeks before your move. If they’re covered in bugs, leave them. This is in part because the bugs could travel to your other plants in transit. California won’t let you bring in any plants with insects on them or that show signs of disease.

Moving Plants Internationally

Where are you moving? Like when you cross state lines, moving plants internationally can be illegal. A species that flourish in one place might wreak havoc in another environment. Invasive species can even threaten the overall ecosystem and cause native plants to die.

Moving Plants Into And Out Of California

The state of California is particularly strict regarding the comings and goings of plants because of our strong agricultural industry.

Moving to California? In that case, you’ll have to have all your plants inspected by California border inspection officers. They’ll reject anything citrus and all potted plants must have been grown only indoors.

When You Arrive At Your New Home With Potted Plants

In moving as in life, living things should always take priority. Your plants should be treated like VIPs and unloaded first so that they can relax in your climate controlled home.

Choose Air1 Moving & Storage For A Seamless Move, Wherever You’re Going!

Start off on the right foot in your new home with a reliable, professional moving team. We’ll advise you on how to pack plants for moving or take care of it for you so that your move is straightforward and stress-free.

Air1 Moving & Storage has years of experience moving our customers’ belongings from A to B, and we’re fully licensed and insured. Call us today at (866) 750-3386.  You can also fill out our short form, or email us at [email protected].