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What to Know About Making an Interstate Move with Plants

Moving with Plants

Have you given any thought to moving out-of-state with plants? It is important to realize that some plants might have to stay behind. Some states prohibit the shipment of plants from out-of-state.

Even if you are legally permitted to bring your plants with you, you may want to consider the work involved. Be sure you have plans to transport your plants safely. We’ve included all the details about bringing plants across state lines below!

Why Do States Regulate the Import of Plants?

With plant regulation, states are trying to avoid:

  • Disease outbreaks
  • Insect infestations
  • Change in ecosystems
  • Damage to farms

States that rely heavily on agriculture are more cautious about which plants can be brought across state lines.

More Facts about Plant Regulation

Here are some things you should know about plant regulation:

1. Fresh soil is best: Make sure you replace old soil with fresh and sterile soil.

2. Indoor plants are easier to transport: When plants are kept exclusively indoors, they are more likely to be allowed in your new state.

3. They can require inspections: You may be required to get an inspection and a certificate for your plants.

4. Some plants are banned: Some plants may be quarantined for a while whereas some plants can be banned from your new state completely.

Before the move, you can check the regulations and banned plants via the Department of Agriculture website. Don’t forget to review the states you’re just passing through. Most importantly, find out if your professional movers will move your plants. Some moving companies have no problem moving plants, but most will not transport plants at all.

Transporting Plants from One Home to the Next

Growing plants requires attentive care. Your plants represent months or even years of your hard work. Perhaps they were a gift from a loved one, and in almost all cases, they add personality to your home. Like your other belongings, you probably want to take your plants with you when you move. Once you

have verified that your plants are permitted in your new state, here’s what you need to know before you move them:

#1: Follow State Regulations

Familiarize yourself not only with whether your plants are allowed or not, but also with how you must prepare your plants before the move:

  • Does the state require the plant to be potted?
  • Must the plant be potted in a certain kind of soil?
  • Do you need a certificate of inspection before the move?

It is key to follow state regulations to ensure your plant is not confiscated at state lines.

#2: Study Your Plant’s New Home

Prepare for new growing conditions if they are different from your current ones. Will your plant still flourish in the new climate? Also consider the layout of your new home or yard. Determine where you might put your plants to optimize light and rainfall. Unfortunately, your state may not offer the right conditions for growing your plant.

If you must leave one or more plants behind, here are some of your options:

  • Find a loved one, neighbor or friend with a passion for gardening
  • Donate to a local hospital or a nursing home
  • Leave your plants behind for the next tenant or home owner to enjoy

Ask around to find a safe new home for your plants.

#3: Decide How You’re Bringing Your Plant

Ask your movers if they will transport your plants. Some movers are happy to handle your plants, but plants fall on the “Do Not Ship” list for most state-to-state moving companies.

You can always bring your plants in your own vehicle with you. Keep them in the cabin of the vehicle to ensure airflow. If you’re stopping at hotels overnight, bring them inside to prevent damage from extreme temperatures.

Alternatively, you could ship your plants via air. If you’re flying, and your plant complies with TSA regulations, it can be a carry-on. Check your website or call your airline to learn more.

Finally, you could simply mail your plants. USPS, UPS, and FedEx will all ship plants within certain guidelines. Pack them up very tightly and carefully, doing everything in your power to keep your plant upright during the trip. Consider insulating the package or taking other measures against temperature damage. Pay for fast shipping, and ship during less busy times (avoid holidays and weekends).

#4: Make All Plant Preparations

There are a few steps you should take to prep your plant for transport:

  • Change the soil and the pot. You’ll want to utilize a plastic pot to make the plant easier to carry.
  • Next, check for insects. You can get a certificate providing your plant’s cleanliness at a local agricultural department.
  • Water your plant well to ensure that the soil is moist (though not soaking wet) to protect the roots during shipment. Remember that it is good to keep the soil moist during ground shipment or car rides, but air travel may prohibit too much water in plants.

#5: Pack Up Your Plant

You’ll need sturdy supplies to make sure your plant moves safely. Small boxes are a good idea so that your plant does not shift around. Choose a box that is close to your plant’s size.

Surround your plants with packing paper, newspaper, bubble wrap, or old bed sheets. Other supplies you might need include plastic bags, ties, flea collars, and paper towels.

Label your boxes properly. Don’t forget to tape the bottom of the box well and fill any extra space with packing paper. Poke a few holes in the box for airflow. Don’t forget to label the box with the words “Live Plant.”

If you’re bringing a plant cutting, take a sharp cut and select a healthy growth. Wrap it in a wet paper towel and secure it with rubber bands or ties. Pack the cutting the same way you would any plant—in a plastic pot, tightly in a box. Don’t forget to remove lower leaves and utilize moist potting soil.

Do your research before transporting your plants. If all goes well, they will look beautiful in your new home! For help with moving everything besides your greenery, contact Ian’s Interstate Movers. We’ll pair you with top-rated, licensed interstate moving companies who can make moving the rest of your household easy!

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