How to Move Houseplants

More and more people are moving these days, and more people are finding ways to relocate some of the more delicate items that they have in their homes. Perhaps one of the most delicate is the houseplants that make a home look lived in and beautiful. People who keep plants in their homes, especially over the long term, don’t exactly want to part with these things when it comes time to move to a new home. Thankfully, they can now take these items with them. Still, because plants are living things, it is important to approach the situation knowing how to pack these items so that you can provide protection for the moving truck as well as the plant itself.

Who Moves It

There are legalities surrounding the movement of plants, especially if you’ve hired a long distance moving company to transport your things. In most cases, unless your move will take less than 24 hours, the movers will not be able to transport your plants. This doesn’t mean you can’t move them yourself, but you should be prepared if you are relocating some distance away. Regardless of who moves your plants, you will need to follow the same rules of packing them.


You should begin preparing your plants about three weeks ahead of your move. Start by getting your plants into the containers they will be transported in. Pots for transport should be plastic and not glass or ceramic, as these containers can break. Make sure that the pot is about the same size as the one your plant is used to.

A week after you transplant your plant into its travel pot, prune it so that it will be easier to pack and overall a healthier plant. Pruning is simple; all you have to do is pinch the areas of newer growth with your finger and thumb. Keep in mind that not all plants will respond well to the pruning process, so do research online about your specific plant first.

As moving day approaches and you only have a week until the movers arrive, take time to ensure that your plants are pest free. One method of doing this involves using pesticides, but if you do so, you need to use extreme caution. You can also wrap your plants in a black plastic trash bag for 24 hours to kill anything living on it. After the 24 hours is over, remove the bag and throw it away.

Water your plant as you normally would all the way up until two days before moving day.

Packing for Transit

You should only pack your plants the night before the move will actually take place. Some people even think it’s better to pack the morning of the move. Regardless, be sure that you take the time to pack them correctly. Start by wrapping the plant in an old sheet or damp paper towels to protect the leaves and branches. Then, place the travel pot and its contents into a box. Use packing paper or other materials to fill in the gaps around the pot to ensure that it does not move around when all of this is going on.

For smaller plants, you can simply close the box and punch air holes in the sides to ensure they get to your new home without trouble. For larger ones, you can cut the corners from the box flaps and close the flaps around the main trunk of the plant. If you do this, you may also want to cover it with a black trash back to keep it in a dark and quiet place. This will reduce its exposure to more sun or heat than it needs, or more cold than is healthy, while minimizing the stress it has to be under throughout the move.

Arriving Home

Your plants should be one of the first things that you unpack and get into your new home. This is important, especially if you’ve been on the road for some time. Take a moment to unpack your plants and get them settled in a location where there won’t be a whole lot of foot traffic. Give them water and let them settle while you unload everything else into your new place.