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Moving Plants Across State Lines

There is a misconception that all plants can be moved from state to state. This couldn’t be further from the truth. Many states regulate what plants can and can’t leave. If your moving company is met with an inspector at state lines, you’ll want to make sure you don’t get your plants thrown away. In this blog, we will discuss what you need to know and how to properly move plants across state lines.

First, Let’s discuss regulations. State’s entire purpose of regulation is to ensure there isn’t a plant disease outbreak, transportation of local insects or creatures, and retention of supply.

  • You will want to make sure you re-soil your plants. Prior to your move, empty the soil and put new potting soil in it. Once it’s newly soiled, tie a bag around the bottom up to the trunk or stem of the plant. This will help prevent any insects entering the soil. Make sure not to cover the actual plant as this can cause your plant to die.
  • You want to reach out to the local DMV and ask about what is and isn’t allowed to be transported. If you choose Blue Beaver Movers as your moving company, we have the knowledge to answer your questions. We specialize in Out of State Moves and can help you through each aspect of a long-distance move.
  • If your plant is made for consumption, check with the FDA to ensure it is ok to bring your plant into a new state. There are Federal regulations about the transfer of food/medicine producing plants.
  • Know the conditions needed for your plant to survive. Your plant may survive in Oregon, but will it survive in Austin Texas or the destination you are going. For help, refer to online resources.
  • Some States only let you transport plants that you have grown and have been kept in an enclosed, sealed environment. Check and see if your state regulates your plant origin and environment.
  • If you are moving from a different country, you need to check the USDA regulations, State Department Regulations, and both of your International Federal Agencies.

Moving plants across state lines that aren’t allowed can cause large fines and loss of your plant. In addition, you could potentially have to unload the truck, have everything disinfected, and then reloaded. This can add substantial cost to your move, your time, and your effort. In addition, if your moving company rejects your plants from being loaded, it could cause you to lose your plants. We understand how important/required some people’s plants are. We also understand the sentimental value that can be tied to plants. Our goal is to make sure each client is prepared and understands what can and can’t cross state lines.

Now, we will discuss how to properly move plants and how to get them ready for your moving company or for you to transport.

  • First, you need to determine how long your trip is going to take you. A good rule of thumb is a moving truck can travel about 800 miles per day. Use this to determine how long your plants will be in the back of the moving truck.
  • Once you know how long your plants will be in the back of the moving truck, you now need to decide if your plants can last that long without sunlight. The last thing you want is to get to a destination like Austin Texas or wherever you might be moving to and find your plants dead or dying. To prevent that, check your plant’s lifespan without sunlight.
  • Now you should separate your plants between which ones can go that long without sunlight and which ones can’t. For the ones that can’t, you really have 2 options. You can prioritize your plants and bring the ones you want in your car. Or the second option would be to pull a small open trailer behind your moving truck or personal vehicle. This way you can leave the plants open and exposed to sunlight.
  • For your plants that don’t need constant sunlight, you should box them up. All plants should be boxed. It’ll be important to not just have 20 plants left at the end and have to try and squeeze them on your truck. Unboxed plants take up a ton of floor space on your moving truck. When boxing, put packing paper in all the gaps around the plant. Also put packing paper on the bottom of the box prior to putting the plant in. Each plant should sit on a cushion of packing paper. Then fill the rest of the box with packing paper and seal the box. You want to ensure that you fill it in a way where the top of the box won’t just cave in. Make sure to label the box as a plant and mark the box if the plant is super fragile. For light plants that you don’t think boxes should be stacked on, label the box “top stack only”. That’s common language for moving companies.
  • If you hauling your potted plants unboxed on a moving truck, you’ll want to make sure you do the following things.
    • Create a bed of cushion using furniture pads on the ground of the truck. This will help ease the vibration of the truck and keep ceramic pots from cracking.
    • Then you want to put pads between the wall and the potted plants.
    • Then run a strap around them all and put pads between the plants and the straps.
  • If you are moving them on an open trailer, you want to cushion the floor with padding. Then use padding to separate each plant from each other. You can also use cardboard to separate each plant. The biggest thing is to ensure they don’t move and bang up against each other or the sides.

Using these tips will ensure that your plants make it to your destination safely. If you have any questions on how to move plants, feel free to contact us.

We have covered what can and can’t cross state lines, who to check with before moving your plants, and general regulations. We’ve also discussed how to move plants across state lines and the importance of taking the time to protect your plants.

We believe that we provide a unique moving experience for out of state moves. We combine our experience, knowledge, and service to ensure you have a move you can trust and enjoy.

We hope this blog has been helpful and can help you when you are moving across the state lines. If you need any help or have questions, feel free to contact us:

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