Things You Need to Know When Moving Plants Across State Lines

We often move out of our existing homes for various reasons. It could be because of a promotion at work or an acceptance to a university that we’ve applied to. This post introduce about moving plants across state lines. Some of us move from one state to another because housing is cheaper, there are better job opportunities, or the lifestyle is more appealing. Either way, there’s a good chance that people will be bringing more than just the clothes on their back. 

It’s easy to form attachments to the things we collect in our home. Other people might decide to bring their furniture across the country with them, while others might just bring items of sentimental value with them and get new furniture when they arrive.

Other homeowners may also think about moving homes with their pets as well. However for those of us who are plant parents, moving to a different state can cause a bit of worry--what will happen to the plants we’ve been taking care of for quite some time?

Of course you need to look at buying a house with a garden so you can bring your plants with you. However transporting plants across state lines is a bit more complex than putting all your belongings with you in a car and booking it. Here’s a guide that will help you understand the intricacies behind moving your plants.


Moving Plants Across State Lines

Rules and Regulations

Many states in the US have their own laws surrounding the import and transport of plants. There are many reasons why a lot of states have these laws in place, but it’s primarily there to prevent the spread of pests and diseases that could harm the local plant species.

Below are a few ways that states regulate the transport of plants:

  • Citrus trees are banned from being transported from one place to another, even within state limits. Citrus can easily catch citrus related diseases and can quickly pass them on to other citrus trees in the area.
  • Your plants will often be subjected to a quarantine. Doing so will help prevent the spread of pests to native species in your new state.
  • Moving house plants across state lines will require an inspection from specific government organizations such as the Department of Agriculture.
  • Any invasive plant species or noxious weeds will not be allowed entry. This is to ensure the safety of the local flora.
  • Prior to shipping, house plants need to be potted in fresh, sterile potting soil before it gets shipped to another state.

There are many other ways that states regulate plant import and transport. You can check what your new state has to say about bringing in plants through the National Plant Board or by checking in with the Department of Agriculture for more details.

If you’ve already got a great flower garden going on in your home but aren’t able to bring all of your beautiful plants with you, you can always give them to your green-thumbed friends. When you move to your new home in your new state, you can always get started on a new garden and plant the most beautiful flowers. Alternatively, you could also start a different garden growing vegetables and herbs.

Plant Care

There’s a lot of preparation that comes with moving plants to another state. You’ll need to prep any plants that you will be bringing with you well before moving day comes.

At least three weeks before the day of the move, your plants should be repotted into plastic pots which will lower the risk of broken pots during the move. Over the next few weeks, you may need to remove new growth on your plants in order to make them easier to transport.

You also need to check your plants for any parasites or pests to prevent them from being confiscated. Don’t forget to water your plants, take care not to over- or under-water them.

Some plants may require specialized transport if you are moving across the country. Getting the help of long distance moving services to make sure your plant babies will be safe during the move is a great idea. Alternatively, you can also consider bringing cuttings to save on space if you don’t plan on hiring a moving company to bring your things for you. You can also just bring seeds with you if you are very skilled at growing new plants and don’t mind leaving your grown plants behind.

On the day of the move, you need to make sure your plants are packed securely and labelled properly. You may be stopped at state borders for inspections, so make sure you ready your plants’ certificates of inspection. You also need to make sure that your plants are packed in a way that can be easily inspected as well.

Once you’ve cleared inspection and have arrived at your new place, you need to unpack your plants immediately. Remove them from their packaging carefully to avoid breaking or bruising the plants. If you need to plant them outside, you need to make sure that you get rid of weeds in your lawn. Repot your plants in terracotta pots and give them a healthy dousing of water if their soil is dry.

Some plants may need some time to acclimate to its new environment. As much as possible, try not to move it around as much and give it time to recover from transplant shock. In the event that it still doesn’t look like it has recovered as much, you may need to do some plant first aid in order to nurse it back to health.

Transporting plants from one state to another is not an easy task. It requires careful planning, research, consideration and coordination in order to make the move a successful one. Poor preparation can cause not just the death of your plants, but you could also end up permanently damaging the ecosystem of the state you are moving to.

By following this guide, you will ensure that your plants will successfully thrive in your new home and ensure the health and safety of the native species in your new home state.

Things You Need to Know When Moving Plants Across State Lines
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Tina Martino

My passion is gardening. Along with my husband and children, each year we grow a garden large enough to provide our family of five with over half of our needed produce. Besides vegetables and a small berry patch, I also focus my attention on beautifying our home with strategically placed flowers, herbs, and flowering plants. Gardening is more than just a hobby; it is a way of life.

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