There also are specific rules that apply to moving houseplants from one place to another that most homeowners aren’t aware of.
Moving Houseplants Long Distances
Houseplants need a few essential things to survive: Fresh air, sunshine and water. If any or all of these things is kept from the houseplant — such as when they are packed into a dark moving van for several days — the results can be fatal.
Transport houseplants in a temperature-controlled environment, such as your car. Extreme temperatures, lack of sunlight, or no fresh air can kill some houseplants.
There’s actually a federal law regulating this: The “Household Goods Carrier’s Bureau Tariff” prohibits a carrier from accepting a shipment containing perishable items such as houseplants unless the shipment is moving 150 miles or less and/or the delivery will be made within 24 hours.
No Plants Allowed
Some states regulate the transport of certain types of plants. In some instances, a Gypsy Moth Certificate may be required for each plant you move into a new state.
California, Florida and Arizona have the most rigid laws regulating the movement of houseplants into the state. In California, for example, there are border patrol crossings that can inspect shipments for perishable items such as houseplants.
As a general rule, most states require that if plants are going to be allowed into the state, they must have been grown indoors in sterilized potting soil, not dirt taken from outdoors.
If you aren’t sure or don’t want to deal with these regulations, you might be better off finding a kind home for your houseplants before you move and simply buying new plants once you arrive at your destination.