How to Move Plants with NYC Movers

moving plants - Great Movers

Nothing makes a home quite as welcoming and warm than a few houseplants. The splash of green and having a bit of nature in your home can really bring even the smallest apartments to life. While it would be great to never move once you’ve found the perfect apartment, living in Manhattan rarely goes according to plan. Chances are you will probably move at least a couple of times for a variety of reasons. Looking for top NYC movers is already stressful enough, but trying to find one that will take care of your plants is even harder.

Moving plants requires special attention as these are living beings that can easily get damaged if handled improperly. While the best movers in New York will handle them with care, there’s no guarantee that they will be unscathed during the move. So what can you do to make sure your green, leafy friends can get through the move safely?

When You Can’t Take Plants

As much as you might like your plants, there might be times where you will have to leave them behind. If you’re moving within New York City, you should be fine. The problem arises when you’re moving from state to state or from one country to another. Some plants are not allowed because they are considered invasive and could easily overrun the natural habitats of native plants if they somehow get loose.

Before you take your plants with you, check to see if the species you are taking with you is allowed in the new state or country. You don’t want to get caught smuggling illegal plants. Plus, it would be terrible to leave your plants at the border where they will likely just get tossed. If you can’t bring your plants with you, sell them off before you move to people who will take care of them.

Moving Plants

Some moving companies will not allow plants on their trucks. Plants are often too fragile and will get damaged during a move no matter how careful the movers are. If they do get damaged, the moving insurance will not cover the damages. Of course, there are some moving companies (like NYC Great Movers) who will pack plants for you. While they will do their best to pack and protect the plants, they cannot guarantee that they will arrive undamaged. If you are okay with taking that risk, you should still call the NYC movers that you want to use to make sure they do move plants.

The best option, however, is to move the plants yourself. Plants take time to transition so start preparing your plants at least three weeks before moving day. At this point you will want to repot your houseplants into lightweight plastic pots and sterile potting soil. This will make it easier to carry them. Pack your ceramic pots just as you would any other fragile items. A week before the move, start pruning back the plants and remove and dying pieces. After that, about three days before the move, water your plants.

On moving day, place plastic bags over each plant and tie off the base to prevent soil from spilling out during the move. You’ll then want to place the plant into a moving box. Smaller ones can get packed together, but you should keep larger plants by themselves. Make sure there is no room for the plants to shift. If there is a lot of space leftover, fill the gap with packing paper or bubble wrap.

If you have outdoor plants you want to bring with you, take some cuttings instead of the whole plant. You can then place these cuttings into floral tubes, fill them with water, and then cap them. This should be enough to ensure your cuttings arrive safe and sound to your new home. Just make sure you have a pot to put them in after you move so that they can grow properly.

Adjusting Your Plants After the Move

Once you have arrived at your new home, you should unpack your plants immediately and give them water and plant food. Give the plants around a week to settle before you move them into different pots or planters. Just like humans, moving is hard on plants as they are suddenly deprived of air, sun, and water. So don’t overstress them by re-potting them right after the move. Instead, give them water as necessary and then put them in the area of your home where they will receive the correct amount of light. Once your plants start looking nice and healthy again, transplant them to their ceramic pots.

For the cuttings that you took, re-plant these in a new pot so that they have time to root and grow. Remember, plants are quite delicate and it can take a few weeks for them to recover from the relocation shock. It is normal for your plants to look weaker immediately after the move. If they do not improve after a couple of weeks, you might want to consult a specialist.


If you’ve planned your move properly, you should have enough time to adjust your plants to the move as much as possible. If you want to make sure your plants have the best chance of surviving the move, it’s best that you move them yourself. Of course, if you don’t have the time to pack them, you should look up trustworthy NYC movers who will do the job for you. With that said, most moving companies will not be held liable should your plants suffer damages during the move. If your plants are very fragile and/or expensive, your best bet is to keep an eye on it yourself.


Does it cost extra to pack plants?

Yes, if you request Great Movers to pack the plants for you, we will charge you a materials fee for the box and packing materials.

Should I put my plants in full sunlight after the move?

No. At least in the beginning you should avoid full sunlight as this can further shock the plant. For the first day or so, keep it in a room that gets indirect sunlight.

What should I do if I don’t have enough space for all of my plants?

If you don’t have enough space for your plants, you should give it to family and friends or donate to retirement homes, hospitals, or community gardens.