You may not realize, but before moving plants, you should do a little more research on this before you assume you’re moving company is going to take them. Here are some tips whether you are moving locally or long distance, where you will be crossing state borders.
Don’t just assume your home mover is going to transport your plants, especially when it comes to local or interstate moves. Most interstate home movers will not transport them unless they have a permit from the APHIS (Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service and PPQ) When moving out of state, movers are required to have a permit issued by this administration into and out of the this country and throughout the states to transport, load, unload, plant products, plants, and soil in cargo throughout the United States per the USDA-APHIS to ensure they are being transported safely, Under the Plan Protection Act of 2000,). If you are a moving company or transportation company looking to obtain a permit, you can contact USDA-APHIS-PPQ at 4700 River Road, #133, Riverdale, MD, phone # 1-877-770-5990.
Many states have very strict laws when it comes to allowing plants into their states, especially states like California, Arizona, and Florida due to their precious crops. Some states do not have pests and diseases, and by allowing other state plants/fruits etc, that may contaminate other states if items are transported from state to state, and in the long run pose as a threat to everyone. That is why it is very important to check your state rules and regulations ahead of time, before assuming you can take your plants with you to another state. Also after doing your research, you may want to consider before transferring your plants to another state is contacting your local Dept of Agriculture and have them inspect your plants of pests, molds, mildew, and disease, anything that can be transported to another place. Once the inspection is made, they will provide you with a Certificate of Phytosanitary (this document serves the purpose of stating your plant is pest free, treatment free, disease free, etc). If your state does allow plants they may only allow uncontaminated soil from indoor grown plants, the soil must not be contaminated, treated, etc, and not taken from the outdoors.
The Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Plant Protection and Quarantine Program, Plant Health Agencies, and the US Dept of Agriculture regulate the transfer and shipment of all plant in the United States. By contacting the states Dept of Agriculture, you can find out what laws are in effect for transporting plants in and out of your state, and if you need your plant or plants inspected contact them to come out and do an inspection for you, in case the state you are moving to requires a stamp, seal, certificate, etc. Find your state representative here. Another link you can check with is the National Plant Board, they have information on the state laws and governing bodies when it comes to transporting your plants.
If your home mover does transfer plants, after getting the Certificate of Phytosanitary, check with your company to see if they need to package them up specially or whether you are required to do so yourself. If your moving company does not transfer plants, another option to consider would be to take the cutting of the plants. Place them in a wet moss or wet peat moss and newspaper, you can put them in a plastic baggy or Ziploc bag (do not seal it, leave it open so they can breathe). Then you can regrow the plants at your new location. You may want to check with a specialty transportation company if your moving company does not take your plants if you are set on having your plants moved, and your state allows it.
So remember, check with your state administrations, check with your home mover before assuming your plant is going to be welcome in another state.