I am planning to move from California to Illinois and while selecting the moving company to transport my belongings I have noticed that they mostly do not want to transport plants.

Unfortunately for me, I have ~20 indoor plants (something like this). I am aware that it would be way cheaper to throw them away and buy the new one, but they have a sentimental value for me, so if the price is below 2k, I would rather move them.

I can't say that I have checked every moving company, but from the first 3-4 of them none of them allowed plants.

My question is: how can I move my plants from CA to IL.

1 Answer 1


This isn't just a matter of the shipping companies being difficult. Each state has its own regulations about what plants can be brought into their jusridiction, and what inspections are required. It is, for example, forbidden to take citrus trees into Californa without having them inspected, These regulations exist to protect the local industries from the import of disease and pests that might harm them.

In your case, moving a batch of miscellaneous houseplants may seem trivial, but might involve inspections on every state border that you cross, some of which might specifically preclude you transporting one or more of your plants.

You'd have to check the regulations for each state you intend to cross, and check every species you wish to transport. This could be a significant amount of bureaucracy to navigate, and explains why the shipping companies don't want to get involved.

You could start by talkng to the Illinois Department of Agriculture

You might also find some useful information in this article

You might quickly find that leaving your much-loved plants behind is the only feasible option.

  • Thank you. I was aware that there are probably some state/country regulation which make this difficult, but was not aware that this is so difficult. So basically even for pretty standard household plants you can't just go to some agriculture department, pay some fee and get some piece of paper. Is this right? Now I am curious how the stores which sell those plants transport them and whether it is possible to somehow ask them to transport my plants.
    – random
    Mar 11, 2020 at 7:42

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