Some carriers have no problem transporting plants, but when traveling a long distance, that may change. Check with your carriers about their policy on moving plants. If your carriers aren't going to move the plants, take them to your car if they fit. However, if you move long distances, things can get complicated.
Many moving companies will move plants long distance or out of state, but that may not be the best option. Depending on the type of plant, it may be necessary to water it constantly or keep it within a specific temperature range, and these things are difficult to guarantee when they are in the back of a moving truck. Your healthiest plants may work well, but for anything delicate, it's probably best to travel with you. If you have hired a moving company, they will not cover damage to plants.
The plants are too fragile and are likely to suffer from the move. Some moving companies don't even allow plants on their trucks. Ask before you move if the company has any rules about plants. Moving plants in your home could be more difficult than you would expect.
Plants are classified as “perishable items” under federal guidelines. Because they are perishable, federal law does not allow them to be transported in regulated moving vans for distances greater than 150 miles or on trips longer than 24 hours in length. These rules are there so that the moving company can comply with the law and keep you and your carriers safe from harm. Do not shake off the extra soil attached to the root ball, as it will offer additional protection during movement.
As mentioned above, moving companies will not move flowers, potted plants or garden plants because they are prohibited for transportation (due to their unparalleled fragility). Professional transporters are not allowed to move plants because the latter are too fragile and almost never survive the moving trip, regardless of their duration. It's important to know that most moving truck and shipping container companies don't allow plant transportation. If you move from one state to another or from one country to another, sometimes your plants are not allowed to move with you.
Your plants can survive a local move, but they're not likely to make it during a cross-country move that takes days to complete. Plants are known for their unparalleled fragility and low survival rate when moved from one home to another. Just remember that your plants need time to adapt to the new space like the rest of your family and recover from replanting, so do it a few weeks before the move. Place bubble wrap or foam padding between the pot and the box to make sure the plant doesn't move or tip over during the move.
Doing so could void your contract with the moving company and invalidate any protection if the plants cause a disaster that damages your belongings. If you have potted houseplants that need to be moved a long distance, you'll want to take some steps to make sure the pots don't break and that the plants survive the trip. This organization partners with moving companies such as Mid-West Moving & Storage to collect non-perishable food from people who are moving.