If you’re off on a long holiday, it can be hard to know what to do with your plants. Sure, you could get a neighbor to look after them – but what about if it’s a long trip? Or what if you’re emigrating?
You are probably wondering “Can you bring houseplants on a plane?” and thinking you’re the only person who has ever asked this – you are not, and we have the answers for you!
What You'll Learn Today
Can You Bring Houseplants On A Plane?
The short and easy answer to this is yes, you can bring your houseplants on a plane. However, you will have to use common sense.
It’s no good bringing your 10 foot tall Jade plant and expecting it to sit happily in the aisle, blocking the way to the toilet.
It’s also not advisable to bring plants that can cause toxicity anywhere near the public (we know you’re sensible, but we can’t vouch for everyone else!)
The best thing you can do is to contact your airline in advance if you are planning to take your house plants away with you.
Most airlines have different rules for things they will and will not allow to be carried with you, so always check before you fly.
How Do You Take Houseplants On A Plane?
Assuming your house plant is the small, potted kind, they are generally carried in the overhead compartments, or in the space under the seat in front of you.
You will need to take measures to ensure your plant is protected, especially if it is going to be a long flight.
- A couple of weeks before you fly, give your plant a thorough pruning to remove dead leaves and spent flowers.
- Repot it into a plastic pot, if it is not already, to minimize weight and the danger of breakage.
- The day before you fly, give your plant a good drink of water and a feed of fertilizer, to prepare it for its journey.
- Wrap the entire plant in a plastic bag to avoid soil spilling out of the pot, or consider carrying it “bare.”
- Some airlines demand that your plant be carried without soil, to prevent the possible spread of insects or pathogens, so check with your airline before you fly.
- Always check that the type of plant you want to bring is allowed in your destination country – there’s nothing worse than arriving and finding you have to leave your green baby behind!
- Try to keep your plant upright, whether it is in the overhead compartment or by your feet.
As long as you are sensible, and respectful of your fellow passengers on the flight, you should be able to easily travel on a plane with your houseplants.
This video will give you even more ideas on how to take a plant on a plane:
Can You Carry-On A Potted Plant On A Plane?
Yes, you can. In fact, this is the main way that potted plants are transported. As long as they are small enough, that is!
As long as your plant fits within your luggage weight allowance, you bring it onto the plane as carry-on luggage.
You should always check with your airline, but as a rough guideline carry-on baggage is usually deemed to be 22 x 14 x 9 inches.
As long as your plant fits these criteria, and as long as it is packed well to avoid disruption to other passengers, you should be fine.
Do pay attention to where you put your plant – if it is a packed plane with lots of luggage in the overhead compartments, you might prefer to have your plant by your feet.
Try not to let the plant get crushed or damaged (easier said than done, we know!) and make sure it stays upright.
Can Plants Be Seen On X Ray?
If you are wondering this because you are thinking about smuggling your plants onto a plane, then you should probably rethink smuggling anything onto a plane!
Even if you try to hide it in your luggage, chances are it will be spotted on an X-ray machine and you will have to explain yourself.
Yes, X-ray machines can detect stems, flowers and seeds, even if their pictures of the leaves will be rather hazy, so you won’t be able to hide your plants.
If, on the other hand, you are worried about your plants being damaged by the airport X-ray machine, then don’t worry too much.
The amount of radiation they experience will be minimal, and for such a short time, that it certainly won’t do your plants any harm.
Declare any plants that you take on a plane with you, and give them an extra good water and feed when you get to your destination, and all should be fine.
Can I Take Plants From UK To Europe?
This has become a more tricky question in the last few years, due to a certain major political referendum in the UK!
Before Brexit, you could bring any plants into a European country, as long as they were grown in an EU country and weren’t carrying any pests or diseases.
Now that the UK is no longer in the EU, you will need to get a permit to move plants from the UK to Europe.
You will need certification for the health of your plant, and it must be declared for inspection at the entry point to that country.
If you are planning to move to a European country and you couldn’t bear to leave your beloved Peace Lily behind, this may be ok. But I wouldn’t think that taking it on holiday with you every time you go would be much fun! Best to leave it with the neighbors.
If you love your plants more than anything, and you really don’t want to leave them at home, you can take them away with you.
This may turn out to be slightly more of a hassle than getting a neighbor to pop in water them once in a while, just to warn you!