Can I Bring a Plant On a Plane? 2024

Bringing small plants on a plane in both domestic and international flights is not a tedious task, however; each airline dances to its unique tune.

Here is a quick answer: You can bring plants through the airport security checkpoint as a carry-on, as long as they can fit in the overhead bin or underneath the seat in front of you. You can also have plants in checked luggage without any restrictions.

The following post, will answer all the related questions about traveling with plants, including the TSA rules, and additional tips on how to bring your potted plant on a plane safely.

Without further ado let’s take a look at flying with plants. 

Can you bring plants through the TSA checkpoint?

According to the TSA you are good to bring plants through the security checkpoint and as carry-on luggage.

However; plants cannot be in water when going through the security checkpoint because of the TSA liquid rule. ( you can take any quantity of water after you clear the security checkpoint.)

Here is a screenshot from the TSA website.

It is a good idea to wrap your plants in a cloth and in a solid pot so they withstand any handling during the transportation .

Larger plants such as trees may not be allowed on planes due to their size even if the TSA doesn’t prohibit them. 

So It is best to check with the specific airline for their policies on transporting larger plants before attempting to bring one on your next flight.

I checked the TSA social media to find more info.

Mike wanted to bring his 2.5″ x 2.5″ potted plant on a domestic flight in his hands because he had no packaging to secure the plant.

And the TSA agent confirmed that plants are good to go through the security checkpoint without any problem, however; he still need to confirm with the airline.

Here is a response from Southwest:

AnGela asked Southwest Airlines if she can fly with a live plant as carry-on or she need to transport it as checked baggage.

The Southwest customer service replied that she can travel with her plant as carry-on, but the plant may be subject to additional screening by the TSA.

Do Plants Count As a Carry-On Or A Personal Item ?

If the overall plant dimensions is above your carry-on or personal item size , it will be counted as one of these items.

But it is better if you pack your plant wisely so it can fit under the seat in front of you, that way you can always keep an eye on it during the flight.

Make sure also to take care of the plant in a way that will keep soil, water and plant matter contained.

The easiest method is to place the entire plant inside a plastic garbage bag. Let some air into the bag and tie it closed

Plant TypeCarry-on BaggageChecked Baggage
Live plantsAllowedAllowed
Fake plantsAllowedAllowed
Large PlantsAllowed (but must stay with the airline carry-on size )Allowed
Small PottedAllowedAllowed
Air PlantsAllowedAllowed
Succulents, CactiAllowedAllowed
The table shows different types of plants and if they are allowed in both carry-on and checked baggage

Can You Bring Plants On a Plane Internationally?

Yes, most airlines allow traveling with plants on international flights, and they are threatened just like your normal carry-on or checked bag.

However, carrying plants in international flights may require an advanced knowledge of the country regulations you are flying to.

For example the UK has some restrictions on the kind of plants you can bring to the country, and you will be required to present phytosanitary certificates for some kinds of plants. ( visit for more info )

In the other hand traveling with plants on a plane to Europe will require you to present a phytosanitary (plant health), a certificate attesting that the plant is healthy and is free from certain specific pests.

So before you head to the airport take a look at the country you’re traveling to and see what they say about bringing plants, some countries may have strict rules while others are mostly lenient about any kind of plants.

If you are traveling to Canada you can read more about bringing plants to Canada on Canadian Border Services Agency (CBSA) website.

How Do You Pack Plants For A Flight?

Once you are sure that your plant is allowed by the airline, it is time to pack it and so it will stay healthy and alive during the flight.

Find a garbage bag and place it inside, make sure that the bag has no holes on it to avoid a mess containing any loose soil.

make some small holes on top of the bag, so the plant can breathe.

Another way to travel with plants is to take them out from the pot and clean the soil around the roots, rinse the roots and when still wet wrap it in a plastic bag, secure it with tape on a piece of paper.

Best Plant Pots For Travel

Taking plants in a solid container can save you the hassle or the possibility of your plant getting damaged during the transportation and will help your plants make a successful move.

I checked Amazon for some of the best pots to help you with your plant moving, and I found that the solid Mueller Austria Plant is a good pot to choose.

What is good about these pots is they keep water in the bottom, so you don’t need to add water constantly.

Alternatives To Bringing Plants On A Plane

If you have a large plant that you need to take to our destination and you don’t want to bother yourself with the airlines and the TSA rules there are other options to consider.

  • Ship your plant ahead: there are several shipping companies that can take care of your plane until you get to your destination, you can either use specialized shipping company with will handle the packaging and the shipping and ensure that your plant get to its destination in good conditions, or you can use a traditional delivery service like FedEx or UPS, these companies offer express deliveries but they will be a bit costly.
  • Sometimes paying for airline fees or shipping companies will be more expensive that acquiring a new plant, so another alternative to consider ( if you can) is to find a local store or a botanical garden at your destination and purchase a new plant, you can find a wide variety of plants at your destination that suit to the local climate.

It’s always a good idea to check the plant for any pests or diseases before bringing it into your home or garden.


Final Thoughts On Taking Plants On a Plane.

The answer to the question, can I take a small plant on a plane, is a resounding yes with the right preparation, it is possible to safely travel with your plants and enjoy them in your new location.

In case you have a long flight and you want to bring some water you should keep up with the TSA rules about bringing liquids through the security checkpoint.

You can fill up a bottle of water after you clear the security checkpoint.

And If you nicely ask a flight attendant she or he will happily help you with your plant whether with water or just an extra piece of paper or bag.

As long as you reach your destination, put your plant in its original pot and water it. If your plant has some side effects from transportation just give it a few days and it will surely recover.

I hope this helps.

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