Moving plants from one home to another can be tricky. Many times, people spend years caring for their plants and keeping them healthy, so uprooting them, loading them onto a dark truck, and moving them across town or across the country, can undo all the hard work you’ve done.

In this article, we look at how you can easily and safely move your plants from one house to another.

Before Moving Day

To ensure your plants have the best chance of surviving the trip, it’s best to prepare them for the move well ahead of time, and begin this process about three weeks before the day you’re set to move.

The first step is to transfer your plants from their clay pots to durable plastic pots to ensure they don’t crack or break during the trip. Next, at about two weeks until your deadline, it’s essential you trim and prune your plants so they’ll be ready to sprout new growth once they arrive at your new destination. At approximately one week out, inspect your plants to ensure there are no parasites or insect infestations and get rid of any you find. However, be careful about using pesticides because some moving companies won’t allow the transfer of those products, so it’s best to ask first. Also, some moving companies won’t accept plants, so make sure you call first so you can arrange something else should the company you hire refuse to move your plants.

Last, make sure your plants are watered normally before you move. If you follow these steps, your plants should be as healthy as possible when it’s time for the big trip.

The Day of the Move

Depending on the size of your plants, you have different methods for packing. Smaller plants can be placed into boxes with adequate packing material surrounding the pot to keep it stable. Packing material can include newspaper, or old clothes, but whatever you use, be sure to provide plenty of cushion and stability so they don’t fall over during a bumpy ride. If you have tall plants, experts recommend that you pack sphagnum moss into your pots, and then wrap the pot with plastic so it won’t spill out if you lay it down on the seat or floor.

It’s also essential you keep the temperature in your vehicle constant and not allow the plants to get too cold or too hot. This is a good reason to consider keeping the plants with you as opposed to putting them on a moving truck because you can’t ever be sure what the temperature will be on the back of the moving van.

If your move will take several days, such as with moving across the country, treat your plants much like you would your pets. Make sure they get the right amount of water, and if you leave them in the car, crack the window so they get plenty of fresh air. And again, try to keep the temperature at the optimal level for the plants you have.

moving with plants

A Word About The Law

Before you move your plants, it’s essential you know the regulations of the state you’re moving to regarding your plants. For example, some states don’t allow certain species of plants like Arizona who doesn’t allow citrus plants across state lines because of the chance they’ll bring parasites and other diseases into the state. You can check with the Department of Agriculture before you move your plants to be certain.

Be Mindful Of The Season

Moving experts say, when moving plants, be mindful of the season you’re in. For example, if you’re moving during the summer, you can cause harm to your perennials if you uproot them and move them during the heat. Moving plants out of season can cause them stress, which can lead to them dying. You can check with your local garden club on the best time of the year to move the particular plants you have.

Consider Cuttings

Let’s say you have a lot of lush plants that enhance the landscape of your home and there’s too many to take, or you don’t want to leave the new home’s owner with a barren yard. In this situation, consider taking cuttings instead of the entire plant. Experts recommend packing cuttings in floral tubes with water, which should keep them safe and healthy during the trip.

Once you Arrive

When you arrive at the new home, take your plants out of the boxes and packing material and get them some water and sunlight right away. If you transplanted them into plastic pots, put them back into clay.

Moving can be stressful on your plants, but with a little planning, there’s no reason you can’t keep them healthy and have them arrive safely during a move.