Moving with plants: How to pack and move your plants safely
Making a move out of your old place and into a new one? Taking stock of your belongings includes how to pack them carefully so that they remain in good condition once they arrive at your new location. If you count your potted pothos, aloe plants, or other leafy greens and blooms among your items, learning whether you can bring them with you and how to prepare them for transit during your move will be a key step in your relocation process.
There are a few considerations and steps involved, so keep reading for more on how to get your house plants ready for the move so they can soak up the sun in your new location.
How Will Your Plants Do in a New State?
Considering the conditions and local climate of your new address, it’s worth it to determine if the care your plant(s) need, including sunlight, water, soil, etc. can be achieved where you’re going. Further, will you have time and space to take care of them? Both your ability to tend to them and their environment are good to consider before you make a move with them.
If after a bit of research you determine that your plant(s) have a better chance of thriving in their current environment, you may consider gifting them to a neighbor or friend before your leave. However, if you feel that your ability to take care of them and the new environment will keep those flowers and leaves perky, then continue on with your green thumb moving plan.
Will Your New State Allow Your Plants?
As you consider bringing your fern friends along with you to your next destination, you’ll want to see whether the types of plants you have are allowed. Each state has its own set of regulations related to whether a person who has a particular plant may enter the state. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration suggests getting into contact with the state’s Plant Regulatory Official to ask about any state-specific regulations to inform your move. While it may seem like an unnecessary step, the regulations are meant to safeguard against harmful pests and plants in a given environment.
Once you know that your house plant(s) are making the move and meet the necessary state regulations, you’ll want to make a plan for keeping them safe and secure in transit.
First, a few questions to guide your plan. Do you hope to:
- Ship your plants to your new location?
- Travel in your personal vehicle with your plants?
- Work with a moving company to relocate your belongings, including your plants?
If you plan on shipping your plants:
Research available shipping options in your area and any restrictions. You’ll also want to consider if it’ll take more than a week for your plant to get to your new location. If shipping times are on the longer side, your house plants may not fare well on the journey to your new address. Choosing an expedited shipping option may be wise.
If this option meets your needs, repotting your plants about three weeks in advance of your move date is a good idea.
Repotting your plant
First, gather your supplies:
- Shatterproof plastic containers/pots
- Sterile potting soil
- Packing boxes
- Packing paper, towels, or bubble wrap for padding
Then, in the weeks before your move date:
- Three weeks before: Repot your plant into a plastic shatterproof container with sterile potting soil.
- Two weeks before: Prune back new growth and dead leaves to make the plants less voluminous for the move (no need to do this for succulents and ferns).
- One week before: Check the plants for any bugs or parasites. Treat as needed, but take note that pesticides may not be items you can take with you on your move.
- A few days before: Make sure not to overwater your plants in preparation. This will reduce the risk of fungal growth or freezing water due to changes in temperature and environment.
- Before shipping your plants: Use packing paper or bubble wrap as padding to fill in the empty space in the shipping box so the plant doesn’t shift in transit.
If you’re transporting plants in your personal vehicle:
You can decide if repotting seems necessary if you feel as if they can be safe and secure without it. Some additional considerations include:
- You may find that securing them in your car on the flattest surface possible is wise, perhaps on the floorboards.
- Wrap a plastic bag around the outside of the pot and tie at the base of the plant to keep the soil from shifting.
- Pad the empty space around the pots in the boxes with old towels, packing paper, or bubble wrap. Gently placing some packing paper around the top of the plant to minimize shifting can also be good.
- Poke holes in the box to allow for more airflow.
- Label the box clearly as a “live plant.”
If you’re hoping to work with a moving company:
You’ll want to ask ahead of time if houseplants are on the moving company’s list of allowable items. If they are able to move them, some may only do so for local moves and not cross-country moves. Again, checking ahead with your moving company first is wise.
Taking care of your house plants in preparation for your move can increase the likelihood that you’ll be able to enjoy them again at your new address. The same level of care can be afforded to the rest of your belongings as well — especially if you opt to work with Piece of Cake Moving and Storage. Our moving professionals have the safekeeping know-how for all types of items while in transit to a new location. Plus, we offer a number for practical packing and moving tips on our blog to inform do-it-yourself strategies. Whether you’re handling most of it yourself or you want to hand it off to our moving experts, you’ll be happy you partnered with us to tackle your next move.
Ready to make a move? Get in touch today for an obligation-free guaranteed flat price moving quote.