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A Helpful Guide for Moving Plants

Rectangular white and black wooden display rack beside green snake plant

If you’re planning on moving, of course you’d probably like to take your plant friends with you. You’re probably a little attached. You might have spent a lot of time or energy growing and taking care of them. Maybe you even named them! There are lots of tips and tricks you can learn to make the process much easier. In this article, we will tell you the ins and outs of moving plants.

Check the Rules

Did you know that there might be some laws you need to follow about moving your plants? These vary a lot depending on where you are moving. If you are moving plants across state lines, you should look up the legalities in your area to be safe. This is especially true if you’re moving to an entirely different part of the country. Here is a website from the National Plant Board with summaries of plant protection laws and regulations. Generally, it is OK in most states to move plants as long as you use sterile potting soil.

But, you might need to have your plants officially examined before you can move. Call your local agricultural department to set up an appointment. This is to protect against things like pesticides and invasive species. Some chemicals used to treat plants are legal in only certain parts of the US. Plant species may be fine to have in your garden in one state. But, they could be considered an invasive species in another state. This is important to remember. Even if it seems like a potted plant can’t hurt anyone, these rules are in place to protect the environment.

Green and red plants inside greenhouse
Photo by Brianna Martinez on Pexels

Think about the Weather

One thing you should think about is the climate of where you are moving. Your plant might not be able to thrive in your new home, because of factors like the weather or the sunlight. Your plant may be better off if you re-home it with a friend or a relative in your current area. Here is a helpful map that can teach you about what plants thrive best in your home. But, you might be too attached to your plants to leave them behind. There are still things you can do to help your plant friend adapt to your new home. You could consider investing in a UV lamp, a humidifier, or a dehumidifier to help your plants thrive. Or, you could keep plants in a warmer room in the house rather than outside on a patio.  

Plan How to Do It

Lots of moving companies will not move plants. Plants are fragile, and can be expensive, so it is sometimes too much of a liability. Additionally, moving trucks lack fresh air, sunlight, and water. They can also get very hot or very cold. Moving trucks are not always the best environment for your plants. But, you could should call and check with your moving company to see if they will move your plants. If you don’t want to move your plants yourself, you can ship them through FedEx, USPS, or UPS.

There are steps you should take beforehand to make sure your plants are as safe as possible when you are shipping them. First, you should take the plants out of your pots. Next, you should prune all the dead leaves and give the roots a good trim. To protect the roots and prevent them from drying out in transit, you should wrap them in a wet paper towel, and then wrap that in plastic to keep it moist. You can then wrap tape or rubber band to secure it. And, you can put a flea collar on your plants in order to take care of any pesky bugs.

Then, you should safely place the plant in a box, surrounded by newspaper or bubble wrap to protect it. You can even weigh down your box to prevent it from flipping over or shifting around too much, as plants are usually not very heavy on their own.  Be sure to poke holes in your box to allow for air flow. Next, you can put stickers or write on your box to signify that it is delicate. You can label your box with things like “Live Plant” or “Fragile” or “This End Up” in order to let everyone know what is inside.

Moving plants yourself is also possible You can use some or all of the steps above to protect your plants. Labeling your plants might not seem necessary at first, since you know what’s inside. But, it can be easy to forget what’s in a box. Especially since moving can be busy and stressful already! Labeling your boxes, especially ones containing fragile plants, can be a helpful reminder to handle with care. You can usually even take your plants with you on a plane as a carry-on, as long as they meet size requirements.

You can also keep your plants in their pots when you move them. Some people prefer to move their plants to plastic pots when moving plants themselves. This can be lighter and easier for you to carry Your plants might get thirsty during your move, so don’t forget to water them! If you are moving a long way, and staying at lodging like motels or hotels, you may want to consider keeping your plants inside with you at night. Temperatures can drop a lot at night, and that might not be good for your plants if they’re left in the car.

Variety of green plants
Photo by . ▃ on Pexels

You might think that some of your plants are too big to move, especially if they are things like trees, or shrubs, or bushes. While you most likely can’t easily take your whole plant with you, you don’t have to say goodbye to your plant forever. You can take cuttings with you to your new home, and propagate them into plants of their own for your garden. Here is a guide on propagating plants.

You’re Finished!

Finally, when you move, be sure to monitor your plants extra closely even after the move is over. You may need to adjust your plant’s watering schedule or move it into different lighting. This well help make sure your plant continues to thrive in your new home. After you are finished, don’t forget to congratulate yourself on a job well done and all of your hard work.

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