How to Move Plants to Your New Home Safely

You have just purchased a new house. A new home, a new chapter in life. Sounds thrilling, right?

Much as the thought of moving to another house sounds exciting, there is a lot of work to be done before you can just sit on the sofa and marvel at the view of your new home and the feeling of it. Now that you have packed everything, you haven’t forgotten your plants, right? I hope not.

Packing and transporting plants requires meticulous attention because the plants are so fragile and can easily be damaged.

Here is what you need to think of to make sure that your plants arrive safely at your new home.

  1. What you need to know before the move
  2. How to prepare your plants for transportation
  3. How to pack your plants
  4. What to do with your plants once you get there

What You Need to Know Before the Move

1. To move or not to move, that’s the question

If you are a keen gardener who has spent considerable time taking care of your leafy friends, you will probably want to bring them all with you.

However, sometimes that is not possible and you need to make a selection.

For instance, if you are traveling to another state, some species of plants, might not be allowed, so you should check the regulations on plant movement. Especially if you have a lot of rare plants in your collection.

The following factors can help you decide what plants to bring:

  • Bring plants that are important to you, that evoke happy memories, and have sentimental value
  • Consider the climatic conditions of your new place of residence
  • Research the type of soil in your new area
  • Research some plants that perform well in your new area
  • Think about the space of your new garden and house
  • Think about the fragility of your plants and the conditions necessary for their preparation and packing

Do not let this discourage you, as you can still take the cuttings of your favorite plants and grow them again. You can give other plants to your friends and family, donate them or sell them.

2. Plan your work, then work on your plan

Having pictures of your new home and garden is tremendously useful for drawing up a plan and a new garden design. Take into account the type of soil, the climate, and the likely conditions – such as wind and frost. You can also seek professional advice and hire an expert.

3. Means of transport

One option is to talk to your transport company about the plants you want to take, the amount of space you will need, and the necessary protection that your plants need for traveling safely.

However, transporting plants in any type of van is not a good choice, since there is no sunlight, no airflow, and temperatures are not controlled, so you might want to consider some other option.

You can also have your plants transported via an airline company, but there is the same risk as in the previous case.

Another option is by mail, which is also risky. If you decide to do this (hope not), fill the box with paper and poke a few holes to allow airflow.

The best option is to transport them in your own vehicle since you can observe them and regulate temperature conditions according to their needs, provide enough sunlight by opening the back of your van or car at intervals, water them if necessary and let some airflow in.

4. Traveling distance

You are lucky if you are moving locally, as the traveling distance is shorter and you are already familiar with the species that perform well in your general area.

However, if you are moving across state lines, you may have to pass a control check, in which case you might need to have a special permit for transporting plants.

Make sure you are familiar with the rules and regulations of this type.

5. Season

The best time for transporting plants is early spring or late fall because plants are easily adaptable to new conditions at that time of the year.

However, if you are moving in the winter season, water your plants a few days before you move, pull your car into the garage and put the plants inside from there to prevent the temperature shock, and wrap them with newspapers.

If you are traveling during the hot summertime, make sure your plants have enough water prior to and during transportation and keep your windows rolled down. But try to avoid it because the sun is too strong and the air too dry.

How to Prepare Your Plants for Transportation

How to Prepare Your Plants for Transportation

Once you have decided what plants you want to take with you, it is time to make some preparations.

Repot your houseplants into shatter-proof plastic pots, and add fresh, sterile soil. Prune, trim and remove dead leaves and flowers if necessary, especially on larger plants.

Check your plants for insects and pests.

Water your plants as you normally would.

Soak your outdoor plants the day before, dig them up the next day, remove them from the earth, cover the roots in the soil, and wrap them in a layer of damp sacking and protective bubble wrap.

The roots of the smaller plants can be wrapped in paper bags.

You can also take cuttings and put them in floral tubes filled with water and capped.

How to Pack Your Plants

Regardless of your means of transportation, make sure to pack the plants properly.

On the day of moving out, pack each plant in some tissue paper or an old bed sheet and then place it in a card box. Small pots can share a box.

Fill the box with bubble wrap, packing paper, or newspaper.

Poke a few holes in the box to allow the plants to breathe.

Label the boxes ’fragile’ or ’hardy’ and put them in the vehicle accordingly.

Pack your plants last.

It helps to have some tools at your disposal, so pack a watering can, some gloves, a trowel, secateurs, and a cloth or two.

What can you do during the transportation?

Regulate your temperature, take breaks in the shade, open the doors of the vehicle, let the plants breathe, and water them. Bring the plants with you if you are stopping at a hotel.

What to do With Your Plants Once You Get There

Unpack your plants through the bottom of the box as soon as you arrive. They will need some time to adjust to the new home, just like you, so make sure to keep them in the shadier spots before letting them soak up more sun, water them and give them some nutrients.

Refrain from repotting them, since this will cause an additional, unnecessary shock for them.

On the other hand, tend to your outdoor plants first and plant them into the ground as soon as you can and water them every day.

Finally, make sure to observe and examine how your plants are reacting to the new conditions and make changes accordingly.

It doesn’t seem that difficult, right? Now you are ready to embark on your homeward journey with your plants safely packed.

Whether you want to buy, sell, or simply reach out to other plant enthusiasts, Plantly is the right place to be!

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