Moving to a new house is a difficult chore by itself. When you factor in having to move plants, the stress can fly off the charts! If you don’t plan well when moving with houseplants, you can damage or injure your plants. Houseplants are delicate and need to be treated with care when relocating.
Here are eight tips to keep in mind to keep your houseplants safe and sound while moving:
1. Before Moving With Houseplants, Check Regulations Across States
If you’re moving into a new house within the same state, you won’t have any trouble transporting your plants. However, if you’re moving to a new state or a new country, there are other considerations. You’ll want to be aware of any laws about moving plants across territorial lines.
In the U.S., for example, some states have strict laws that pertain to transporting houseplants. These laws are especially common for plants that are not endemic to the state. These laws are in place to protect the native ecosystem of a state. Some of the states with the strictest laws include California, Washington, and Florida. Additionally, agricultural states often have strict rules that cover bringing live plants into the area. To be safe, check the laws of the state to where you’re moving.
If the area you’re moving to requires a certificate of inspection, you can get this by calling your local agricultural department. They may want you to schedule an appointment with an authorized agricultural examiner. In these cases, a certificate of inspection will make transporting your plants across state lines easier.
2. Consider Temperature and Light
Something else to consider before you move is whether your houseplants will thrive in the climate in your new location. When light and temperature conditions are far from their old ones, even the hardiest plant varieties can have problems adapting. For instance, many houseplants do not do as well in cold climates.
While moving with plants, keep your plants in a temperature-controlled environment, such as inside your car or a closed truck. Placing plants in an open truck bed might be convenient, but the fluctuating temperatures may harm your plants.
3. Choose the Right Transport Method
As the saying goes, “If you want a job done right, do it yourself.” When it comes to moving with houseplants, it’s best if you can move the plants yourself. That way, you’ll be able to monitor them during the move. You can make sure plants aren’t exposed to extreme weather and provide them with water when necessary. No one will care about your plants the way you do.
If you aren’t able to transport your houseplants yourself, you can investigate hiring a transporting company. However, many moving companies won’t accept living things for transport, including houseplants. Ask your moving company if they have experience with transporting houseplants. If they do, find out what protocols they have to make sure plants are safe during transit.
4. Prepare Your Houseplants
Be sure to prepare your plants before you move. First, replace the old soil with fresh, sterile soil. Doing so will help eliminate soil-borne insects or pathogens that may be residing in your soil. Two days before moving, water the plants enough to make the roots moist but not overly wet. While en route, make sure the soil is kept moist. Also, prune dead leaves and branches before the move.
5. When Moving with Plants, Pack Them Properly
For smaller houseplants, consider placing them together in a large plastic bin or container so they’re easy to move. Place a plastic bag over each pot and tie the bag’s opening at the plant’s base to prevent the soil from slipping out and making a mess.
For larger houseplants, pack a layer of sphagnum moss on top of the soil. The sphagnum will keep the soil moist and prevent it from spilling out.
6. Monitor Your Plants While Moving with Houseplants
If you have a long move ahead, make sure to keep an eye on your plants. Have a spray bottle handy to keep the soil moist, and make sure there’s enough airflow around the plants. If you’re moving in hot weather, make regular stops in shaded areas to check your plants’ condition. If you’re moving in cold weather, avoid drafts or blasts of cold air that can shock plants and cause damage.
7. Use a Trolley when Necessary
Be sure not to underestimate how heavy houseplants can be. Even if you have smaller houseplants, the weight can quickly add up if there are many of them. Invest in a trolley to help you move the plants around. Your back and legs will thank you! What’s more, you won’t jostle your plants as much if they’re placed on a trolley while moved.
8. Tend to Plants Once You Reach Your Destination
Once you get to your new place, give your houseplants some TLC. Just like other living things, they need to settle down and adjust to their new surroundings. Place your plants in their preferred conditions (shady and cool, dry and bright, etc.) and immediately remove the plastic wrap. Water them and leave them undisturbed for a few days.
The act of moving your plants can shock your plants and cause them to wilt or lose their leaves. But don’t worry too much. These reactions are normal. If you have healthy plants, they should soon readjust and be back to normal.
Moving with Houseplants – The Wrap-up
Moving to a new place can be just as tiring and taxing for your houseplants as it is for you. However, with some preparation beforehand and careful monitoring during and after the move, you’ll enjoy healthy and happy houseplants in your new home in no time.