Preparing for a move usually means paring down on personal items by donating, selling or even throwing out unwanted ones. When it comes to houseplants, many people end up giving or throwing them away simply because they do not know how to safely move them, or whether the moving company will even take plants. Most residential moving companies will carry plants that are properly packed, but they will not insure them in case the plant dies. Still, it may be worth at least trying, and hoping for a favorable result.

Preparing Plants for Moving

Following are some of the steps that should be taken when preparing plants to be moved by residential moving services:

  • Start off by preparing the plants by providing best care for the weeks leading up to the move. Keep plants well watered and fed as required, do any necessary pruning, and encourage best health before the move.
  • Plan exactly how all plants will be moved. Estimate how many, and what size boxes will be needed for the plants that will be going to the new house. Choose boxes that are tall enough to not cause damage to the plants, and prepare them by lining them with heavy duty plastic bags and taping well.
  • Consider repotting temporarily if plants are in heavy, ceramic pots and packing those separately. Plastic pots are much more durable for a move, and reduce the chance of a pot breaking along the way. This should be done on the last day, if necessary.
  • Stop watering in enough time that pots will not be water soaked during the move, but the soil will still be damp for the plant. Saturated soil is also heavier to move.
  • On moving day, put the plants in the designated boxes and close them properly. Be sure to label them as plants, and which side is up! Make sure the moving company is aware of the boxes that contain plants, so they can be stored on the truck in the most suitable way.
  • For moving specific outdoor plants, prepare as above, then dig out a large root and dirt ball the day of the move, putting the ball in a temporary pot for transporting. Plants that are dug out of the ground to be moved may not fare as well as indoor potted plants, but by minimizing the time out of the soil, and immediately replanting upon arrival, success rates increase.

After The Move

Upon reaching the new destination, take the plants out of the boxes and get them back into a care schedule as quickly as possible. Make sure plants are situated in their most favorable surroundings regarding sunlight and watering, and continue to provide the best care possible to minimize plant death after the move. Replant outdoor plants according to transplanting instructions for that plant. This usually includes preparing a hole for the root ball, then feeding and watering the plant to encourage it to take root, and begin to grow again.

Moving Plants In the Car

In exceptionally cold or hot temperatures, or during an especially long move, plants may have a better chance of survival if they are transported by car. This may not always be an option, but if it is, it could help. Prepare plants as suggested above, load them into the back of the car and go. In especially hot weather, protect plants from damaging sunlight coming through the windows by making sure to use an enclosed box. Prevent extreme heat or cold exposure, and as always, get plants into the new home and situated again as quickly as possible.

Although plants may not be the easiest things to deal with during residential moving, with the right preparation they can survive a move, and live on in a new home. Plant growers that use these same methods, successfully ship thousands of plants every day. Whether sending plants with the moving company or transporting them by car, the key is the right preparation and handling before, during, and after the move!

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