Moving Plants to a New Home

moving plants to a new home

Moving can be a stressful time for anyone. Between decluttering your house and coordinating the move from your old house to your new home, there are a lot of things on your mind. Chances are, most everything from inside your old house will make the move to your new home.

But what about your plants? Whether it’s your potted indoor plants or your prized flower garden, you may want to bring the plants to your new home. But just like humans get stressed out with moving, did you know it’s possible for your plants to get stressed during a move? 

Plants, just like other fragile items, require a certain method for packing and moving. The method will vary for an indoor houseplant or outdoor plants. But there are similarities.


Preparation for Moving Plants

If you are moving across state lines, the first thing you have to do is make sure the plant you intend to bring is allowed in the state, Spare Foot reports. Certain kinds of plants can be an invasive species to a region, and the state may be trying to control the population. The United States Department of Agriculture has a feature on their website that shows you any restrictions on what plants can enter a particular state.

Next, figure out which plants you can feasibly remove from the yard. Summer is typically the most popular time to move homes, but it’s also the hardest on plants. Taking extra precautions if you’re moving in the summer.

Typically, once your house goes under contract with a potential buyer, no changes can be made to the outside of your home. says this includes the removal of plants. Keep that in mind when planning your move.

If you plan on using a moving company, check with them and make sure they’re allowed to move plants. Moving plants is always risky because of the high chance they’ll die during a move, and many companies won’t risk it. If they do allow plants to be part of the move, make sure your plants — both indoor and outdoor — are the last items loaded onto the truck. This will let them be the first things unloaded when you get your new home and, in the case of outdoor plants, they’ll be planted and acclimated to their new home faster.

Some shipping companies will allow you to ship plants across the country, HGTV notes. However, be aware that should anything happen to your plants during the shipping process, the shipping companies won’t be held responsible.


Moving Indoor Potted Plants

Avoid moving potted plants in a ceramic or decorative bowl. Those are more prone to breaking. Should they break during the move, the potting soil will be all over your car, adding to your stress.

Once you have a suitable pot for transporting your plants and you’re moving across town, just put the plant in an empty moving box, line the inside of the box with newspaper to give the plant some cushioning in the box. The plant is then ready to move to your new home.

If you’re moving a taller house plant, pack the plant with sphagnum moss at the top, then wrap it in plastic and tie it off to prevent any spillage in your vehicle.

Moving longer distances is a little trickier. The packaging of the plant is still the same, but it’s even more imperative that the plant is in a pot that’s sturdy enough since you’ll be traveling a farther distance. When it comes to the actual move, treat your plant as if it were a pet. Give your plants lots of water, make sure the temperature doesn’t change drastically, leave your windows open when you aren’t in the car, and take your plants into a hotel if you’re staying overnight somewhere. That will help increase the plant’s likelihood of surviving the move.


Moving Outdoor Plants

Moving your outdoor plants presents more complications than moving indoor plants, but it is possible. Just start the preparations well in advance, not the night before. 

The week leading up to your move, water your plants generously. Always water at night to give the plants a higher chance of absorbing the water without the sun drying them out. Water them again the morning of the move.

Trim any dead leaves and stems from your flowers so your plants can direct their energy to preserve parts of the healthy parts. If you aren’t already in the habit of doing this, it’s a good one to form.

To dig up your plants, use a trowel to dig a wide circle around the base. Digging a wide circle cuts down on the likelihood of accidentally cutting the roots. When you pull the plant out, keep as much soil on the roots as possible and immediately cover the base in a damp burlap sack or place in a pot with soil. If you’re moving a short distance, you won’t need to re-water them during the move. However, if you need to make stops during a long-distance move, water your plants frequently and take them into the hotel with you.

When you get to your new house, unload and replant the plants immediately. Water them frequently. Avoid exposing the roots to direct sunlight. Roots exposed to sunlight can dry them out quicker, and they’ll die sooner.


Helping Your Plants Thrive in Their New Environment

Take some time to understand the climate where you’re moving. If you’re driving a short distance, chances are the climate isn’t going to be different and your plants will be fine. Learn about the environment you’re moving to and the types of plants that thrive there. In some situation, you may decide a certain plant just isn’t up to the challenge of a drastic change in climate. If you’re moving from a dry climate to a cooler climate, you might say good-bye to your cactii. Plants are somewhat durable and can adapt to small changes, but it takes lots of prep on your part to help your plants with the transition.

Moving can be stressful, but don’t let your plants feel the same stress. Following the tips can help ensure your plants will thrive in their new environment, and you’ll be able to enjoy the beauty of your garden and indoor plants for years to come.


PHOTO: Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain