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How to Move Plants: The Complete Guide

December 1, 2021 | Moving Guides & Tips

No moving is completely simple and straightforward, no matter how much you may try! There’s always something that can throw you for a loop – especially if you’re moving with children or pets. However, something that can throw people for a loop if you’re not properly prepared is moving your precious plants, or garden. 

For many, moving a garden is too challenging of a prospect, so they may be tempted to leave their plants, flowers, or vegetables behind, but it can be done safely and without harming your garden! Additionally, moving with plants isn’t easy, but can also be done easily with the right care and preparation. In this complete guide on how to move a garden or how to move plants, we have everything you need to make sure your plants are well taken care of during a relocation. 

How to Move a Garden

Don’t get us wrong – moving houseplants might not be that tough with the right preparation and plan, but moving a garden is a risky process that requires a lot more prep to make sure that not only your plants make it to your new destination safely, but that they’ll put down new roots in your new home’s garden space. 

Before moving your garden, make sure your new home has space for your garden, no matter the size – or at least has the potential to. If you can, try to prepare the garden bed for your plants prior to your move so you can replant your fruits, vegetables, flowers, or whatever you’re growing as soon as possible.

Unfortunately, since most people move in summer, your garden will be at its riskier time for relocation. During the summer, uprooting a plant can affect the roots because of the dry weather. If you can’t make a plot at your new place before moving, prepare a temporary one for the relocation itself, and dig trenches at your new place upon arrival. Keep in mind that this is all dependent on the length of your move. For more long-distance operations, you’ll have to take additional precautions and make additional preparations. 

Uprooting Your Garden for a Move

Prior to uprooting your plants, water the soil to moisten the roots. Dig a ring around your plant with a shovel, and try to keep as much dirt close to the root ball as possible. Lift your plant out of the soil and wrap the root ball in a damp burlap sack. Then, put it in either a planter or a makeshift bucket. 

Packing a Garden

Wherever you’re headed, make sure to pack and load your plants last, and get them off the truck or out of the car first. Check for damage during transit, and trim roots as needed before putting them in either temporary trenches or in the plot you’ve prepared ahead of time. Try to create an ideal environment for your plants’ roots to thrive by mixing soil with peat moss or wood chips to retain water. 

From there, it’s all about creating your new garden and making sure that your plants are able to put down roots and adapt to this change. Change is very stressful, even for garden plants, so make sure to be attentive and make sure your plants are still doing well. Again, for more long-distance moves, you might consider leaving your garden behind or making a lot of extra preparations to ensure your plants’ survival and health. 

How to Move Houseplants

Unquestionably, moving houseplants is a lot more simple than moving an entire garden, but moving plants still takes preparation and care to make sure your plants aren’t too stressed or thrown out of whack. Additionally, they’ll need to be packed and surrounded by materials that will ensure their safety during a transition. 

For a lot of people, their plants are their kids – and home wouldn’t be the same without them! So how do you make sure your plant children are taken care of and make their move with as little stress on them (or you!) as possible? We’ve got all the answers for you. 

How to Prepare for Moving Houseplants

No matter if you’re moving locally or across the country, please take into account that you’re not going to be able to pack and move your plants on the same day. Your plants need care and the time taken to prepare them properly, which can’t really be rushed. Make sure to start preparing your plants well in advance – even up to a few weeks prior to moving day.  

There are some things to take into account that you might not think of at first when it comes to moving your plants. If you’re taking them out of state, or at least to a different environment than you’re currently in, you’re going to want to research how the climate of your new area could impact your plants’ health or what additional care they may need to make sure they can still live healthily in the new environment. 

Look up your new location’s climate and average temperature, as well as factors like average sunlight and what bugs might live in the area that could impact houseplant health. If you can, purchase hardware like special lamps or devices to be proactive about your plants’ care in their new home. 

Additionally, some states have laws and regulations put in place regarding the shipment or relocation of houseplants. These are put in place to minimize insect spread, plant disease, and other factors across state lines. The states with these regulations in place include California, Oregon, Arizona, Florida, and Washington, so make sure to do a little extra research on state requirements if you’re looking to move your plants to those areas. 

How to Pack Houseplants

As we all know, houseplants are extremely delicate, and can be easily damaged if you don’t move them with care. Plus, they can make a huge mess if you’re not careful with your packing process! 

In addition to your regular packing materials like boxes and bubble wrap, you’ll also want to purchase moving materials for your plants’ transition. Think plastic pots, potting soil, paper towels, and even flea collars for certain plants. 

When it’s time to actually prepare your potted plants, you’ll want to repot your plants into plastic pots with the right potting soil. This will let you carry them much easier, and let you pack their larger, more expensive and heavy ceramic pots separately. 

About a week before your move, remove dead leaves and prune foliage from your plants so they’re in their best state to take on the stress of a move. Then water plants about 3 days before the move. This is a sweet spot in between watering them too close to your move (which will leave them damp and dripping everywhere), and too far away, which will leave them thirsty and more susceptible to stress and damage. Also, put a flea collar around your plants’ pots to draw out any pests that might be hiding around. 

Moving Day

On your plants’ moving day, put plastic bags around each pot and tie at the base of the plant (gently!) to keep soil contained and not spilling everywhere. From there, put your bagged plant into a box to keep it stable. You can put multiple smaller plants into the same box, but don’t bunch large plants in together too much. 

Ideally, leave the box open if you can for air circulation, but otherwise seal the box loosely and poke holes in the top and sides if you have to put your plants somewhere that isn’t your vehicle or a moving truck cab. 

If you’re using a moving company for your move, they’ll recommend keeping your plants with you in your vehicle or arrange for them to travel with you, as a moving truck is not an ideal space for them, and can result in their death. You can also ship plants through the mail instead of loading them into moving trucks, which will be a better bet for them as far as breathability and general quality of life. 

Traveling with Plants

Moving day is here, and you’ve chosen to keep your plants with you to transport them safely and to be able to give them the attention they need during their transition! When traveling with plants, make sure to pay close attention to how they’re looking or holding up, especially if it’s a longer drive. Check to see if they need more or less sunlight in your car, or if they need to be switched or adjusted in position depending on how much or how little light they need.  Check them for signs of drying out, and make sure to have some water readily available for them. 

If you’re traveling over the course of multiple days, don’t leave your plants in the car inside when you’re staying in a hotel! Take them into your room with you to protect them from any changes in temperature that might occur, and to make sure they have enough airflow overnight. 

For the rest of your items, make sure to use movers that are trusted and who have the expertise to get you and your things to your new home happily and safely. Who’s the right company for the job? Look no further than Bekins Van Lines for all of your moving needs. 

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