Moving and Packing Tips

Green Thumb’s Guide: How to Pack Plants for a Safe Move

The big day has been established and you are now looking forward to moving into your new, hopefully, dream home. You start going over your checklist and reach the part about your lovely houseplants: alive, sensitive and very fragile.

But how can you go about packing and safely transporting your plants? As you yourself will need to prepare for the move so will they. Give them the needed help before you go, so you can make sure your plant friends have a comfortable trip to your new home and make it there safe.

This post is for you if you are someone who:

  • will be moving house
  • has a variety of potted plants you need to pack and prepare for a move
  • has a garden you would like to relocate to your new home

Choose reliable packing materials

There is a wide variety of packing materials that can aid you in the process of packing your plants for moving. However, using sturdy boxes is always a good start. When moving large potted plants, you would like to pack them individually, whereas, for small potted ones, you can box them together. Don’t forget to secure them by filling any gaps between them with old clothes or newspapers, so they don’t move around while being transported.

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Check your plants for pests

It is always a good idea to check your plants for any unwanted insects that might have invaded them. Having trouble spotting them? Check out how to make a difference between plant pests

This will, on the one hand, prevent unwanted visitors from hitching a ride to your new home and prevent the infestation from spreading among any of your other healthy plants in the process of moving. If you find any bugs, make sure to deal with them before you start packing and moving your plants.

Clear any dried foliage and prune your plants

This is good in the sense of refreshing your houseplants by removing all those breakable, thinned-out stray leaves and branches. But by doing this, you will also reduce the space needed when you load up your plants in the removal van. Plus, this way, the chances of potential damage while on the move are significantly reduced as you leave the strong, healthy parts of the plant.

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Water your plants (if necessary)

You need to take good care of your plants, give them the needed amounts of water, and feed them if required. But be mindful when watering your houseplants on the moving date. You don’t want to overdo it as they will become very heavy, and it is also possible for water to leak out, making a mess.

Note that if you are moving your plants in the colder days or even winter, you want to stop watering them a couple of days before the move, as combining the shock from the cold temperatures and having moist soil will not do any good for your plants’ roots.

Take cutting from the garden

It is not rare these days for us to take care of a lovely garden filled with plants that often hold sentimental value or are, maybe, rare, and we have put a lot of work into them to flourish. Moving the whole plant may sometimes prove very difficult or even impossible, depending on its age. But you sure can move your garden plants with you by taking cuttings from the ones you wish to keep and relocate in your new home’s garden.

The precious plant cuttings you have collected from your garden need to be carefully packed, as well. So wrap them in damp towels and put them in plastic bags to prevent any moisture from seeping through. You can then carefully arrange them in a box. Make sure not to cut off their access to air. Do not completely close off the plastic bags. If possible, leave the box open or punch in some holes. Your plants will thank you!

Re-pot to ease plants transportation

During the move, you can also consider repotting some of your larger plants in plastic pots. This will greatly reduce the weight compared to leaving the plant in its original terracotta pot.

Make paper sleeves

Other than that, you can also further protect the overground part of the plant by making a paper sleeve and securing it around the pot base with some ties. Feel free to stuff some paper or bubble wrap scraps inside the formed sleeve to further secure the leaves and branches against breakage. Be careful and leave enough breathing room for the plant.

Good transportation strategy and placement are key

You would want to ensure your plants are the last thing you load up when moving and the first thing to be unloaded when you arrive at your destination. Do your best to support them properly so they don’t have too much wiggle space and tip over while on the move.

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Welcome your plants to their new home

So the move has passed with flying colours, and you and your plants are in your new home. Although now, you’ll have a lot on your plate, doing all the unpacking and organising all your items in your new home, you should take care of your plants first.

Tend to the needs of each of your plant cuttings accordingly. For some of your cuttings, you will be able to get away with just dipping them in water to root. Others, however, will require to be planted in soil in order to develop into healthy plants.

Be mindful of the sunlight preference of each plant when finding a new place for them and this goes for your houseplants, too. Worry not if, at the beginning, some of the plants experience some minor withering. It is normal after being moved to a new place.

Just look after them and pay attention to how they are doing. If needed, change their spot a few times in your new home until you find their happy place. They will be flourishing again in no time!

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  • Plants are living, fragile beings and will need extra care when you prepare them for a move
  • Going the extra mile when packing your plants is always a good thing
  • Pack and handle with care, your plants will be thankful to you
  • Different plants will have different needs when being relocated – listen to them
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