Moving with Your Plants

Moving with Your Plants

We live in a mobile society. But, of course, we want to take our plants with us as we change addresses. Here’s a list of do’s and don’ts for transporting plants.
It seems like everyone I know is moving. It might be to a new house or apartment across town, or it’s for a change of address across the country. 

Jobs, family, college, and  retirement are all reasons that keep Americans on the move. In fact, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average American will move 11 times during their lifetime. That’s a heck a lot of packing and unpacking! 

But, just because we live in a mobile society, it doesn’t mean we can’t take our plants with us as we change addresses. If there’s a big move in your future, here’s a list of do’s and don’ts to get you started. 

Plant Moving Do’s
1. Wrap ceramic or terra-cotta pots in a layer of bubble wrap to keep them from breaking on the journey.

2. Prune leggy or overgrown plants before you try to squeeze them into your car.

3. Pack smaller plants together in a cardboard box or rubber tote to prevent them from flipping over on the journey. You can stack plant-filled boxes on top of each other as long as the boxes have sturdy tops.

4. Wrap prickly plants, such as cactus, in a shroud of bubble wrap, then set them inside a box for transport.

5. Taller plants and indoor trees can be laid flat as long as you securely tape cardboard over the surface of the soil to keep it from falling out once the plant is horizontal.

6. If the weather is below freezing, warm up your car before packing and always cover plants with a light blanket to protect them from the cold as you carry them outside.

7. During the summer, avoid leaving your car parked in the hot sun for long periods. The interior of a closed car will heat up quickly and bake your plants.

8. Give your plants a light watering before packing. This will help keep the soil in place during transport.

9. If you have a lot of plants, you may need to do some “editing” before packing up. There’s just no need to squeeze in sickly plants or those past their prime.

Plant Moving Don’t’s
1. Never move your plants in an open truck. Even if you drive very slowly the wind generated by the moving vehicle will damage your plants.

2. Don’t stick your plants in a dark moving van and expect them to look very good after a week- long trip. Being exposed to extreme temperatures with no light or water will be tough on them.

3. If space is at a premium, and you can’t bring along your plants, find someone to adopt them. Don’t just set them out on the curb to die.

Written by Doug Jimerson