How to Move Homes with your Plants Safely
For many people, indoor and outdoor pot plants are more than just leafy eye-candy. They are living things that we cherish and take care of - taking pride when they thrive and mourning when they perish. It has even been found that owning plants can have positive impacts on mental health. So the chances are, if you’re moving house you’d probably like to take your plant companions along.
Transporting pot plants can certainly present a challenge for people undertaking a move, with some plants being very sensitive to changes in environment, humidity and light intensity. But the good news is that there are ways that you can move your plants and keep them alive. Read on to see some tips for safely moving your green friends!
Minimise their weight
Do what you can to make your plants as light as possible before their journey to your new place. Try to avoid watering them if possible for a few days before it's time for them to be transported - you’d be surprised how much weight water can add to not only the soil but the plant's mass. Putting off watering your plants for a few days also helps to combat the risk of them leaking and causing issues in the moving van. It's important to consider the species of plants you own and lightly water varieties which may not survive long without watering.
You should also consider pruning your larger plants before the move to free up space and reduce some weight. This will also make it easier to box them up and most plants generally could do with a healthy prune every now and then anyway.
Uproot and repot large plants
The reality may be that some plants are just too large and heavy to move in their pot. If this is the case, you can carefully uproot larger plants and place them into long boxes horizontally, putting their soil in separate plastic containers ready to repot immediately after arriving to your new place.
Check for pests
Checking for any invertebrate pests on your house plants before packaging them up is vital. This way, you are preventing the contamination of your new place from any unwanted insects and protecting your plants from furthering the colonisation of pests in your new home.
Hire a removalist company
If you are moving plants, consider hiring trusted removalists to lend you a hand with the process. More often than not, they have experience moving small and large pot plants, and can offer advice and supplies that will keep your plants safe throughout the move as they help you execute it.
Broadly speaking, a professional will have better insight and experience in moving your plants than you by yourself, as they have seen it all before. You’ll want to notify your chosen removalists in advance that you plan to move plants, so they can adequately prepare.
Wrap high risk plants
Bigger or more delicate plants are at greater risk of damage, especially during longer moves. You can combat the chances of your plants not surviving by placing them in boxes with newspaper, bubble wrap or packing peanuts to protect them.
For plants that don’t even fit in boxes, consider wrapping them up in horticultural fleece. This is a special synthetic material that is specifically designed to protect plants from cold weather and frosty conditions, however its lightweight also makes it perfect for protection when transporting plants in a vehicle without crushing them.
You can also use horticultural fleece for its intended purpose; to insulate your plants in winter. This is crucial if you are moving lost distances in extreme winter conditions, as prolonged exposure to the elements could significantly damage certain species depending on their preferred climate.
Make sure you label plant boxes
You want everyone who is helping with the move - whether it be your partner, friends or removalists - to know which boxes contain plants in them so they can be extra cautious. Even if it's just you, the chances are you’ll end up forgetting which box is which, so it is always a good idea to label any fragile boxes.
Unpack plants first
As soon as you arrive at your new place, the very first things that should be taken inside and unpacked from the vehicle are your plants. Plants need sunlight and water to survive, and they won't be getting any of that in cardboard boxes!
Once you’ve taken your plants out, place them in a well lit and protected part of the house or yard.
Choose a strategic place that will emulate their previous environment best - this will give them the best chance to successfully adapt to their new home.