How to Pack and Move Plants to Your New Home

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Packing and Moving Plants to Your New Home

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You've already selected a moving company and the big day is almost here, but if have a green thumb and have a lot of plants around the house, you'll need to take care that they are properly packed and protected for an easy relocation.

If the task sounds overwhelming, there's no need to panic, because here's everything you need to know to safely and successfully move your flora from one location to another.

Confirm that you can bring your plants

First and foremost, check that you can bring your plants to your new home, especially if you're crossing over into another province that may have different rules about various flora and fauna.

If you're unsure of the answer, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency has a great website (complete with a section just on plant acts and regulations) to explore.

Preparing plants before a move

Before taking your plants on a journey to their new homestead, there's some preparation you need to do a few weeks in advance to guarantee the best possible relocation.
  • Three weeks before moving transfer your plants from clay pots into plastic ones to avoid breakage. This pot can be the same size or one size larger than the original
  • Two weeks before moving all larger plants should be pruned down so they can fit into boxes for easier transportation, and so branches don't get snapped or bent on moving day
  • One week before moving look for bugs or parasites that may have infested your plant
  • Two days before moving water your plants. You don't want to water them that day as the liquid might leak through the packing material and damage other items

Packing plants on moving day

To make sure they're as comfortable as possible, prep your plants the morning of your move (or the night before if required).
  • Wrap the base of each pot in packing paper, newspaper or bubble wrap
  • Place the plant in the bottom of a padded box and secure the empty area around the base with more packing paper, newspaper and/or packing peanuts to prevent jostling
  • Wrap large plants in a loose garbage bag (with small holes to allow airflow) in order to protect the plant's branches
  • Leave the lid of the transport box open so your plant can breathe. You can also add some small vents in the sides of the box for this same reason
  • Avoid exposure to direct sunlight
On moving day, be prepared to load your plants as close to your departure time as possible.

TIP: Your moving company may not transport perishable items such as plants, and if they do they may not insure them for damage. Check with the company about their policy first as each mover is different.

Moving plants long distance

Transporting plants over a long distance (and over the course of several days) is a much more painstaking endeavor which requires a tad more care. When moving plants for lengthy periods of time, it's imperative that they remain in a temperature controlled environment such as your car.

If you plan on stopping for the night, bring the plant(s) inside with you to ensure that they get adequate amounts of water, light and air.

Moving in cold weather

If you happen to be transporting your plants to their new home in cold weather, you need to be especially cautious.
  • Wrap the base of your plant in either blankets or towels to keep the roots insulated
  • Cover the remainder with a garbage bag to protect the leaves in a similar manner
  • Keep your plants with you in a temperature controlled environment while transporting
TIP: Never overwater your plants, but especially avoid it in cold weather. Not only is it bad for them, but the water could potentially freeze.

Settling your plants into your new home

Now that you've successfully brought your plants to their new location you can place them in your new residence.
  • Unpack your plants as soon as possible
  • Remove large plants in tall boxes through the bottom to avoid breaking branches
  • Find a suitable location for your plants dependent on each one's individual needs
  • Allow plants to settle into their new climate for a few days before moving them back to their original pots
If you follow these simple tips, your plants will make it into their new home with as little stress as possible - for them and you.

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on June 4, 2014 - Moving Expert
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