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Packing houseplants for a long-distance move

Two houseplants by a window

If you have a green thumb, you have most likely filled your home with many houseplants. Houseplants can truly enrich your home. And not just visually. There is plenty of evidence to confirm that they are actually beneficial for your health! Some studies have shown that they help reduce a person’s stress levels, improve their mood and even increase productivity. Not to mention that they basically clean the air of toxins. Now, if you have decided to move, you will most likely want to move your plants with you. You need to know that packing houseplants can be a bit tricky, but can be done with the right preparation. Here are some tips on packing houseplants that will make the move much simpler.

Preparation before the actual move

Perhaps some of you think that packing houseplants is easy like packing any other thing in your home. However, that is simply not the case. Just like plants need care in your home, they also need specific care before and during the move. After all, they are living things. Preparing for a move can be truly challenging in general, but if done right, there should be no stress. Try to follow these steps to ensure that you will have no problems later on.

  • Repot your houseplants. If your plants are currently in large ceramic pots, that will make it more difficult to move them. Transfer them into plastic pots as this will reduce the weight you carry when moving the plant. These pots are also more durable and less likely to break during transport. Make sure to transfer them into pots of approximately the same size and to use sterilized potting soil.
  • Prune away. A few weeks before the move, you might want to get rid of any dead leaves or branches. This will not only reduce the size of the plant, but it will also make it healthier. Then before the move, get rid of any weed or any pests that might have appeared on your houseplants.
Before packing houseplants, repot them
Repot and get rid of dead leaves and branches
  • Check the law. If you are moving to a different state or country, make sure there are no restrictions with regard to your plants. Many states actually have such restrictions concerning various species. Do the research, otherwise, you might end up unknowingly taking with you something that is banned in your future state/country.

Take note: You will most likely have to move your plants yourself

There are some moving companies that do not include moving houseplants in their services. They don’t even want to negotiate the issue. And even those who can move your houseplants will probably not cover damages caused by transport. Make sure to ask around and see whether this is actually an option. That is why moving your houseplants on your own seems like a more feasible alternative. That means that the sole responsibility of packing houseplants and moving them rests on you. Don’t worry, this may seem daunting, but with the right tips, it will be easy-peasy!

Moving truck with clouds above
Some moving companies do not move plants

Also, try to do as much research as possible on the weather. For instance, if you are moving to some of the best cities to retire, you need to know that the weather during your trip can differ vastly. You don’t want your plants suffering from too abrupt changes. Try to accommodate for that. Don’t expose them to direct sunlight and too low temperatures. You need the controlled temperature in your car or the moving van. If you are staying somewhere overnight, take your houseplants with you inside. Also, if you are moving to somewhere colder, water your plants a few days before the move. But, moving somewhere hotter requires watering them a day before the move.

Packing houseplants – tips and tricks

There is a difference between packing houseplants that are the size of, let’s say, a shoebox and those that have basically outgrown you. Be mindful that it is not too difficult moving large houseplants. However, if you feel that this is something that will cause you an additional headache or that the plant is too big to move, try to take a cutting and to replant it once you move. You can always give your plant away to friends or family. We’re sure they’ll be delighted.

Small plant in pot
If your plant is too big, take a cutting and replant it

Packing small houseplants

When it comes to packing houseplants, this is basically the easiest thing. All you need to do is get a few cardboard boxes. You can even save money and get some cheap moving boxes. This is a great way of saving money and a great way of transferring your plants safely. However, if you put them in cardboard boxes, line up the bottom and lower parts of the sides with plastic. You don’t want any excess water on the bottom of the box as it will defeat the purpose. If you are placing several pots in one box, fill up the space between them with newspapers. This will ensure they do not tip over during the move. And last, but not least, punch a few holes in the box. Remember, your plants need air!

Packing large houseplants

If you want to take your large houseplants with you, there are several ways you can do that. First, gently place packing paper or old bed sheets around the leaves as this will reduce possible damage. You might want to put sphagnum moss on top of the soil in the pot. Then you should wrap it in the stretch wrap or plastic and tie it with string. That way, you can place your plant on the side on the back seat of your car.

However, if you want to keep them upright, place the pot in a box and stuff the rest of the space with newspaper. This will make sure your houseplant will not tip over during the ride. You can also put entire plants in wardrobe boxes. Just make sure you punch holes in the cardboard. Also, stuff the space between the pot and the cardboard with newspapers. You don’t want your plants tumbling around in there.