How to Transfer Plants to a New Home Without Killing Them

Moving with a plant is a delicate matter. They can be pushed too hard and their leaves can break – they can even tip over completely. After all this, they need to get used to the new environment. Of course, you want them to go with you to new excavations; but at the same time you do not want to harm their health. So, here are a few things to consider when you are about to move your plants to a new home.

How to prepare plants for transport

Preparations for transporting plants actually begin a few weeks before the planned moving day. Transport Company Atlas recommends replanting plants in sturdy plastic containers three weeks before moving. If transplanted ahead of time, they’ll adjust to an easy-to-move pot before the big day, so you can gently wrap your earthenware, porcelain, or ceramic pot separately for your trip. Then, two weeks before you move, trim the plants back to size. Remove dead leaves and shape the plant for easy transport. Pruning will also encourage more growth when you find yourself in a new location.

Once you have a week left before your big day, check for pests. Wipe down the plant or use natural sprays to remove insects before packing them. Finally, if you’re moving into a warmer month, water your plants the night before to keep them properly hydrated for the big day. However, if you are traveling during the colder months, water the plants several days in advance to avoid damaging the roots with moist soil and cold air.

How to pack plants on the day of moving

You can pack smaller plants in a regular moving box so they fit snugly and don’t slip while moving. Stuff newspapers or wrap peanuts in any gaps to keep the plants strong. UPack offers free packaging large plant in a plastic bag for extra protection. The same effect can be achieved by using a light sheet or newspaper over the leaves. If you choose not to transplant the plant into a plastic container, wrap the pot securely with bubble tape to avoid damaging it during the move.

If you are traveling by car, make sure the plants are in the car with you or in the front cab of the truck so you can keep an eye on them during the trip and adjust the temperature. For longer trips that require an overnight stay, be sure to bring your own plants to your hotel.

When traveling by plane, you can take plants with you directly on the plane – in most cases. Just make sure you adhere to the restrictions on fluid use, and read the TSA guidelines ahead of time to make sure you can take them with you. To prevent soil from spilling out in flight or while traveling, cover the pot with cardboard tape to hold the soil and protect the plant from possible uprooting while in motion.

You may also want to consider replanting from scraps when traveling by plane or long distances. If your plant can emerge from pruning, you can easily move it to a new destination.

Check plant transportation laws if you are crossing state lines

However, before strapping on plant babies for a long time, you need to check the laws in your new city – if you are crossing state lines. Due to environmental risks, some plants are not allowed to cross national borders. The National Plant Council, part of the USDA’s Plant Inspection, Protection, and Quarantine Service, offers comprehensive information on transportation and quarantine regulations in each state.

This initiative protects plants and wildlife in the area from external pollution and disease. The site contains PDFs of each state’s rules and requirements for plant quarantine when moving across state lines. In some cases, your plant may not make it to its destination at all, and you will need to bring it home before you hit the road.


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