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Packing and Transporting Plants

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Just like any other item in your household, your plants require extra care when moving. If you are going to be transporting plants to your new home, you will definitely want to have a plan well in advance of the move. You should also be aware of the special precautions you must take when moving them. Since your plants are delicate and easily affected by outside circumstances, you will want to pay close attention to these tips.

Before you go through the trouble of moving your plants, find out if they will be allowed into your new state. Arizona, California, and Florida all have strict regulations regarding the types of plants that can be brought into those states. Additionally, determine whether your plants will be able to survive in your new location. If you are moving from one climate to another, your plants might not be able to adjust to different levels of sunlight, temperature, and humidity.

Getting your plants ready

Begin preparing your plants a couple weeks before the move. It is recommended that you remove the plants from their ceramic pots, which can easily break during the move, and put them into plastic pots. You can then wrap up your ceramic pots and take them separately. You should also inspect the plants for insects or any damage and take the appropriate measures to treat them.

Water your plants no later than a day or two before your moving date. If you were to water the plants immediately before packing them up, they could potentially spill and make the rest of your belongings wet. At the same time, if you were to water them right before you move, the plants will be heavier to lift. Watering plants right before can also increase the weight of your shipment and raise the costs of your move.

Packing

Once you are ready to pack your plants, make sure you have the appropriate boxes to put them in. Smaller plants can be placed together in boxes, while your larger plants should be put into their own boxes. After you figure out which boxes are going to hold which plants, you should line them with plastic bags. This will protect them from getting damaged by any water or soil spillage.

When putting your plants into the boxes, make sure you provide plenty of cushioning in order to minimize movement within the box. If you will be taking your plants a long distance, you should make holes in the tops and sides of the boxes to allow some light to reach your plants.

There are plenty of things you should avoid doing as you transport your plants, such as:
  • Putting plants in your trunk, where they will be exposed to extreme temperatures and won’t receive any light or fresh air.
  • Leaving plants in your car overnight in extreme weather. If you need to stay at a motel when you drive to your new home, you might want to bring them inside with you.
  • Overwatering. While overwatering can damage your plant at any time, it can be even more harmful during transportation. Your plants aren’t the only things that can be affected by overwatering; should anything spill, your other goods can get damaged.

TIP: If you have a large plant, or one with many branches, stems, or leaves, you can protect it with plastic wrap to make the plant easier to move. Remember to poke holes into the plastic wrap so your plant can breathe.

Unpacking

Upon arriving at your new home, you can work on unpacking your well-traveled plants. After removing them from the boxes, find places for your plants around the home. As you do this, take into account your plants’ lighting requirements. Let the plants adjust to their new environment for a few days before putting them back into their original ceramic containers. Once the plants are settled in their new home, inspect them every now and then to see how they are adjusting.

Taking your plants along for your move isn’t an easy thing to do. However, if you plan in advance and take the proper precautions, there’s no reason not to take them with you (unless, of course, they’re prohibited in your new location). On top of that, taking your old plants to your new place is a quick and easy way to make it feel more like a home.

  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on August 27, 2009

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