Moving House Plants Long Distance - I Love International Moving

Moving House Plants Long Distance

Posted How-to / October 28, 2019
Hannah Michaelson

Hannah is a freelance relocation writer from NYC that has become an expert on packing and unpacking.

House plants are living organisms that will need special care and preparation when you want to move them to your new home. If you are moving to a different location within the same city, there is much less liability. The problem is figuring out how to move house plants long-distance without damaging them.

How to Move House Plants Long Distance – Prep Time

Packing your household is generally easy, although time-consuming, but not when it comes to this. Your plant is not just another decorative item to pack, but since you took care of it, you are already well aware of that. Just like when moving with pets, your plant requires some prep for the journey ahead. You should start preparing your greenery a month before the relocation date. This is especially important if you have very delicate, high-maintenance species.

How to Prepare Plants a Month, a Week, and a Few Days Before Moving

  • A month before the relocation date, prune your greenery and get rid of any dead parts and leaves. Besides stealing the energy from the healthy parts, they can be a safety hazard during the relocation.
  • A week before you move, remove all the dust, pests, and weeds.
  • A few days before you move, re-pot your greenery in plastic containers with sterile soil to give them a chance to settle.

What Are the Dangers to Your Plants

Your shrubs and flowers are sensitive to many factors. Extreme temperature changes are especially dangerous. If it is too hot for them, they can easily dry out in a matter of hours, and if it is too cold, they can freeze even faster. Direct sunlight is also not good for the leaves. Even if you water them well, they can scorch in direct sunlight through windows, since glass can amplify the temperature of the sun rays quite a bit.

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What If Your Trip Takes Longer Than a Day

If you have to stay overnight on your journey to your new home, you would want to take your plant out of the vehicle and bring it with you. Make sure to water it on the road if the soil seems too dry, even if you already did that before hitting the road. Some air circulation and pleasant indirect sunlight will be more than welcome for your greenery while traveling.

What Are the Legal Restrictions

You have to be aware that some plant lets are not allowed to be transported over the border in certain states and countries. Some countries have very strict rules considering the import of living organisms from other parts of the world because of possible contamination of the environment. US Department of Agriculture will require the inspection of the flora that is entering the country, and some states, like California, will require that inspection even if you are moving in from some other part of the USA.

What If You Are Hiring a Moving Company

Most relocation companies, even though they provide packing and custom crating services, won’t handle them. Even if they do, it is not the best idea to load your greenery on the transportation vehicle, regardless of whether you’re moving by sea or relocating by air.

Very high or very low temperatures are a common occurrence in transport, and this can dry out or freeze your flower or shrub beyond the point of return. You also shouldn’t try to sneak some inside the boxes, as it is not safe to bring them to your new home like this, and you may even lose the whole insurance for all your belongings due to the breach of contract. And needless to say, don’t think about leaving them in a storage unit.

Consider Shipping

Although this is probably not your first go-to solution, it may be the only one sometimes. If you are not driving to your future home and the moving company won’t accept your plant on the transportation vehicle, you can ship them to the desired location. This will require some more preparation and security measures, but it is doable.

Before anything else, check if shipping a certain plant is even legal in your desired jurisdiction.  When shipping your greenery, it is best to take it out of the pot, trim the roots, wrap them in a wet towel, and put it all in a plastic bag, and then in a box. The most important thing is to secure them inside the shipping box and clearly label the contents and which side goes up. Fill the empty space in the box with as much paper and bubble wrap as possible to prevent the contents from flying around.

How to Pack and Transport Them

Heavy pots and planters will only make it harder to move your greenery. You should re-pot it a few days before the relocation date into plastic containers with some fertile soil inside to give them a chance to settle in the ground. Before you water your plant, know precisely what the weather on your long way will be like. If you expect hot weather, water them well. If, on the other hand, it is cold, water them less to prevent frost damage.

When You Shouldn’t Bring Your Greenery with You

We know that you love your garden and that you have put a lot of time, energy, and love into growing it, but sometimes there is no option to bring it with you. Whether the problem is transportation, climate change, or rigorous legislation, you may have to leave them behind. If they can’t survive the transport, it is best to give them away to someone else.

The Climate Is Not Suitable for Them in Your New Place

There is no point in bringing potted flowers to the environment that is not suitable for them. Certain sorts simply can’t survive in the hot/cold/humid environment of your home. You’ll be only wasting money to bring them with you just to kill them in a few months.

What to Do with the Species You Can’t Bring

If you have some plant lets that you are growing in your garden and are too massive to be dug out and brought with you, you can keep a cutting and plant it in your new garden after proper nurture. And what about those that you can’t bring? You can always give them to your friends or family members.

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