How to Safely Move your Plants to your New Home

Protecting your plant collection before moving dayMoving can be stressful for all living beings. When it comes to change, plants are especially vulnerable. How do you move your plants to your new home without losing the progress they’ve made? With a little love and some planning you can protect your plants and help them adjust to their new environment.  

Whether you are worried about your small succulent collection or you are a certified plant lady (or plant-daddy), be assured these moving tips and expert planting tips from Tim Moore, lead editor of Backyard Boss, will help keep your plants safe and secure throughout the moving process. 

Spoiler alert! Before you get our hands dirty, it’s important to keep in mind that due to government regulations moving companies are not allowed to move plants across state lines. If you’re moving long distance, or across state lines, or you’re planning an intrastate move (a distance of over 100 miles within the same state), it would be kinder to your plants to transport them yourself. You will be able to give them the water and light they need while they are on the road. The following tips are for caring for your plants while moving locally

Protect your plants before the move

  • pack your plants in a moving box Water your plants the day before they will be transported. Keeping the soil hydrated will keep the roots loose and reduce any shocks during transport. 
  • Wrap your plants in a cone shaped form to keep all its leaves and soil from falling out or breaking. This step is especially important for orchids or fragile plants that need their space. 
  • Measure your plants and find the right kind of moving box to prepare for transport. If your potted plants are small fit various pots into a book box. Leave the lid open and fill the spaces in between the pots with packing paper or eco-bubble. Ideally, the box would be tall enough to protect the stems, branches or leaves while leaving enough clearance for the plants to breath
  • Larger leafy plants are more easily transported in individual moving boxes. 
  • To learn more about moving box sizes, consult our chart and find the perfect box for each of your plants.
  • Make sure your movers are aware of which moving boxes are full of plants. Keep your moving boxes full of plants labeled and open for easy identification. Do not stack these boxes on top of each other. Experienced movers will find the safest spot on the moving truck. Place boxes so there is minimal shifting and no danger of being crushed by other items. 
  • pack your houseplants in a moving box before moving day If you are transplanting plants from your garden, have portable planters ready to go with fertilized soil and a hole for the roots. Water the soil of the new planter thoroughly and allow the soil to turn into mud. This will allow the roots to sink into the new soil and help absorb the shock of the transplant. Let the water drip through before placing pots in moving boxes. Avoid any water leakage as it can reduce the integrity of a moving box. Also, consider that perennials or annual plants are more likely to thrive if they are transplanted during the cooler weather months.
  • Any flowering perennials should be transplanted after their flowering cycle. If they are moved too roughly, buds can be disturbed and fall off before blooming.

Keep your plants thriving in their new home

  • keep your plants happy after moving day by finding a similar spot in your new home.Create a floor plan of your new home that allows you to analyze the exposure to sunlight, wind and warmth. Plan out the location of each plant in your new home according to the conditions it had in your previous home. For example, if your fiddle fig leaf tree was healthy and thriving where it got morning sun, find a similar spot in your new home to ensure it will adapt to its new surroundings. 
  • While there are many urgent things to figure out after a move, unpacking your plants should be at the top of your list. Your leafy green friends need their space to breath and grow, leaving them in the moving boxes for an extended period could cause them to get sick or die. 
  • Once you are moved in, try to reduce the shock by not moving your plants too much around your new house. Most likely, you will rearrange furniture and decor until it feels right, but keep in mind, plants need stability. Restrict the number of times you move your plants around your new home. 
  • If some of your plants regrettably did not survive the journey, you can try to propagate a new one from a cutting or a part of a branch. 

keep your plants happy after moving day

Moving your plants is a definite way to make your new place feel like home. After your move, expand your plant collection. Check out what are the best plants for better air quality in your new home with the help of the Backyard Boss. Now that you are an expert on moving your plants, check out our packing tips and videos to move the rest of your belongings safely. 

About our Guest Contributor:

Tim Moore is the lead editor of Backyard Boss and is a lifelong backyard enthusiast. He grew up immersed in the outdoors, camping every weekend and tending to the backyard with his family. Follow Tim and Backyard Boss on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram for everyday inspiration for your backyard.