Plants Guide: House Plants

By Staff

In the weeks or even months coming up to the move, take good care of your plants to ensure they are strong enough for the move. Of course you can decide to give the plants away before you move or even throw them away if you feel you cannot take them with you to your new home.

If you must leave your plant, consider taking some cuttings, which are small clippings of your favorite plants. Pack these in damp paper or moss and place in jiffy bags unsealed and try to include some of the original soil in the bag also. These clippings can remain like this for several days until you arrive at your new destination. You can then replant these in peat or vermiculite with plenty of water.

Moving companies will generally carry plants if the distance is below 200 miles or within one days travel from destination i.e. 24 hours. Be careful if you ask the moving company to move plants in the winter of hot summer days as it can be very damaging to plants at temperatures below 35 and above 95 degrees Fahrenheit.

Several weeks before moving you should begin getting your plants ready for the journey by pruning them to help ease of packing and remove any straggly bits. Do not prune ferns or succulents. Different plants need to be pruned differently and it is recommended that you consult a gardening book for the correct method for pruning your plants. If necessary, re-pot plants into non-breakable plastic containers.

Be sure to clean the new pots thoroughly as they may contain thriving pest communities of their own depending on what was last planted in the pot. There is nothing worse than seeing your favorite plant destroyed due to a pot breaking en route. Terra cotta pots are notoriously easy to break so treat the gently. Next, treat your plants for pests about a week before the move. You can treat them for pests by placing the plants in a large plastic bag and applying a bug strip or bug powder. Seal the bag and leave overnight to ensure a complete kill.

On the day of the move place the potted plants in a large box separated by newspaper. Beforehand line the box with plants in case of a spill. Make sure you have drained off any excess water before placing the plants in the box. Tie cane to support larger plants to minimize damage and the likelihood of breaking.

Regardless of your method of transportation, and regardless of whether it's a house or garden plant, the most important thing to do is keep your plants moist throughout their journey. You could place moistened newspapers around the soil and wrap this around the stalk of the plant. If you need to box your plants make sure to put some air holes in the boxes.

When you are ready to remove the plants from the boxes it is recommended you do this gradually as too much sunlight too quickly may do more damage then good. House plants can survive without much light for up to one week without a negative impact if other conditions are favorable such as temperature and moisture level in the soil.

Before moving plans, be sure to check with the Department of Agriculture.