Yes, just like adults, plants ‘feel’ the emotional effects that can accompany a transition to a new living space, so they need your help. It is best to transport plants in a car as well as with you so you can make sure they are upright and not left in high temperatures, but this isn’t always practical. Moving companies have policies on moving plants, so check the policies first to find out what’s available. In many cases, they don’t take them at all or may want a disclaimer.
You can ship plants by air freight, but an airline won’t take extra care of your plants to make sure they’re safe, and unfortunately they get the same treatment as standard goods (which is pretty straightforward and at the bare minimum).
These are the best preparations and special care measures needed to ensure that you move the plants most efficiently and that they arrive safely, without scratching or trauma.
How to move with plants
1. Use adequate packaging
“Foliage is particularly fragile in cars, vans and airplanes and needs secure packaging to stand a chance of arriving whole,” says Clive Harris, garden expert and founder of DIY Garden, one of the UK’s top gardening blogs. .
Make sure your plants are adequately packed to provide complete protection over all parts of the plant during movement, and that they are sufficiently available to absorb hydration. Plants can dry out both before and during shipping, so keep liquids on hand to nourish and hydrate your plants.
“It’s also important to make sure your plants don’t dry out during the hectic days of packing, moving, and unpacking when you’re busy with other things,” Harris says. According to Harris, all houseplants should be soaked well in the sink for a few days before packaging.
Pay attention to water them well a few days before moving and pack them most effectively to keep them safe and secure in a strong, durable box for support. “Make sure they can run freely and that their soil is still partially moist on moving day, because then they have enough water to be on the road for a few days,” he explains.
2. Wrap the foliage in newspaper if necessary
Packaging requirements may vary depending on the type of houseplant you are moving with, but there are a few common plants that require newspaper as part of the packaging to ensure safety during transit. “Newspaper allows it to breathe and provides some protection for the foliage,” says Harris.
“Plants with tall, leafy greens can become flattened or squashed along the way, so the best way to prepare is to gently wrap the foliage in newspaper and secure the newspaper with masking tape,” Harris says.
One plant that should be wrapped in newspaper during the trip is the orchid. “If you open a sheet all the way and start at the base, of course, rolling up newspaper around the container will wrap it around the top too, and if your orchid blooms, take another step to make sure it’s firmly attached to the supporting stake snaps into place where it won’t bounce during transport,” says Harris.
Monsteras also need newsprint for the big move. “If your plant is high on a mossy post, secure it gently and wrap newspaper around the container, working your way up slowly,” Harris says. “If the plant is a trailing vine, gently wrap the vines around the base of the plant so that they rest on the ground, before wrapping newspaper around the container as above,” says Harris.
For an even smoother move with plants, put all the chlorophyll-wrapped houseplants together in a tall box with a strong lid and fill the gaps between the pots with more newspaper to keep them upright. “This creates a safe, moist environment for them to feel comfortable in,” Harris says.
3. Pack some plants separately to protect the other plants while moving
“Succulents and cacti, for example, should be in a separate box with sturdy foam or wrapping paper between pots to keep them upright, and open the lid as soon as possible on arrival and put in direct sunlight to recover.” says Harris.
Because they are spiky in nature, the exterior of the succulents can be dangerous to other plants if packed together during the move. Unfortunately, their spines can tear leafy plants apart, so keep them in different boxes and away from the others!
4. Label your plants to keep track
Leave all box lids open until the very last minute and make sure to label accordingly so you don’t lose track of which plants are in which containers. This will maximize light absorption before being immersed in the dark for hours or even days.
Don’t forget to write down the names to make it easier to care for and unload the plants once they arrive at your destination. And as one last step, line the base with plastic bags. “Lined the base with plastic bags also stops leakage, which is helpful because if the base falls apart, your plants will fall out and break,” says Harris. Line the bottoms of boxes with plastic and you can prevent moist soil from rotting the cardboard and causing a disastrous failure.
How can you help your plants recover from a move?
Houseplants don’t always appreciate the shock of moving. They need help adjusting to their new environment to feel more at ease and comfortable (just like you).
“Fiddle leaf fig plants, for example, lose their leaves to adapt to new light conditions and don’t even appreciate moving from the living room to the bedroom in the same house,” Harris says. Be patient and considerate when moving plants, especially plants that need extra love and support.
1. Open all box lids as fast as you can
Your plants need light and air to thrive, so give it to them as soon as you unpack. “Plants don’t like the permanent night of a sealed box and will quit almost immediately,” says Harris. So put them in the sunlight as soon as possible as soon as they arrive.
2. Place each plant in a location it enjoys the most
Rainforest residents like the light shade, and succulents or yuccas prefer full sun, says Harris. And be sure to mist your foliage plants to increase their humidity and humidity, as well as regain vigor.
3. Remove flowers if necessary
If plants begin to wilt or look sick after moving your plants, remove the flowers to restore their energy. “Ferns bounce back well if you remove damaged or brown foliage,” says Harris, giving an example.
4. Keep an eye on light levels and heat
You’ll be busy moving into your new home and may not notice your monstera catching direct sunlight in the late afternoon, but you might regret it shortly after. “This will scorch its leaves, and combined with a moving shock, it could very well kill,” Harris says. Make sure the plants are in their optimal living space in the new home for ideal light levels.
5. Give your plants extra nutrients
“A very weak feeding of houseplant fertilizer will increase their nutrients, especially in the summer,” Harris says.
6. Give it time
As with all things people and transitions, whether it’s new roles of responsibility, living spaces, or within new relationships, you need to be patient. “In most cases, it takes a few weeks for a plant to adapt and fully recover,” Harris says. This could mean a few weeks or even several months.
The best plants for every room in your house:
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