Moving Long-Distance with Plants: A Brief Guide
Going through a long-distance move is never easy, especially now with all of the restrictions and massive health risks that come with traveling across the country. And let’s not forget that each move is made ten times more complicated when there are children or pets involved.
They both require a lot of care and extra effort in order to make the move as pain-free and smooth as possible. And the same goes for plants.
Now, you might have a few small cacti or a huge pot of philodendrons. Whatever the case, you will want to move them with you intact. Luckily, there are ways you can go about doing that with minimal stress. In this article, you’ll learn how to move your plants across long distances, whether to a different state or a different country.
Before the Move
Moving plants will require a lot of prep work. According to Oz Moving & Storage, most people tend to either ship their plants to their new homes or have the movers do the packing. That’s definitely an option, but it’s a risky one. After all, the movers might damage your plants, and the previous owner of the old home might not take care of them while you’re preparing for the move.
With that in mind, you may wish to have the indoor plants with you, which means you will have to get them ready for the move yourself. Here’s a handy list of tips on how to do that.
Treat the Plant in Advance
Pruning the plant before moving across the state is not only smart but recommended. By getting rid of dead leaves and branches, you will have a healthier, stronger plant that can endure the trip. The same goes for removing all of the dust, dirt, and cobwebs. Some plants will have weeds growing out of their soil or pests scuttling about. Make sure you get rid of those before going anywhere with your plant.
Transfer Plants to Plastic Pots
Heavyset pots are a nightmare for any move. Your boxes of stuff and furniture are hefty enough, so you really don’t need that ceramic container in the truck with you. It might break during the trip, messing up your flowers in the process.
Instead, transfer all of your plants to appropriately-sized and easy-to-carry plastic pots. Do that a few weeks before the move.
Plants require nutrients on a daily basis. Every single homeowner knows that, but the hectic nature of moving tends to make people forget about daily routines. After all, if you’re running around scheduling meetings with movers, interviewing clients for your old house, and packing every single item, watering your plants might slip your mind.
The best thing you can do to keep your plants from withering during the packing is to water them daily, but not too much. That way, they will look healthy and fresh before the move.
Cover the Soil
During the move, your car or truck will not always drive on a flat, even road. Sometimes, the ride might get bumpy, and stuff can move about. That can be dangerous for plants since the soil can spill over and make a mess. As such, you will want to cover the pots with cardboard. Simply cut out the piece you need, place it around the plant and on top of the pot, and then tape the ends of the cardboard to the pot itself. That way, the amount of spillage will be minimal.
Check State Laws about Plant Moving
Moving a plant across state lines is not like moving a toy car or a pack of gum. There are specific laws that proscribe which plants you can or cannot bring with you from a different part of the US.
As you’re planning the move, you will want to do the research and see which plants are allowed to be taken across the border to a different state.
During the Move
Once you have all of your plants in the moving truck or van, you will need to keep an eye on them throughout the journey. Even the safest vehicles aren’t perfect, and any number of things can go wrong.
Maintain the Temperature
Extreme weather is never good for the plant. Obviously, the ideal temperature will vary from species to species, but generally speaking, if it’s too hot or too cold, the plant will suffer from it.
The best thing you can do is have the plants in a temperature-controlled environment, like your car. If you need to make a stop and spend the night in a hotel, take the plants indoors with you.
Water Them Properly
Even during the long drive, you will need to keep the soil in each pot hydrated. Obviously, you can do that by simply refilling and emptying a single water bottle at any given gas station. However, it’s not as easy as pouring water. In fact, if the weather is too cold and the soil is wet, it can spell disaster for the plant itself. In addition, a hot/dry combo can be just as damaging to some plants.
Buckle Them Well
If you’re transporting plants on your passenger seat, you will want to secure them. Buckling the cardboard box is the best option, and it’s as easy as buckling a human being. But first, you will need to secure the small pots within the box. You can easily achieve that with a bit of bubble wrap and tape.
What if I Can’t Move My Plants?
As much as you would want to move some of your herbal inventory, it’s not always possible. Some states do not allow the import of specific species. Or, your plant might simply be too big to survive the trip. But don’t let that discourage you. There are a few other options you can try.
Giving Plants Away
You are probably not the only person around that likes keeping a plant or two in their house. So, before you start packing, talk about the move with your friends and family, your neighbors, or coworkers. Let them know that you have a few plants that need a new home. Then arrange the handover as soon as possible.
Bring a Cutting
If the plant is too big, consider taking a small cutting and regrowing the plant in your new home. However, make sure that the plant can survive in the new climate, provided it is allowed in your destination state.
Long-Distance Plant Moving: Final Thoughts
No matter how you do it when you move your plants, make sure that they are safe and tended to the very second they arrive. Don’t forget to water the small plants at once and add more soil if necessary.
With the big ones, mark up the spots in your new yard where you want to plant them and do it as fast as possible. Your plants need to get used to their new environment quickly, as even the slightest miscalculation can lead to their withering away prematurely.