How to Move Houseplants

Houseplants are an excellent way to add life, vitality, and a piece of the outdoors to our homes. In return for the beauty and grace they offer us, we tend to them and give them the care they need to survive. Some plants can be hardy, while others with demanding needs are very delicate. This can make it tricky if you ever need to move with houseplants—especially if you have a lot of different types of plants. Look at our favorite houseplant moving tips if you have a move coming up and need some help getting your plants from point A to point B in great shape.

How to Move Plants

Many different things can go wrong when moving houseplants. Let’s face it—there are plenty of ways plants try to die on us, even on the best of days. Plants need sunlight, water, humidity, stability, and ideal temperatures to stay in the best shape possible. Moving can disrupt those needs. Preparation is the key to ensuring your plants do not sustain damage during your move, whether it is a local or long-distance move.

How to Prepare for Moving Houseplants

When you begin to prep for your move, you should break the tasks into reasonable goals. Starting a few weeks before your move will allow plenty of time to gather all your supplies to get your plants ready for the transition.

3 Weeks Before a Move

  • Purchase foam cushioning and bubble wrap so you can protect any ceramic, clay, or glass pots.
  • Re-pot any severely rootbound plants (if they don’t like that). You can also re-pot plants into plastic containers if you are nervous about the pots themselves being damaged during the move.
  • Give your plants a lot of attention to make sure they are in their prime shape before moving.
  • Check the laws before you move. Some states have strict regulations regarding the types of plants they allow you to bring across state lines. Get online and make sure you do not have any prohibited plants that you intend to move, and check the guidelines for transporting houseplants. For example, some states require that the soil be sterile or that the plants stay quarantined for a specific period.

2 Weeks Before a Move

  • Give your plants a good prune before you move. If you have an out-of-control and unruly houseplant (we are looking at you, Monstera Deliciosa), you may want to consider pruning some of the areas that are more likely to be damaged during the move. In addition, you should take this time to clean up any dead or dying leaves on your plants.
  • Plants can get dusty, which inhibits the amount of sunlight they can absorb and use. You can use a microfiber cloth or washrag with water to wipe down the fronts and backs of the leaves. Doing this will help keep pests to a minimum as well.
  • This is a great time to check your plants for any bugs that could potentially spread throughout your plant collection. Spider mites, aphids, mealybugs, thrips, and others can move quickly and efficiently from plant to plant. Some plants are more susceptible to pests than others, but you should inspect all plants before moving. These pests do not need much time to cause unsightly damage and even kill your plant. If you do find bugs, don’t panic! You have time to quarantine the affected plants and follow a treatment protocol to get rid of unwanted visitors.

1 Week Before a Move

  • Continue to keep an eye on your plants for pests and other signs of distress.
  • If possible, wait to water your plants until right before the move.

Tips for Moving Larger Plants

Large plants look majestic in the home, but anyone who has ever tried to move them knows how heavy they can be. The weight of large plants will help keep them from toppling over during the move, but you should still take steps to make sure they do not fall over. You can put all your large plants together, so they work to prop each other up. You can wrap the pots in newspaper, bubble wrap, or foam cushioning to keep them from getting scratched or chipped. Use gardening twine to control any sprawling bits of the plant that could get damaged during the moving process. You can get even more protection by covering your entire plant with a plastic bag. Just place a few holes in the bags to keep the humidity levels from getting too high—unless your plant would enjoy that!

Tips for Moving Smaller Plants

Small plants are easy to pack up and move. One of the most significant issues with small plants (like standard 4- and 6- inch pots) is how easy they can get tipped over. You can use boxes or plastic tubs with no lids to transport your small houseplants. Filling the box will keep the plants from falling over. Don’t forget to use packing paper or foam to protect your fragile pots.

New Home for Your Plants

Now that you have arrived in your new home, it’s time to inspect your plants and make sure they made the trip in good shape. Don’t be surprised if some of your plants decide to be dramatic for a while. Certain plants do not react well to change and may even choose to drop some leaves, droop, or play dead! Try to find places in your new home that offer similar light and temperature to help reduce the shock. Soon they will get adjusted and be happy in their brand-new spots.

Zippy Shell Can Help with Your Move

We hope these tips will be helpful as you get ready for your next move. If you are still wondering how to make your local or long-distance move as easy as possible, call Zippy Shell at 888-947-7974 or contact us online. Our mobile storage solutions are perfect for a stress-free move.

We look forward to hearing from you! In the meantime, check out some of our resources to help you guarantee success on your move.