Whether you’re sending them as a gift or transporting them to your new home, house plants require special care and attention when moving them long distances. They are living, breathing organisms that require thorough preparation beforehand to ensure they survive the journey.
In fact, transporting your plants across long distances is similar to moving a pet. They aren’t just decorative objects that go with your house; you’ve taken great care to water them and give them enough sunlight daily. Here are six tips for safely moving your plants at long distances without damaging them:
Before you start preparing to bring your plants with you, determine first if they can survive the journey to your new home. Although you’ve spent a lot of time, love, and energy on your garden and cultivating your plants, there are some circumstances in which they are impossible to take along with you. Even if your plant can survive the long journey, sometimes, legal restrictions and climate change get in the way. It’s best to find these out before planning to bring them with you.
For instance, if you’re moving to a vastly different climate, you may want to reconsider moving your plants. It may not be suitable for them, which will cause them to wilt. Consider gifting them to a family member or friend if this is the case.
Additionally, there are some species of plants that you won’t be able to take with you. For example, if they’re too large, you can instead keep a plant cutting and plant it in your new garden.
Some plants and seeds cannot be taken to other places, especially when you cross international borders. For example, if you’re relocating to the United States from a different country, then all plants in soil are prohibited. Instead, they can be wrapped in damp newspaper or a wet towel to prevent them from drying out.
If you’re crossing borders, be sure to read up on the guidelines of transporting plants and prepare accordingly. You may have to fill out a form and submit it to a government agency before your move. Even if your plants are rejected for transport, you won’t be penalized for it since you declared them.
If you’ve determined that you can safely and legally bring your plants with you, it’s time to plan ahead. Just like packing the rest of your house, prepping your plants for the big move takes some time. You should start preparing your plants around a month before your relocation date, especially if your plants are delicate and high maintenance.
Prune your plants and eliminate any dead leaves and parts a month before your move. These dead parts can pose a safety hazard during relocation while sapping energy from your plants’ healthy parts. Your plant may have a more difficult time surviving the trip when it’s not in optimal condition.
Start removing all the pests, weeds, and dust from your plants a week before you move. Then, a few days before you relocate, re-pot your plants. Switch them over to plastic containers with fertile soil to allow your plant some time to settle. Plastic containers are much lighter and more durable than heavy pots and planters. If you’re driving long distances to your new home, this will lessen your load.
If you’re driving across state lines to your new home, your trip will likely take a day or more. Check the weather forecast for the days you’ll be making your journey to know what the exact weather will be like as you drive. This will affect your plant’s survival: if you expect the weather to be hot, make sure to water it well. If it’s going to be very cold, then water them sparingly to avoid frost damage.
If the weather is temperate, then be sure to water it on the road, especially if the soil looks too dry. Putting the windows down from time to time will allow your plant to breathe while welcoming some sunlight.
If you stay overnight at a hostel or apartment along the way, bring your plant with you. You can introduce much needed fresh air to your plant, allowing it to enjoy more circulation. You can also ensure that it’s kept safe while you’re resting from your multi-day trip.
Plants, in general, are sensitive to temperature changes. In fact, drastic temperature changes are especially dangerous for your plants. If the weather is too hot, they can dry out in just a few hours. However, if the weather is frigid, then they’ll freeze even faster.
Putting them under direct sunlight in your car isn’t a good idea, as it can damage the leaves. Glass tends to amplify sun rays’ temperature, which means that you’ll risk scorching your plant. Indirect sunlight will be much safer for the plant, especially during hot days.
If you are flying to your new home, then you may want to consider a shipping company to handle your greenery for you. It will require a little more preparation and additional security measures. Still, they’ll ensure that your plant will arrive at your destination safely. Before shipping your plant, ensure that it’s legal to bring this plant into your new jurisdiction.
When you’re confident that it is, prepping it is similar to taking it with you on a road trip. Take your plant out of the pot, trip the roots, and wrap them in a wet towel or newspaper. Put them in a plastic bag, then a box that is filled with bubble wrap and paper. Your plant must be secured in the box to prevent it from moving around. Clearly label the box and indicate which side of the box goes up. You’ll prevent someone from accidentally carrying your box upside down, which will severely damage your plant.
Moving your house plants across long distances may seem challenging, but it’s definitely doable. It requires some research and preparation, but with these six tips, you’ll have a much easier time transporting them across state lines or borders. You’ll get to enjoy your new home with your beloved plant right by your side.
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