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Moving Live Plants

March 12th, 2013 - 9:55 AM

I don’t have a green thumb, but I know that plants need air, water, and sunlight. For this reason, they are not allowed in our moving trailers or moving containers. Not to mention, your plants can carry pests in the soil, and you don’t want those mixed with your stuff! So how do you go about moving live plants?

  • First off, check with the state agriculture department in the state you are moving to. Many states have regulations about importing plants (Florida and California, for example) so you need to check with your particular states about their requirements. Don’t ignore this step! You could be fined for ignoring these regulations!
  • Because live plants are on the “Do Not Ship” list, you will have to transport them in your own vehicle. For some people, this is simply too much of a hassle, so they don’t move their plants.
  • If you aren’t attached to your plants, consider donating them. Contact local nursing homes or elderly care facilities to see if they take plant donations. A beautiful plant could really brighten a person’s room.
  • If you want to move your plants, they need to be packed properly. To ensure no pests are moving with you before your move, put your plants in a plastic bag overnight with a flea collar. This should kill any pests. (This is not an instance of “more is better,” so don’t keep your plants in the plastic bag for longer than one night. You could cause harm to the plant.)
  • Next, water your plants well. Most plants can live 7-10 days without water, so if you thoroughly water before the move, they should be fine during transport.
  • To pack your live plants, line a box with plastic (in case the plants tips over during the move). Place the plant in the box and pad it with newspaper to make sure it is secure. Poke holes in the box to allow for air flow. Remember, plants need air, so don’t tape up the box airtight!
  • If your plants are too big to move, you can take a cutting. Now, I sure don’t have a green thumb (I even killed a cactus once!), but taking a cutting is easy! In the morning (because that is when plants are freshest) make a clean cut on the area you want to take. Keep the ends moist by wrapping them in wet paper towels and securing it. Then wrap the stem in a florist’s plastic stem holder (you know, those plastic sleeves that bouquets come in…a florist will give you one if you ask!). If you are completing the move in a couple days, your cutting should be fine. If your move is taking longer than that, consider taking the cutting before moving day and planting it in a pot, then moving the potted plant.
  • Whether it’s a potted plant or a cutting, be sure the car temperature is safe for the plant. If it is too hot or too cold, take the plant into the hotel with you overnight. Also, make sure the plant isn’t overheating in the sunlight of the car during travel.
  • If you have questions about whether or not your plants will survive in the new climate of your new home, call a local nursery. They should be able to give you information on growing your plants at your new home.
U-Pack is not able to move your plants, but we can move your household belongings! Get a free moving quote and see how we can make your move easy and affordable! Happy moving and happy gardening!