How to safely move with plants

When you’re preparing for a move that will uproot you and your family, your houseplant collection and container garden will need to be metaphorically uprooted, too. Even if you have the greenest of green thumbs, you may find the prospect of transporting your potted masterpieces rather puzzling.

These tips on how to safely move with plants of all sizes can help take the stress and confusion out of the packing and transporting process. By following the right strategies, you can ensure that your living, thriving plant collection bounces back from the disruption of moving and fills your new home with that lush, verdant loveliness you’ve grown so fond of.

Adhering to state regulations for an interstate move

While the plants you keep at home and in your container garden might seem fairly harmless, they might be considered invasive or harmful in another region. It’s no good trying to sneak potentially prohibited plants across state and territory borders. Instead, read up on the local guidance in your new area to find out which species you can take with you. During your research, learn about what you need to do to ensure safe transportation without introducing pests or contaminants into the local ecosystem.

You may need to schedule an inspection and identify approved plants on a quarantine declaration. Additionally, you will likely need to take extra care in packing up your plants. For instance, regional requirements may mean that you need to repot plants in a brand new and fully sealed container using a specific type of potting mix. You may also need to spray your plants with a fungicide or apply a similar treatment. Guidelines vary by state and territory, so do your homework to avoid getting the fruits of your gardening labours confiscated at the border.

Prepping your plants in advance of moving day

A few weeks before the move, take some time to tend to your indoor and potted outdoor plants. Do any necessary deadheading and pruning to remove old, shrivelled leaves and tidy the plant up a bit. Small indoor houseplants won’t need to be repotted.

However, you’ll want to repot plants that are currently in large, heavy containers so they’re lighter and easier to transport. Pick up some lightweight plastic pots from a local garden centre and assign one to each plant that needs repotting. Be sure to use fresh, sterile soil to avoid bringing any bugs or contaminants to your new location. Porcelain and clay pots can be cleaned out and packed separately for the move.

Water the plants about two or three days ahead of the move. It’s important to keep the soil slightly damp to nourish the roots. This will also prevent the potting medium from getting powdery and making a mess during the move. But you don’t want to totally soak the plants, as the excess water will add unnecessary weight.

Packing your plants securely for transit

The day before you need to move with plants, wrap up the pots in plastic bags. Tie them off at the base of the plant to contain all of the soil while leaving the leaves and stems free. Gather some sturdy cardboard boxes, and tape the bottom flaps securely.

Rather than sealing up your beloved greenery in boxes, use some craft paper or paper bags to create a protective tube around them. For each plant, create a tube that’s slightly taller than the plant itself. Lower the potted plant into the tube so that the leaves point upward and don’t get crushed.

For leafy plants that spread out broadly, create an open cone shape that tapers out at the top. It’ll be a bit like a dog cone and will protect the leaves from getting caught or jostled in transit.

Once that’s taken care of, you can use cardboard box bases to make transporting your protected plants easier. Place a few smaller potted houseplants into the same box, with crumpled up packing paper or bubble wrap in between the pots to help keep everything upright. Larger plants can be packed in individual boxes with packing material filling in the gaps. You can either cut off the top flaps or tape them up around the paper cone to provide an extra protective barrier.

With your plants protected and nestled securely into packing boxes, it’ll be easy to handle the boxes one at a time with a dolly or hand truck. If you lift them, be sure to support them from the bottom so the cardboard box doesn’t buckle.

Chauffeuring your plants during the move

Rather than popping your plants in the moving van, where they could get jostled around and damaged, keep them in the back seat of your own vehicle. This way, they’ll remain in a climate controlled environment and you can securely arrange them to prevent anything from tipping over. You can also easily check on them during rest stops.

If you’re lodging somewhere overnight, take the plants out of your car and bring them indoors with you. This will protect them from any cold damage or excessive heat that they could experience if left out overnight.

Tending to your greenery upon arrival at your new home

When you and your leafy green guests reach your destination, gently take them indoors and unpack them. Find a spot for each plant that provides a similar level of light to its previous place in your old home. Give them some water to kick start the recovery process. After that, be patient as your potted plants adjust.

You may see some wilting or loss of leaves after going through a long-distance move with plants. But, with time and nurturing, your plants can readjust to their new home.


Allow Allied Pickfords to take care of plant transportation for you

Because of the care and attention required to safely move plants, not all professional removalists will offer plant moving services. Luckily, Allied Pickfords is here to help safely and securely transport your beloved houseplants and outdoor potted plants. Learn more about our additional removals and transport services.

Ready to hire a high-quality furniture removals company? Allied have been moving people locally and interstate in Australia for over 50 years. With over 40 locations across the country, we are perfectly positioned to help you with your move, no matter where you are. Give us a call today on 13 25 54 to organise a free quote.