Moving is no easy task. If you have plants to move, you can expect an even more significant challenge. Whether you hire movers or move yourself, you need to follow certain precautions and steps.
Follow these tips and tricks to ensure your prized plants make it to their new home safely and efficiently.
- 1 Consider the risks & plan accordingly
- 2 Transport plants in your vehicle whenever possible
- 3 Check your mover’s policy on moving plants
- 4 Keep a safe temperature
- 5 Prune your plants 2 weeks before moving
- 6 Carry your plants carefully
- 7 Load your plants last
- 8 Properly load & secure your plants and surrounding materials
- 9 Drive carefully
- 10 Check on your plants
- 11 Unload your plants first
- 12 Give your plants some R&R in their new home
- 13 The bottom line
Plants are delicate. They can become damaged or die if they receive physical impact during loading, transit, or unloading.
Moving during extreme hot or cold conditions, moving long distances, or moving particularly needy plants will increase the risk factor.
If your plants fit in your personal car, put them in there. This allows them to be in a temperature-regulated environment with sunlight. Put them in the trunk by themselves with plenty of space in between each plant.
Moving your plants inside of your vehicle rather than the moving truck is by far the safest and best way to move your plants.
If you are hiring movers and your plants won’t fit in your car, make sure you let your movers know about your plants.
Some moving companies will not move them due to the associated risk and extra care and attention required. This is especially true for long-distance moves.
The best temperature for most plants is between 65 and 80 degrees F. This will vary depending on your specific plants, so be sure to do your research prior.
Based on the temperature requirements of your potted plants, try to plan the best time of year to avoid extremely hot or cold temperatures.
Pruning dead branches and stubs from your plants promotes healthy growth. This is especially important to do a couple of weeks before your move to ensure that your plants are primed for the road.
In addition, trimming your plants will make them much easier to move by reducing their size. Keep in mind, immediately after a prune, your plants will be more susceptible to damage – the best time to prune your plants before a move is 2 weeks out.
Depending on their size, potted plants can be awkward and heavy to move. If you drop your plant or bump into a wall while carrying it, you could damage or kill it.
Whoever loads the potted plants on and off the truck should exercise proper form and be able to lift the required weight comfortably. Additionally, clear pathways and use a spotter while loading.
To make loading and unloading plants easier, you could also consider using a 2-wheeled dolly or potted plant mover.
Loading your plants last onto the back of the moving truck allows them to be the last thing onto the truck and first thing off, reducing their time spent in unfavorable conditions.
When loading the truck, make sure to save plenty of floor space on the back of the truck for your plants so they can be loaded without obstruction.
One of the most significant risks to your plants is physical damage during transit. Properly loading your plants will help reduce this risk.
The best way to load the potted plants onto a moving truck is on the back, sitting securely upright on the floor, with plenty of free space surrounding them.
How to load plants onto a moving truck:
- Load them last – loading your plants last onto the back of the truck reduces their time spent on the truck and lets you keep an eye on them.
- Give them space – Leave space between the plants, so the leaves and branches are unobstructed. This reduces the chance of risk being bumped into during transit.
- Secure them with straps, blankets, and boxes – Stop your pots from sliding around during transit by snugly nesting them inside boxes and blankets. Tie off both the stuff behind the pots and the pots themselves with moving straps.
If you are moving your plants in your personal vehicle, make sure to save plenty of space for them and not overload them with other stuff that could move and damage your plants during transit.
No matter how well your plants are loaded, bad driving can cause a load of stress and potential damage to your plants. Sharp turns or slamming on the pedal or brakes can cause your plants to shift in transit or be hit by surrounding items that shift in transit.
When driving, take turns slowly, accelerate slowly, and decelerate slowly – especially up or downhills.
If you are moving your plants a long distance, check on them every 3-4 hours of the trip. A good time to do this is during gas stops.
Make sure none of the freight has shifted. If it has, you need to re-secure the items by moving stuff around and tightening the straps.
Opening the moving truck door will also help revive your plants by giving them a spurt of sunlight and fresh air.
As soon as you reach your new home, get those plants off the truck and inside. Since you loaded them onto the back of the truck, it will be easy to take them off first thing.
Even if your potted plant move went off without a hitch, they will likely still be stressed and weakened from the move.
Take extra care of them in their new home over the next few weeks, giving them ample water, sunlight, and protection.
Moving potted plants presents several additional moving challenges because they are delicate and awkward to move. Proper preparation and technique can reduce some of this risk and ensure that your valuable plants safely make it into their new home.