Moving your Plants

If you’re moving and wouldn’t dream of leaving your favorite house plants behind, don’t worry. Alert Moving & Storage will be happy to advise you on the safest and best methods to move them.
Because plants and other living things require special care during transit and may get too warm or too cold inside the moving van, particularly on moves of extremely long distances, you should move them yourself in your car. Here’s how:

Three Weeks Before Moving Day

Have Alert Moving & Storage survey your overall moving requirements. Tell us what your plans are for your plants, and if you’ll be moving house plants yourself, let us know if you’ll need special packing materials.

During the same week, any plants housed in clay pots should be repotted in unbreakable plastic containers. Keep in mind that the new pot must be big enough to hold the root system, but only large enough to hold the plant, as this should be only a temporary measure.

Two Weeks Before Moving

Plants should be closely pruned for comfortable packing. Check with your nursery, florist or a reputable plant book to learn the best way to prune. Smaller plants take up less space and are less likely to be damaged in transit.

One Week Before Moving Day

Something you don’t want to move is bugs and common plant pests. To kill all parasites on the plant and in the soil, place your plants in a black plastic utility bag for about six hours with a bug/pest strip or a conventional flea collar. Be sure to put the bag in a cool, shady area.

Moving Day

Plants should be packed on moving day; or, if necessary, the night before. Conventional packing cartons are easily adaptable to moving plants.

According to Alert’s packing experts, plants should be securely anchored so that they won’t slip when the box is lifted or jostled in transit. Begin by dampening newspaper or packing paper, and wrapping the base of the pot and leaves. Place the pot in a box, and make sure it fits snugly in the bottom; use more paper if necessary. Check to insure that the limbs are cushioned with paper. Next, place dampened paper loosely around the top of the plant to further protect the leaves.

Plants should be watered normally before packing during the warmer months, only slightly during the cold months. If a pot is laden with moisture during the winter, it is more prone to freezing.

As a final precaution, punch air holes in the sides of the box and loosely fasten the lid. If you follow this procedure, your plants should be equipped to travel safely for up to four days before requiring further attention.

On The Road

Now that the boxes are packed, set aside a special place to store them. Set them upright and clearly mark the lids to avoid mistakenly putting them into the moving van with the furniture. When you’re ready to leave, pack the plant boxes in your car. If possible, make sure they are placed where they won’t be crushed. Avoid putting plants in the car trunk, unless there is no other option, as heat or cold can cause damage.

While on the road, be careful where you park your car. Remember to leave a car window open and park in a shaded area in the summer, the opposite in winter.

At Your New Home

When you arrive at your new home, you should unpack your plants as quickly as possible. Remove them through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking branches. Watch carefully for the first few weeks to make sure you aren’t overexposing your plants. If you require more light, a cool, white fluorescent lamp may be used. If you don’t have space to carry all of your plants, take some cuttings. Either place them in a sterile mix or put the cuttings in a plastic bag with damp cotton or paper towels. They should survive several days of travel and be in good shape to take root at your new home.

No Liability to the Carrier

Your attention is called to the rule on the reverse of the Bill of Lading wherein it is held that the carrier will not accept perishable items as part of the shipment, including house plants. In the case where perishable items, including houseplants, are accepted for shipment by the carrier, it is at the exclusive risk of the shipper. Under no circumstances will the carrier accept liability for loss or damage to perishable items, including houseplants.