Don’t compound the worries of moving by fretting over relocating your houseplants. Follow these steps for the easiest way to move them. If you take the time to prepare your plants for the move, you can continue enjoying them for months or years to come.
Consider Whether Your Plants Will Work in the New Space
Think of your houseplants when renting a new apartment. Is there appropriate light to keep your plants healthy and looking their best? Is it comparable to what they’ve grown accustomed to in your current place? Will you need to install a grow light to keep them happy? Consider the lighting before you choose an apartment, if possible.
Care for the Plants Before the Move
There are a few steps you can take to prepare your plants for relocating.
- Place your plants in an area that receives comparable sunlight to what they’ll get in the new apartment. Choose a spot in the new place for each specimen and get your plants adjusted to that type of light before the move. Do this gradually, perhaps for an hour a day if you’re moving them into brighter light.
- Water a few days before the move. You’ll want the soil moist, not wet. For light dirt, let it almost dry out before moving day.
- Feed your plants ahead of time, to strengthen them and make them more adaptable to the move. Remove any damaged or dying leaves.
Decide on a Plant Moving Plan
Next, consider how tall and heavy your plants are and how hard they are to move. You may need help if you’re moving several floors up. If you have heavy pots that go on the floor, enlist assistance and move them first or last. If there is a spot where you can leave your plants so that they won’t get knocked around during the move, then move them first. If not, save them until the last load. Keep in mind that most NYC moving companies won’t transport plants, so you’ll have to think of an alternative method of transportation.
Secure Plants for the Move
Make sure there is a safe spot in your vehicle for each plant and the box in which it is packed.
- Pack short pots in separate boxes, leaving the tops open. Unless your houseplants are in small containers, put each plant in a separate box and secure it with wadded newspaper or packaged air saved from Amazon orders. Start collecting this type of packing material when you learn you’re going to move. It comes in handy for packing other things besides your plants.
- Pack tall pots in a plastic bag. Split a plastic bag just enough to cover the top of the container and keep the soil in place. Alternatively, use a drawstring kitchen trash bag around the pot and synch tie around the base of the plant. You can also use sphagnum moss to keep the dirt in place during transport.
- In winter, add extra insulation. If you’re moving apartments during frigid weather, consider making a sleeve out of newspaper for additional protection. Move your plants inside a vehicle. It takes just a brief time of cold to cause permanent damage or kill your plants. Don’t ever move unprotected plants in the back of a truck.
If you’re moving a long distance, you might want to reconsider taking your plants with you. Many states have regulations that prohibit plants from being brought across state lines. Be sure to check your destination state before the move to make sure everything’s legal. It might be easier to just take cuttings of your existing plants or start over with new plants.