As we all know moving can be a bit stressful but plant parents know that the thought of moving your plant babies for the first time may feel a bit overwhelming. How should I pack them? Should I let movers do it? Will they be ok for the trip? My take on transporting plants for a move is to organize, prep and package your plants before moving day. Check out my easy tips for getting your plants ready for a move.
Organizing My Plants
When you know you're moving it's a good idea to start off by getting a head count of all your plants. If there's any you're thinking about selling or giving away, I would start this process a few weeks before moving. For all the plants you know you're keeping, my first step is to start repotting any plants that need it before the move.
Prepping My Plants
Once repotting is done, I like to give all my small/ medium sized plants a nice plant bath. Soaking your plants is a great way to removes any bugs on your plants. It's also good for removing any dust, dirt and dead leaves from your plants as well. For plant baths, I like using a medium sized clear bin. Using your sink is fine as well. Fill the bin/sink about half way with lukewarm water and mix in about 2 tablespoons of Peppermint Castille Soap. This mixture is a great natural pesticide.
Because I tend to use a soil mix that's chunky and airy, I like protecting the soil with a bag so it doesn't fall out or lift up from the plant pot. If your soil is more compact this step might not be necessary and you can hold it down with your hand.
Next I'll take each plant and carefully dunk their leaves in the bath, moving them around for a minute or two so I can remove any unwanted bugs or dirt. For my big plants, like my Fiddle Leaf Fig, I'll add a bit of the castile soap to the leaves then give the plant a nice shower for cleaning.
Once my leaves are cleaned it's time to move on to the soil. Prepping the soil is something I start a few weeks ahead. This is actually the same process I use a few weeks before bringing my plants inside after the summer. At least 4 weeks ahead I start treating my soil every other week with Arber's Bio Insecticide and Bio Fungicide. The insecticide uses good bacteria that doesn't harm beneficial insects but helps suppress pests among your plants. The fungicide helps eliminate disease that might be growing within the soil like mold, fungus and root rot.
Watering my plants with a mix of both products helps begin the process of treating any pests that might be living in the soil. As well as treating any fungus issues within the plant. Giving your plant's soil a healthy base when moving them is a great start for minimizing plant shock from the move. As the move gets closer, it's important to give you plants a good soaking right before, especially if moving long distance, to help keep your plants hydrated for the trip.
The night before the move I'll want to spray down my plant leaves. Since I'll be moving a bunch of plants together I want to minimize the appearance of any pests that might want to show up and spread. To treat the leaves I'll use a mix of Arber's Insecticide and Fungicide as well.
Packing Your Plants
When moving day arrives, my go to strategy is to use open storage bins for the move. I start packing and grouping together my plants together inside each of the bins making sure to stuff packing paper around the plants to help stabilize them inside. This will help minimize any breakage from pots or excessive spilling of soil. Once the plants are set your bins are ready to load up for moving.
If moving local, personally I prefer moving my plants myself. Even if it takes a trip or 2 I can tuck bins on the floor and strap some bins in with a seatbelt. If you're going a distance or simply don't to deal with the back and forth, make sure to research a company that's willing to move live plants. Not all will do this.
For large plants like a Fiddle Leaf Fig or Birds of Paradise, I recommend laying down the back seats in your car, putting down a blanket and laying your plants sideways. Using a bungee cord to hold them down for extra stability will help as well.
For trailing plants, gently lift the leaves up and circle them around on top of the plant pot. This makes them easier to add to your moving bins without other plants crushing the stems
Try to figure out ahead of time the best spots for sunlight in your new home that are close to where your plants were in your previous space (south facing, east facing window, etc). That way the initial shock is not too much for your plants
Moving plants can seem like a daunting tasks but if you prep and prepare ahead and give your plants love and room to acclimate in their new space; it can help make the process for you and your plants much easier.