Tips for Moving with Plants

Moving houseplants and bushes sounds easier than moving a living, breathing animal. And it usually is. But even plants can experience moving-related stress that will damage them. Here are some tips to make sure your plants stay healthy and safe during a move.

First though, you should know that moving plants locally is much simpler than moving them across state lines or national borders. There can be issues related to pest control. Your local Department of Agriculture or Department of Natural Resources can help you get the answers you need if you’re making a long-distance move.

But if you’re moving in Minnesota, and especially the Minneapolis and Saint Paul area, the College Muscle Movers can help.

Plant-Friendly Packing

Have you noticed that when you buy a plant from a nursery, it almost always comes in a simple plastic pot?

This isn’t just to save money: those plastic pots are much harder to break than pottery, so they’re perfect for moves. Make sure you use plastic pots that are about the same size as the original pots.

It’s important to do this reporting well before you move, three weeks is ideal. This gives the plants time to adjust.

Those plastic pots are tougher than they look.
Those plastic pots are tougher than they look.

Pest Control

A move is a great opportunity to clear away any pests and take care of any other little chores to give your plants the best possible start in their new home—instead of bringing along the little creepy crawlies you picked up at your previous residence.

There are many safe, organic options for getting rid of nasty bugs. There are also simple pesticide options, although these should only be attempted with great care.

There’s a lot of great information on both these options from the University of Minnesota. Take a look at their guide to houseplant insect control and choose a method that suits you.

While you’re at it, take the time to prune any dead leaves. This will make the entire plant healthier.

Plants On The Move

Okay, the plants are repotted and refreshed. It’s time to take them for a ride.

First off, you’ll want to water your plants a couple of days before the move and then leave them alone. Too much moisture in the soil can cause problems in hot or cold weather, so be sure to leave time for them to dry out a little.

Now you can start loading them into sturdy cardboard boxes. Place packing paper or foam between the pots, and be sure to poke some holes into the box if you’ll be closing it. For taller plants, you may want to also put a large plastic bag (poke holes in this as well) or a sheet over them to prevent them from scraping off leaves or branches against other items.

If possible, you’ll want to reserve some space in your car rather than the moving truck for delicate plants. Don’t push them into the dark and cold of your trunk; instead, keep them with you, and adjust the temperature in your car to keep them comfortable—for hot weather be sure to park in the shade, and for cold weather keep the heat on because indoor plants can be quickly and seriously damaged by winter temperatures.

Welcome Home

You made it! Your plants should be one of the first items you unload, but you should probably wait another week or so before repotting them after your move—the more time between repottings, the less shock for your plant.


Do you have any other questions? Maybe you’ve got a large plant that will be a major challenge to move, or you need help finding the right packing materials? Give the College Muscle Movers a call, and we’ll use our experience to answer your questions.

Image Credit: Pixabay