Tips for Moving Cross Country with Houseplants

You have worked hard to cultivate your house plants and you want to bring them with you to your new home. Like children and pets, plants are living things and require special thought and preparation before moving cross country. Plants can be very fickle and you must take steps to avoid them going into shock during your long-distance travel. This is especially true for those of us living in the climates in Alberta that can vary so severely.

The professionals at Matco Moving Solutions have experience in moving houseplants, antiques and valuables. If you are moving cross-country with houseplants in the near future, consider these tips to ensure your plants thrive.

Prep your houseplants

Clean up your plants two weeks before moving. Prune larger plants so they are more compact for transporting. Pruning also results in healthy and more attractive plants. To prune, simply pinch back newer growth with your thumb and forefinger.

Re-pot plants

Two to three weeks before moving, repot plants into lightweight plastic pots. This will give them time to adjust prior to moving. Choose pots that are similar in size to their previous ceramic pots.

Remove pests

Two to three weeks before moving place plants in a dark plastic bag with a flea collar or pest strip. Leave the bag in a cool shady place overnight. If this does not get rid of insects, consider leaving the plant behind.

Watering your plants

When moving your plants, it is important to consider the climate that they will be in and the impact that will have on the soil. In the volatile climates of Calgary & Edmonton, it is imperative to update your plans based on the current weather. Hot and dry, cold and wet, are the two worst conditions for plants. If you are moving in the winter months, water your plants two or three days before the move to ensure they are on the dry side on moving day. If you are moving during the hot summer months, water the plants well the morning of the move and let any excess water drain away.

Pack them

In the morning of moving day, or the night before, pack your plants. Place the plant in a cardboard box. Use dampened newspaper or packing paper to hold the plants in place. Punch air holes in the sides of the box and close the lid. Clearly mark the boxes PLANTS, so the movers know not to load them.

Take plants in your car

It is best to transport plants in your car because it ensures a climate controlled environment. The ideal spot for plants is in the front passenger seat. Avoid placing your house plants in the trunk. The lack of fresh air and an inability to control the temperature can be harmful. Although, if you must place plants in the trunk, cover the tops of the boxes with blankets to insulate them from heat and cold. If you make stops during your trip, park in a sunny spot with windows closed in the winter and in the shade with the windows cracked in the summer. If you stay at a hotel overnight, bring the plants into the room with you. In the hotel room, open the cartons to expose your plants to light.

Unpack plants first

Remove plants from the bottom of the box. This will avoid damaging the stem. Once removed, keep the plants in a darker lit space and then gradually bring them to brighter areas. This will give the plants a chance to adjust to the light again. Your plants need acclimation to the light and their new surroundings.

Talk to your Moving Consultant if you have any further questions on how to properly pack plants for moving. They can suggest the right size of moving box depending on the size of your house plant. Many moving companies, including Matco Moving Solutions, sell boxes and packing materials that are ideal for moving plants cross country. We can help with domestic and international moving to or from Alberta, Yukon, or the Northwest Territories. We have eight office locations, including our movers in CalgaryEdmonton & Fort McMurray. Call today to learn more 1-800-661-3618.

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