How to Move with Plants

This is how to move with plants the right way so that they do not wither, wilt or break after or during the move. These are important strategies to ensure your plants make it through the long journey to their new home and remain healthy.
Moving with plants is a tricky process that requires careful preparation. The next challenge is to keep the indoor garden well and healthy after the move. Let’s delve into what makes a relocation with plants correct — pay these nuances as much attention during the move as you can.

How to Prepare Plants for Moving

  • Check the conditions in the new place. First of all, make sure your plants can adapt well to the new conditions. If the temperature, airflow, sun exposure or humidity in the new place are unsuitable, then consider putting up your plants for sale or giving them away.
  • 3 weeks before the move, start repotting. If any of your plants need repotting to shatter-resistant plastic pots, do it three weeks before the move to avoid causing too much stress to your plants. Plastic shatter-proof containers are the best. Transportation in clay pots is best avoided as they can easily break.
  • 2 weeks before moving, start pruning. Remove dead leaves and branches from your plants and give them a good pruning. Use sharp scissors. Pruning will keep the plant compact and good-looking, but do not prune ferns, succulents and the newly grown part of palm trees.
  • 1 week before moving start checking for disease. Check your plants for insects, parasites or mold (fungal infection). If needed, use insecticides or fungicides. It’s better to begin treating your plants as urgently as possible. Weakened plants can never recover after relocation.
  • A day or two before your move, stop watering the plants so the soil becomes firm and doesn't crumble during the move. Start packing the plants into the boxes immediately before moving.

What to Do with Plants on the Day of the Move

  • Wrap the branches and trunks or stems of your large plants. Use a plastic bag, paper or bubble wrap.
  • Put the pots into cardboard boxes. Fill up the gaps in the boxes with paper, cloth or cardboard. Also, you can wrap the pots that you put in the boxes. Paper wraps will keep the pots in place inside the box during the move. Make sure the pots are securely fixed.
  • Small plants often fit completely into a box. In this case, close the container tightly and wrap it with a tape. Cut holes in the sides of the container so that your green pets can breathe.
  • Large specimens are best transported in a linen bag. Place the pot on the bottom of a bag and tie the bag around. You can only cover the lower part or the whole plant.
  • If you are transporting a cactus or other thorny plant, use pieces of Styrofoam. Secure them with tape. This will help preserve the thorns and prevent you from getting hurt during the packing process.
  • Place large specimens first, then small ones, and finally those that require special attention. Of all things, put your plants in the truck last.
  • Control the temperature. Maintain a comfortable temperature in the truck. If it’s too cold outside, make sure the plants do not stay too long outside. Remember that plants can be damaged by extreme cold and heat.
  • When moving long distances, including moving to another city, periodically open the truck to let the plants breathe (if there are no windows).

What to Do with Plants upon Arrival

  • Unpack the boxes. If your plants are inside boxes, take them out. The sooner the better. Remove the wrapper, paper, tape and other auxiliary packaging items. Clean the plants of damaged branches and leaves.
  • Pour warm water. When watering, make sure the water is warm, as it will quickly equalize the temperature of the plants with the temperature in the room. According to studies, plants recover well after a stressful move when watered at about 77°F or 25°C.
  • Keep the right conditions. It's crucial to ensure that your plants are in the same conditions as they were when you moved them into a new home. For instance, if your plant grew lush and healthy under sunlight for a considerable amount of time during the day, make sure its new location is also exposed to the sun.
  • Give them time to adjust. A few species and cultivars such as weeping figs (ficus) and Bougainvillea sometimes drop leaves when feeling stressed (moving is a stress factor for most sedentary organisms). After a few days they usually settle down to the new conditions.


No matter how experienced your moving team is, to move with plants the right way means not only to deliver them safely, but also to prepare them beforehand and arrange them afterwards. Pay attention to the temperature, humidity, airflow, sun exposure and the specific features of your plants.