Relocating to a new home can be a stressful experience. As you get organized and start packing, you may suddenly find yourself wondering how you can protect and pamper your plants when moving. Your options include checking with your local moving company to see if they are willing to take on the task or going the route of a do-it-yourself (DIY) project to prepare your potted greenery for transport to a new home.
Will Your Moving Company Ship Fragile Plants to Your New Home?
Many consumers have probably not given much thought as to whether a moving company will pack and load their delicate plants for the trip to a new home. Most companies will not pack and ship your plants when moving. There are a few companies that may be willing to go that extra mile to pamper your plants when moving by properly protecting them during shipment. It all comes down to distance and the current seasonal temperatures. If you are only moving a short distance, the company may consider offering the service to transport your plants.
There are several reasons why a mover will not want to pack your live plants into the back of a moving truck jammed full of boxes and furniture. Your plants are alive and thriving and considered perishable items by movers. As such, most companies do not want to be responsible for any damage that may occur during transport. You also would not likely be able to insure your plants for loss if they were to perish during shipment.
The time of year and how hot or cold it is outside also play an important role as to whether a moving company may offer to pack and ship your plants. Extreme temperatures at or below freezing can quickly kill your delicate greenery during the winter months. Record high heat during summer can be just as bad as the back of a moving van is enclosed with no circulation or air conditioning to maintain proper temperature levels.
Do-It-Yourself: How to Prepare, Pack, and Move Your Own Plants
If after exploring all your options you come to the conclusion that you will have the responsibility of moving the plants yourself, do not be disheartened. As long as your new home is not too far away, careful preparation will help you pamper your plants when moving. Necessary packing materials include sturdy cardboard boxes or plastic storage bins with handles. You will need to cushion your plants during travel with bubble wrap to prevent movement during the trip.
Do not over water your plants right before moving as you do not want to soak the soil to the point that mold may develop. Keep your plants in the same pots as transplanting them prior to a move will be stressful. You want your plants to quickly adjust to their new surroundings so try to keep them comfortable by not exposing them to extreme conditions prior to moving.
The best place to put your plants as they travel with you to your new home is either in the back seat area of your car or next to you while you are driving. Do not pack your plants within the trunk of your vehicle when moving. They could easily get crushed by other boxes and would be exposed to more extreme temperatures. The boxed plants can also tip over if placed within the trunk area and you cannot keep a watchful eye on them during the trip.
Check for Restrictive Regulations when Moving Plants to Another State
If you are lucky enough to find a company that will pack, ship, and pamper your plants when moving then count your blessings. There are, however, other considerations you need to be aware of and this includes both state and federal regulations that may restrict the transport of plants between states. The reason these types of laws exist is more of a preventative measure than a legal issue. Plants can carry diseases and harmful insects that are easily transferred to other vegetation. Transporting plants over state lines can introduce the potential threats across the border, which can then spread to greenhouse plant growers and nurseries.
Organizations that you can contact for further information include the National Plant Board (NPB) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS). The NPB provides consumers with a nationwide state-by-state listing of plant regulatory agencies across the country. Contact information on the NPB site includes links to each state agency along with the names of individual state plant regulatory officials. Being prepared and informed prior to moving will help you go the distance when relocating to a new home. If you cannot bring your plants with you when you move, consider giving them to friends and family where they will be nourished and well cared for.