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Moving Plants to a New Home

Plants are probably one thing we tend to forget about when planning a move. They need special care and consideration to prepare them for relocation. If you are moving to another country, your plants would not be allowed through customs in most cases. Different states have different requirements for bringing plants so make sure to check in advance. Most movers won't take plants on their trucks or won't cover them in their insurance policies simply because they are too easy to damage. If possible, consider transporting them in your car, where you can keep an eye on them.

Here's what you'll need in order to successfully transfer your plants to your new place:
  • Boxes
  • Plastic bags
  • Paper towels
  • Tape/strings
  • Bubble wrap/foam
Planning is essential to ensure that you have time for all the details. It's a good idea to prune your plants about two weeks before the move. Feed them and administer any pest control treatments to get them into their best condition. After all, moving is stressful for them too. If you think that the pots they are in aren't suitable for transportation, repot them into plastic ones.

On the day before the move place the plants in boxes, lined with plastic. Pack them snugly and put some bubble wrap or foam in between to hold them in place and keep them from tipping over. Cover the leaves with wet paper towels to keep them damp. Tall plants should be wrapped in plastic but not too tight. Make some holes in it so that the plant can breathe.

If you have garden plants and you want to take them along, you should dig them up on the day you're moving to minimize disruption. Wrap the root ball in plastic and tie with a string or tape. Place in a box. The easier thing to do, however, is to take cuttings - this way you won't leave the new owners with an empty garden and cuttings are so much easier to transport. Just put them in a bag with some wet paper towels or buy floral tubes and you don't have to worry about them for a few days.

While transporting your plants, make sure it's not too hot or too cold. Plants are very temperature sensitive and excessive heat can easily kill them.

Unpack them as soon as you arrive at your new house. Take off any plastic you've used and place them out of the way until you have time for them. Water and fertilize in the first days. If you want to repot them back into their original containers, wait a week or two until they get accustomed to their new environment. Observe your plants carefully for the next few weeks; they might be fine during the move but not be able to overcome the stress afterwards.
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