How to Keep Your Plants Healthy When Moving

by Alli

You are finally moving out of your old place and looking ahead to new beginnings. But, you’ve worked hard to keep a healthy garden or an impressive array of indoor plants that you are desperate to take with you. Here is a complete survival guide to keep your plants healthy while traveling.

The Zebra understands your separation anxiety with your plants, that’s why they created this guide to transporting plants. Their tips work best for smaller plants but can be used for medium-to-large plants, as well.

Like all living things, plants require a balance of attention and careful handling, especially during moves. Read through the tips below to ensure that your plants survive your next move!

How to Keep Plants Healthy When Moving

If you’re moving, you already have plenty of other stuff to worry about, right? Plants can tag along, too, but it takes some prep work. Here’s a quick list of things to consider before you start shoving plants in boxes.

Size of plants and pots

Take inventory of your plants and which ones you can easily move. Consider your moving vehicle and space at your new destination when choosing which plants to relocate.

Digging and transplanting

Plan ahead for removing garden-based plants. Re-pot in plastic pots a few weeks prior to moving to lighten the weight load, while reducing the chance of pots breaking. When transplanting, don’t dig right next to the plant — dig further out to include more roots. For smaller plants, gently break up the roots when repotting and use new potting soil.

Types of soil

Gardeners usually work with five types of soil: sandy, silty, clay, peaty and saline soil.

Soil helps plant growth by providing nutrients, water containment, oxygen and more. Talk to a local nursery expert to find out which type your plant needs. Easy tip: Add packing peanuts to the bottom of a pot lightens the weight of your planter and reduces the amount of soil required.

Traveling With Plants

Distance to travel

How far will you travel? If you’ll be on the road for a few days, taking plants won’t be an issue. If you have more than two weeks of travel, you may want to reduce the number of plants moved as you’ll be taking them in and out at each overnight stop.

Don’t leave plants in the car

Extreme temperature changes will injure plants. Skip packing plants into the trunk; bring your plants into the car where air circulates better. Keep plants out of direct sunlight, if possible.

Below is a Complete Survival Guide to Traveling With Plants and Keeping Your Plants Healthy.

How to transport plants





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Candy February 1, 2019 - 7:56 am

Be sure to wrap them good if it is cold out. No reason not to take them with you if at all possible

Karen Dawkins February 1, 2019 - 8:04 am

Thank you for this post. We are moving in May, and I really hadn’t thought about how to care for the plants. I was just going to toss them in the car and hope for the best. Now, I know they’ll be okay.

Amber Myers February 1, 2019 - 8:19 am

Good to know! I wish I could keep plants alive in general but alas, I cannot. My mom is really good with her plants and has TONS of them.

cait February 1, 2019 - 10:10 am

omg i wish i had seen this when we moved from atlanta to chicago- i had to leave a few plants behind bc i had no idea how to keep them healthy while moving across country ha- these are all great tips to know for any occasion!

Heather February 1, 2019 - 12:18 pm

I think I would just leave my plants or gift them to someone. Then start over once we arrived. My friend just moved from NJ to FL and there was no room for plants!

Alli February 1, 2019 - 1:21 pm

Some of my plants were handed down from my mom, who has now graduated to heaven. No way would I leave those plants behind. 🙂

Teresa February 1, 2019 - 2:21 pm

I will have to follow these tips for plant care. I seem to kill everything, even cavities! Lol

Dennis Littley February 1, 2019 - 4:03 pm

These are great tips for keeping plants healthy and alive during a move. Leaving them in the car is something that would seem harmless but letting them stay in the heat or extreme could would be very bad for the plants. Great post!

Dennis Littley February 1, 2019 - 4:04 pm

Great tips on keeping plants alive during a move! Leaving plants in the car would seem harmless but letting them stay in extreme heat or could would be devastating to the plants. Great post!

Jenn @ EngineerMommy February 1, 2019 - 4:52 pm

I admit that I have a black thumb when it comes to plants. Maybe I need one of those self-watering tools.

Amy Smith February 1, 2019 - 7:12 pm

These are some fabulous tips. Thank you for taking the time to share! I hope we won’t move for a long time… but if we do… I know what to do!

Heather February 1, 2019 - 10:14 pm

I have the hardest time with plants. There are only two that I’ve been able to keep alive.

Terri Steffes February 2, 2019 - 12:01 am

I love plants and have moved several. One plant we had weighed over 80 pounds. It was a tree like plant, so we ended up giving it away.

Catalina February 2, 2019 - 3:50 am

These are really good tips that can be useful for my friend’s that is planning to move soon. She needs to know these!

Lynndee February 2, 2019 - 8:44 am

We don’t have plans of moving anytime soon, but if ever we do move, I do have a lot of plants to take with me. So thank you for the tips.

Nichole Arnold February 2, 2019 - 9:25 am

These are some great tips. I honestly have no green thumb and would never think to move plants with me but maybe if our favorite floral tree could withstand the move I’d take it.

Ricci February 2, 2019 - 10:25 am

I love the look of potted plants but I swear I have a black thumb and can’t keep them alive for anything! I would love to have them on my home though!

Pam February 2, 2019 - 10:48 am

I remember moving with my plants, back in the day. My bay tree barely survived the trip. I could have used these tips.

Beth February 2, 2019 - 1:17 pm

This is such helpful advice. I love my plants, and if I have to move, I’ll be referring to this again. So I’m pinning it on my houseplant board.

Evelyn Carter February 18, 2019 - 3:49 am

How I wished your article was available a couple of years ago when we moved. Everything was hectic because of my husband’s new job and having to report right away that I didn’t even bother about trying to figure out how to move the plants.

Jane Anderson March 19, 2019 - 4:54 am

Hey, thanks for sharing the interesting planting tips with us. I love to do gardening and I am looking forward with this kind of post in future. Keep sharing!.

George Rhodes May 9, 2019 - 3:25 am

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