How to move house with your plants

Fifty plants in car boot? No problem.

It’s a universal fact that moving house isn’t easy. Add delicate houseplants in the mix and you’re on the fast train to stress town. While some people see houseplants as much hassle to move as the world’s heaviest fridge freezer, it can actually be done with relative ease. Nope, you don’t need to leave your plant babies behind like an old bin when you relocate, as a few clever tricks will make it a relative breeze.

Get prepped

Making the move successful is all in the prep. You’ll need to be in plant moving mode about a week before you go, starting by giving your plants a thorough watering and feed around two to three days prior to your date. Not only will this give them a little boost before they get whisked off to an entirely new environment, but it’ll keep them perky when they arrive. Plus, in the stress of unpacking, how likely are you to remember to water them when you’ve got a shortlist of a million other things to do?

Trim off any dead leaves and give them a general tidy up first, but don’t be tempted to repot just yet. Wait until they’ve settled in their new home, as too much change at once can be quite a shock to their system.

Get packing

While you’ll likely have a bunch of big moving boxes already, be sure to start saving any packaging you receive about a month before moving. Think online shopping deliveries and, of course, your Lazy Flora delivery boxes! If like me you’ve got a brood that spans teeny tiny plants to massive leafy boys, you’ll need a variety of sizes to fit them all in.

Then think of it like a giant puzzle – tape up the bottoms and fill up your boxes, squeezing small babies in amongst your medium size pots so no space is wasted. Don’t be tempted to seal up any box lids though, let your plants get some light by tucking the top flaps inside the box first. Getting as many as you can in a box means less to carry (imagine ferrying each of your plants to a van individually, just no), plus packing your pots close together will offer added stability.

Got a plant with sprawling stems and leaves? Get yourself some soft cable ties and bunch them together for the journey. It’ll keep your plant more upright and minimise any possible damage.

On the move

Whether you’re moving yourself or have a removals company booked, you’ll need to make sure you remember space for your plants. These boxes can’t be stacked on top of each other, and some firms won’t even transport plants (rude, if you ask me!). The ideal scenario is to take them in your own car, so fill you boot, your backseat, your footwells – fill anywhere a box of greenery can fit and sit undisturbed.

Be sure to check with your removals company before committing if you don’t have your own transport, as you don’t want to be left with no plan for your plants!

Unpacking

Having recently moved house, I speak from experience when I say plants often fall bottom of the priority list when it comes to unpacking. Not me forgetting about a boot full of plants for a full two days… (it’s OK, they survived).

Feel free to leave them in their boxes by a window for a day or two while you sort the rest of your life out. Or if you can, whip them out and fill your windowsills straight away, where they’ll be perfectly happy for a while. Then recycle your boxes and give your plants another water when they look like they need it, depending on the time of year. Droopy or dry leaves are usually a good indication they need a drink, as is a pot that feels very light.

While plants generally don’t favour a change in environment, you’ll be surprised at how well they cope when you move them with a little bit of love and care. But equally, don’t be disheartened if one or two don’t pull through, they can be fussy little things.

It’s always a good reason to order a few more, right?

By Sharn Rayment

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