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Moving house plants

Moving house plants
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Wondering how good plant parents keep their green babies alive during a house move? Read on

Although they don’t say much, houseplants can become a valued member of the family. If you’ve got a verdant display of potted plants and orchids indoors, they’ll need a bit of extra care when the time comes to move house.

Some removals companies are more experienced than others at moving house plants. So if you have a particularly valuable personal plant collection, ask around to find a specialist removal company.

Preparing plants for a house move

Some plants benefit from the occasional hard prune. This will minimise the weight of the plant for moving; and it will also make it less fragile.

Note that house palms and Norfolk Island pines do not like being pruned and are likely to die if you attempt it.

Whatever your plant’s pruning needs, take out dead material before you move, including dead flowers.

Let your plants dry out for a few days before the move. Unwatered pots are lighter, and less drippy. A sodden plant can spread moisture to the box you pack it in, weakening the cardboard.

Take cuttings to preserve your houseplants

We recommend taking cuttings of plants you are particularly attached to before you move house. That way, if the worst happens and your precious plant does not survive the move, or fails to thrive in its new setting, you’ve got a backup.

Learn more about propagating plants from the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS).

If you can, pass your cuttings to a friend with green fingers to nurture during your house move. The weeks running up to a house move is a stressful time, and you may accidentally neglect your new plants.

House plants that you can propagate from cuttings include:

  • spider plant
  • jade plant
  • ivy
  • Chinese money plant
  • cheese plant (Monstera)
  • umbrella plant
  • mother of thousands

Propagated house plants make cute gifts, too, particularly with a pretty container and some care instructions. So if you end up with more propagated plants than you need, that’s Christmas sorted!

Do you need to repot plants before a house move?

Putting house plants in shatter-proof pots seems like a sensible thing to do ahead of a move. But do you really have to? Re-potting a plant into a temporary plastic container lets you check on the roots, and inspect the plant for pests. But it is also another task for your to-do list. If the pot is particularly precious, then it’s worth packing it separately. But if it’s just an easily replaced clay container, then you would be justified in keeping the plant in during the move.

Your houseplants on moving day

Plan your moving day so that your plants are the last thing you pack and move. They should go into the van last, so they come out first.

Larger plants are heavy, so familiarise yourself with safe lifting techniques.

Try to have a space ready for your houseplants in your new place so you know they are safe while you unpack.

Avoid leaving them in direct sunlight or in a spot where the temperature is likely to drop. Cover them with wet sacking if the day is warm.

Can I keep plants in my storage unit?

Most storage companies will not allow you to keep living plants in your storage unit. They won’t be covered by your insurance with Store and Insure, either. If you need to store house plants temporarily, you may have to ask a favour from a green-fingered friend. Or there are professional plant sitter services available in some parts of the country.

Clean, empty plant containers can go in your storage unit, however. They will be covered by your self-storage insurance, too.


Question and Answer


Do self-storage companies check your credit when you rent a storage unit from them?

It is not common for a self-storage company to run a credit check on someone who is renting a storage unit from them. If you are concerned about whether your selected storage company is going to check your credit, ask them if they do this.