Your plants can be a hurdle when it's time to move to a new home. On the one hand, a plant that you've lovingly grown and cultivated over a long period of time can feel almost like part of the family – you certainly won't want to leave it behind. But plants are not simple to move. The hardest are the ones that are planted in your yard, but even houseplants have some challenges. If you're wondering whether you can move your favorite plants to your new location and how to go about doing it, here are some things that you need to know.
Check State Regulations
If you're moving across state lines, you should check your new state's regulations on importing plants before you make any plans for moving yours. While some states have no restrictions, others are very strict about what plants can be brought into their states. Florida, California, Idaho, and Minnesota are some of the states with very tough restrictions. This is because these states rely on certain crops for revenue, and they can't risk the possibility of outside plants bringing in pest infestations or disrupting the native ecosystem.
You can find the guidelines for the state that you're moving to by checking with that state's Department of Agriculture. You should also check the USDA for federal guidelines about transporting plants within the USA. If you have plants that are banned from being imported into the state, don't move them; it's not worth risking fines or confiscation of the plants. Sell them or give them to someone who will appreciate them instead. Once you've established what plants you're allowed to bring, you can move on to the next phase of preparing your plants for a move.
Prepare Your Plants
Relocating plants means that you'll need to put some extra time and planning into your move. If you can, plan your move for either the fall or spring season. Those are the best seasons for transplanting plants, and those seasons will also provide the most comfortable temperatures for your plants during the trip to your new home. If you must move during the winter or summer, you'll need to take extra precautions to protect your plants from extreme heat or cold.
When digging out plants that were in your yard, make sure to get as much of the root as possible, and place the plant into a roomy pot with very moist soil. If you're moving a large plant, like a shrub or a small tree, wrap the root ball in burlap. House plants require less preparation, but they may need to be replanted in sterile potting soil before moving them.
Packing and Moving
Decide how your plants are going to get from point A to point B. Not all moving companies will transport plants, so be sure to find out the moving company's policies if you're planning on putting your plants in the back of a moving truck. Even if your moving company will take your plants, chances are good that they won't cover any damages to the plants during the move. Doing so would be too much of a risk, because plants can be very fragile. If you're driving to your new location, it's better to put the plants in the car with you, if possible. Otherwise, should consider mailing the plants to yourself at your new location.
No matter how your plants are getting to their new location, they should be packaged carefully for the move. Put sphagnum moss in the top of each pot, then wrap the pots in plastic and tie the plastic off with string. This should help keep the pot from losing any soil during transport, even if it gets tipped over at some point. If the plants are traveling with you, make sure to water them frequently, and crack the windows in the car the way that you would for an animal if you have to stop for any length of time. You may want to wrap the pots in blankets if the weather is cold.
If the plants are being shipped by mail or packed in the moving truck, pack the boxes securely to avoid damage during the move. Use sturdy boxes that are big enough for the plant, but not so big that the plant can slide around inside the box. Use bubble wrap and old newspaper to take up any empty space.
Having your old plants in your new home can make it feel a little more homey right away. With a little time and effort, you should be able to recreate your garden or household plant setup in your new location.