What to do with Houseplants when you Move

Nothing makes a house warmer and more welcoming than houseplants. They add life to a house, and make up for an important part of our family. No wonder we don’t really admire the idea of parting with them. So what do you do when there’s work calling you to another city or country? Or what if you are shifting bases to live abroad with kids? Just like you don’t hand over pets willingly to neighbours, friends or elsewhere, your cherished set of houseplants is another issue you need to sort out before you move houses.


Changing homes, when you have houseplants, requires that you study some more on your plants and understand their specific natures. But this journey may be a little easier, if you consider us as your companions through it all. Here are a few general tips that you must keep in mind…


Some plants cannot handle the shocks of transit very well. You may think it is a short journey and that would not do too much harm. But the pits and bumps on roads can mean that your houseplants are going to take a while to recover.


As many of you would agree, temperature is one of the most important factors that impact the health and ease of plants. An hour’s exposure to any temperature below 2 degrees Celsius or above 35 degrees Celsius can cause great harm to them. So before you set out on your journey, check if your plants will be exposed to any temperature beyond the comfort range.


A major chunk of plant kingdom can retain the needed moisture for about a week’s time. Before you pack them in cartons, ensure that you have watered them enough for the upcoming days. Also, prefer to get hold of waxed cartons or plastic wraps, because they are ideal to lock the moisture in.


If everything else is on track and their demands are being met, our houseplants can let go of their need for light for upto a week. Of course it is important to give them ample light since it keeps them fresh and prevents wilting. But if the need be, you may keep them packed alongside for a week’s time. However, remember to not launch them into a wide sunny day at once when you unpack. Be gentle, and expose them to passive brightness of a balcony or shaded roof at first, and then you may give them direct Sun.


Now that we are through with the tips, here is the information you will need to get handy before moving them.

Moving Options…

  1. A car

This is somehow the most preferable method because you get to control the environment for your plants. Temperature, ventilation, light, water etc, can be maintained at your controls, and the plants are likely to arrive in a great condition. If you are already availing this mode of transport, get the best out of it and avoid a trunk. Those can be too hot or cold inside, thus negating the very point of bringing them along in a car.

  1. Air freight

It is important for you to ensure that you have all the appropriate inspection certificates for the houseplants. Airlines accept plants as air freight. Be around while the authorities package and label your plants. Also make sure that they are picked up on time and you don’t have to pay any additional air freight fees. These plants may be exposed to extreme temperature conditions, you may need to consult a plant nursery for advice.

Most moving agencies don’t cover any damage caused to plants. If you are opting for that way out, ask them beforehand.

If your plans to shift aren’t very sudden, you sure have some time at hand to repot them into plastic cases. Plants take their own sweet time to adjust to any changes, so it is advisable to do it weeks in advance.

Tall plants are to be wrapped into plastic bubble wraps. Don’t forget to poke some holes into them, they will be a help for breathing.

When your plants reach your next residence, do not let them be packed for too long. Unpack them without delaying unnecessarily, and keep a watch on their growth. A change of soil, climate and environment may not be a very welcome change.

If given the right kind of care and attention, moving is not too difficult a task. Open doors to your own collection of houseplants, and admire how they infuse life into the

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