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Plant Moving Guide

Guide for plant care before, during and after your move.

If you follow these tips on moving plants, they will travel up to three days before they need attention.

Plants prepared for plant transport

Before your move

  • Three weeks before moving day. Re-pot plants from clay pots into unbreakable plastic pots of the same size.
  • Two weeks before moving day. Prune larger plants by pinching back newer growth with your thumb and forefinger. Pruning will make the plants compact for easy handling and transport. It will also yield healthy, bushy, attractive plants after your move. Do not prune ferns and succulents (e.g., cactus, jade plants, aloe).
  • One week before moving day. Check plants for insects and parasites. If you apply insecticides, exercise caution and follow label directions.
  • Two days before moving day. Water your plants normally, taking care to not overwater. Too much water can cause plants to freeze in cold weather or promote fungus growth in warm weather.

Moving day

  • Prepare. Prepare by packing your plants the night before or the morning of your move.
  • Wrap. Wrap large plants with an old bed sheet or tissue paper to prevent branches from breaking.
  • Position. Place each pot in a box so it fits snugly at the bottom. You may use regular moving cartons, like dish packs, available from your Atlas Agent.
  • Pack. If necessary, pack paper in the box around the base of the pot to hold the pot in place. Punch air holes in the sides of the box and loosely fasten the lid so plants can breathe.
  • Label. Set the boxes upright and clearly mark the lids. This will help avoid loading them by mistake into the moving truck.
  • Control. Keep the temperature in your vehicle at a comfortable level. Cold and hot temperatures can harm your plants.

Once you’re home

  • Unpack. Unpack your plants as soon as possible.
  • Place. Place plants back in pots that are the same size as the ones before you moved.
  • Stabilize. Refrain from moving plants around until they become acclimated.
  • Heal. If your plant suffers from transplant shock after your move, give it a few days to recover. If your plant still looks unhealthy, follow our tips in "Common household plants and how to care for them."

Remove plants through the bottom of the box to avoid breaking leaves and branches.

With your planning and careful attention, your plants made a successful move. Like you, they are now ready to flourish in their new home.

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