How to prepare your plants for moving.
Your household possessions aren’t limited to your furniture. Plants are intrinsic to our health, and give us a connection to nature.
That’s why many people consider plants part of the family, so to speak. They bring an aesthetic of quality and value to the lives of so many. So moving plants can be just as important, and for some people, more important, than moving household furniture.
Obviously, they will need a special mover who will do their best to transport your beloved plants with care. We’ve written this article, to share the methods we consider to be good practice when moving plants.
Some things to consider when moving plants are:
Weight – Larger plants, when combined with the weight of the pot and soil within that pot, can be very heavy. Refrain from watering for a few days prior to moving to help make them lighter. Vehicles fitted with a crane are the best solution for loading potted plants that are very very large and heavy.
Awkward Shapes – Some plants are unwieldy to handle. For those plants it’s good practice to prune them beforehand to minimize branches from breaking.
UNstackability – Furniture and boxes are cubic in shape, and therefore stack easily to the roof in a moving van. It’s not the same with plants. Ask your mover to load the most necessary internal household items first before taking the plants.
Load Furniture First When Moving Plants
If loading plants first, you risk running out of loading space in the truck. Loading space is lost because plants can’t be loaded like household furniture.
Prioritize items like, beds, fridge, table and chairs, sofas, washing machine etc first. That way you’ll have the things you’ll need to carry on living on your first night. That’s just in case your movers have to do a second trip because of the plants. If you don’t need your plants immediately, give them a lower priority. If time permits transport them on a separate trip, even if its on another day. (Subject to your settlement schedule )
Breakability – Pots come in all shapes, sizes and materials. Some are plastic, concrete, porcelain, ceramic, and cane to name a few. Pots and plants can be conducive to cracks because of the different root types of plants. For example, some ficus species of plants, have very strong roots that can expand outwards forcing the pot to break. A pots’ integrity can be compromised before, during and after the moving process. Root type, construction material of the pot and the handling they are exposed to during a move can cause damage.
Danger – Some species are more dangerous to handle because of their biology. For instance; Roses (thorns), Bougainvilleas (thorns) Lemon Trees (thorns) Cacti sp (thorns), you get the idea. Movers may wrap these plants to protect themselves against injury, and sickness due to downtime incurred from a poisonous thorn.
Insurance – Not the kind of insurance you may be thinking of, but genetic insurance. Let’s assume you have a rare or expensive type of plant. Take cuttings to propagate from in the future, in the event the plant doesn’t survive its transition. Take anything else you can to propagate from; i.e. leaves, seeds, roots & stalks etc. Store these pieces of plant tissue as insurance for the future.
Tools For Moving Your Plants
The bare minimum needed to move larger plants is a sturdy upright fridge style trolley. It’s useful to also have a flat dolly style of trolley as well. These are useful in some situations because the weight of the plant remains vertical rather than at an angle. Using a fridge trolley can force branches into your face and cause the soil and stones to overspill the pot.
A tough rope or strap can help secure a plant to the trolley and aid stability when maneuvering. Place chocks under plant pots to use as a fulcrum for leverage, and to position trolleys underneath.
Sturdy thick planks, or aluminium work platforms make ideal ramps. Use these to assist loading onto conveying vehicles.
Use Hessian or stretchwrap film to wrap around the plant to protect it and you from injury.
A good pair of pruning shears (long and short handled) should also be part of your arsenal for moving plants. Use these to cut excessive long branches (which will grow back in time). Leave enough growth to help the plant continue growing after it has been delivered and placed in its new environment. A saw comes in handy for roots that grow out the bottom of its container and into the ground.
Always protect yourself and others, and think about how you can move your plants without getting injured. Protect your eyes by wearing glasses, protect your skin and wear long sleeved shirts. Your feet are worth protecting with sturdy, fully enclosed footwear and protect your hands with gardening gloves. Keep a first aid kit handy for any scratches and keep an eye out for spiders.
Your mover should do his best to cater for your plants, but they don”t make the best subjects for transport. Moving plants can actually be harder than moving furniture. People and plants are living things. People connect on an emotional level with plants. So if a plant gets damaged in transit it may be felt on an emotional level by the owner .
If you R E A L L Y need your plants moved, your mover may have a different rate for that service. That’s because it’s an area where your expectations may be higher than what a mover can realistically deliver. Especially if the plants are laden with emotional attachments. Good Luck!
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