International move – Plant
Plants are not the first thing you think about when you’re about to move. We think they will find a place in the truck or in the back of the car.
Take care of your plants, not to mishandle them.
First of all, it is good to remember that, unlike furniture or objects, plants are alive and therefore very fragile. They may be damaged very easily during transport or later on due to invisible injuries that you will discover after the move. But the evil being done, they will not survive.
If you own plants, it is wise to think about how you will move them. The transport phase must be as quick and painless for them as possible. And as the majority of the insurance offered by moving companies do not cover plant damage, it’s up to you to organize yourself and take the necessary precautions.
Note that if you move abroad, some carriers do not support plants or sometimes with certain restrictions. Talk to your movers to see what is happening.
Preparations before moving
To prevent your plants from decaying in the days following your installation, you must prepare well before the move. Start by putting large rigid boxes aside to protect them from shocks. Do not wait until the last moment because you may have difficulty finding “shoe to their feet”!
A few weeks before the move, cut, treat and feed your plants so that they are on top of their health when the time comes. If you have inevitably brittle stone pots, repot your plants in plastic pots, it’s a lot less risky. Also take the time to check that your pots are cracked. A cracked pot is more likely to break during transport and thus damage the roots. Make sure the pots are not too big for the plant to prevent it from moving and getting damaged.
The day of the move
On D-Day (or the day before if you think you will not have enough time), make sure none of the plants are full of water. Then put them in the plastic boxes you have set aside. Cue them with a little bubble wrap or craft paper to hold them firmly. If you do not have enough boxes, wrap them in large rubbish bags, taking care that there is enough air to breathe.
Move the plants from the garden
If you have decided to “transplant” some small shrubs or plants from your garden, wait until the last moment to dislodge them. Ideally, arrange to do it on the day of the move. Start by digging up the plant making sure to keep a clump of soil around its roots. Then wrap it in a plastic bag after making sure the soil is not too dry. Make the package airtight by enclosing your plant, this will retain moisture.
If you do not want to leave a fallow garden to new owners, you can always choose the solution to take cuttings with you. Put them in a wet paper bag or cotton. This should protect them for a few days.
The days following the move
You do not need to replant your outdoor plants right away; you probably will not have time for that. You can just dig a quick hole in your new garden and put them inside. Cover their roots with old clothes if the weather is winter and give them some water. You can then “forget” them for a while until you have time to plant them properly.
Take the houseplants out of their boxes as soon as you can and put them in a quiet corner (a room where there is not too much traffic), while you put away your new home.
Last tip: keep an eye on your plants in the weeks following your move. Make sure the soil is not dry and give them a little attention every day.