Is It Downsizing Time?






Moving Plants:

You'll likely have some houseplants to move - maybe even some favorite garden specimens you wish to transplant.  If you can take them with you in the car, that's fine; they'll likely need the same conditioned inside temperatures that you choose for yourself.  (It would be best to take them into the motel with you to be on the safe side.)  If you need to relegate them to a moving van, you'll have to worry about them more.  (Most professional movers won't accept the responsibility of moving plants unless they're to be delivered within 24 hours - be sure to check with yours.)

Here are some basic tips for moving plants with your household...

  • Keeping plants from shock:  It's especially important to ensure that plants will be protected from extreme temperatures during your move.  (Don't put them in the trunk of your car unless you're moving just down the street!)  Some house plants are susceptible to shock just from prolonged vibration, uncongenial though not normally "killing" temperatures, and not enough water.  It would be a good idea to give plants a light drink of an appropriate liquid nutrient just before, and soon after, a move.
  • Water needs:  Though most house plants can survive for a week to ten days without water, it's not a good idea to trust that they'll stay healthy for that long a period when being otherwise stressed.  But you shouldn't overwater them, either - so be sure to keep them on your list of things to look after as soon as you get to your new destination.  Plants should be moist, but not soggy, when placed in their moving containers.
  • Darkness/light:  It's said that house plants can tolerate darkness for up to a week, if other conditions are favorable - but let's assume that other conditions are not favorable during a move.  If you can at all approximate the plant's regular light/dark schedule, it would be best to do so.  But if plants have been in the dark for several days, expose them again to light gradually, or they may be susceptible to wilting and sun scald.
  • Plant cuttings:  If you need to save space in your move, you might choose to take cuttings of your favorite plants, if that's possible.  In fact, it could be a good idea to hedge your bets by taking cutting of the plants you are moving, if they're going to have to be shipped in a truck.  Most cuttings can survive for several days in a plastic bag containing damp perlite, vermiculite, or peat moss - if they aren't subjected to too high or low temperatures (or squashing!).
  • Legalities:  If you're moving across state lines, check federal and state regulations for quarantines or other restrictions.  (Your local agricultural extension agent should be able to help you with this.)  Some states require inspections to ensure that plants are pest-free.  Better look into this well before your move, in case you need to arrange for inspection of your plants in advance (though in most cases, they'll be inspected at the border).




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