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How to Move Potted Plants (Long Distances)

If you’re thinking about how to take your plants a long distance, then you obviously love plants – and that happens to be a prerequisite for managing a successful long-distance plant move. It’s easy to forget that plants are <em>alive</em>. They eat, they breathe and they can be very sensitive to changes in environment. Let’s look at some initial factors that will determine what you’ll do first.<strong> </strong> <strong>Things to consider before “packing” your plants</strong> <em>Destination / Distance</em> The first thing you have to consider is your destination. Driving to Canada? There’s a good chance they won’t let you cross the border with your beloved bulbs. Customs laws prohibit lots of plant movement to avoid the contamination risks associated with invasive species. You must also think about your destination’s climate if you plan on putting any of your potted plants on your new deck, porch, etc. Otherwise, you’ll have to keep them inside and space will be an issue you have to address. If you know you won’t have enough room, it’s better to give your plants away to friends rather than trying to find homes for them in your new location. Then, of course, there’s the distance you plan to travel and the time you will spend getting there. But, how much this matters will depend on the type of plant … <em>Type of Plant</em> It goes without saying that some plants are hardier than others and you can use what you already know about your plants as a kind of barometer for a successful move. If keeping that orchid alive has required years of kid-glove treatment, then you can probably bet it won’t make it down the block, much less down the highway. There is no real way to predict plant hardiness, but you can generalize. Succulents and woody plants are typically stronger than leafy plants that are all stalk. Similarly, an older plant will usually weather movement better than a younger one. <strong>How to pack your plants for moving</strong> Let’s say your move is of average length and will take a couple of days or less. If that’s the case, pack your plant using this guide <em>2-3 weeks before the move</em>: 1. Line a cardboard box of appropriate size with plastic. 2. Fill the box with dirt, using as much as possible from its original <a title="Planters" href="http://www.atgstores.com/planters_969.html?linkloc=tn" target="_blank">planter</a>. 3. Repot the plant in the box and care for it as usual until the move. 4. On moving day, bag the top of the plant in plastic, leaving some holes in the bag for air. 5. <em>Important</em>: If possible, pack the plant in your car or some other place that will be temperature-controlled for the duration of the move. 6. Upon arrival, remove the bag and allow your plant to “rest” in the box before repotting it (in its original soil!) to acclimate to its new surroundings. Once done, be sure to add the water, plant food and nutrients needed during repotting to help it adjust to any new soil you may have had to add. This, of course, is for plants potted in heavy ceramic or glass pots that are hard to move. If the pot is plastic and already easily movable, skip the relevant Steps above and just move the plant in its pot. Good luck with your move!
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