Expert Tips and Advice for the Moving Professionals at E.E. Ward Moving & Storage
Packing up and taking your indoor plants with you when you move can be tricky. There are a number of important factors you’ll need to take into consideration prior to moving. Pre-planning is essential – you will need to decide which plants you are taking, how you are moving the plants, and how to prepare them for the trip. Keep in mind not all houseplants, especially delicate ones, will make it through a move. Because plants can be so difficult to keep healthy during a move, most professional movers won’t accept liability for them, meaning you’ll most likely be on your own when it comes to relocating your plants. However, following these tips will give your plants the best possible chance of survival during your move.
Method of Transportation
The ideal way to move your plants is in your own car. This will allow you to have maximum control over the environmental conditions, including temperature, light, watering and ventilation. Provided you don’t have them in the trunk, plants moved in your car will likely arrive in good condition.
If you’re moving across country and won’t be driving, it is possible to transport your plants via plane. Most airlines will accept houseplants as airfreight, however, it is your responsibility to see that the plants are carefully packaged, labeled and have the appropriate inspection certificates. You’ll also need to make sure your plants are delivered and picked up on time at the airport. Keep in mind there will most likely be an additional airfreight fee. It should be noted that airfreight may not always be the best option. Plants being shipped by air don’t receive special handling and may be subject to temperature extremes, which will drastically decrease the plant’s chance of survival.
Federal and State Regulations
If you are moving out of state, be sure to research and be aware of any federal and state regulations you may encounter. Alabama, Delaware, Florida, Maine, Tennessee, Utah and Washington require that all houseplants be inspected and certified pest free. While it is expected that plants are pest and disease free, the remaining states do not require pest-free certification. Hawaii and Arizona require plants to be free of soil; sand and earth, meaning the plant will need to be in commercial plant mix. There are also states that prohibit certain plant species or require special certification stating a specific pest is not present in the plant.
If the destination state requires state-of-origin certification, pest control officials will provide inspection services, certificates and necessary treatment. You will need to personally arrange for an inspection of your houseplants by an authorized state Department of Agriculture inspector. You should schedule this inspection 3-4 weeks prior to your move, allowing you time if your plants need treatment of some sort.
Some plants are more susceptible to being moved than others. The distance or time of the transit doesn’t make the shock greater, however, it may affect the plants recovery time.
Temperature is the most critical factor when moving houseplants. Extended exposure to cold or heat is detrimental to most plants. Temperatures below 35 degrees or higher than 95-100 degrees for more than an hour will be fatal to the plant.
The common houseplant can withstand roughly 7 to 10 days without being watered and suffer very little hardship. You should make sure the plant is moist when placing it in a carton. Using wax cartons or plastic bags will keep moisture in.
With other favorable conditions, most houseplants can withstand darkness for up to a week. If your plants are kept in darkness for a prolonged period, you’ll want to keep them away from direct exposure to the sun for a few days to avoid wilting and sunscald.
For more information on Federal and State Regulations or certification requirements visit the Department of Agriculture or the National Gardening Association.