Most plants are prone to shock when moved, keep reading to get some helpful tips on packing indoor plants for moving. Shock can be minimized by creating a comfortable microenvironment for the plants to weather the trip. Some preparation is required to minimize a moving shock on your indoor plants. Extra care is a must when moving in extreme weather conditions.


To help protect your indoor plants from damage when moving, preparation should start as early as three weeks before the move. Repot the houseplants into unbreakable plastic pots of the same size before packing indoor plants. Avoid frequently moving the plant roots.

For larger plants, prune them while pinching back newer growth two weeks before the day of move. Not only that it will protect your house plants, but this process will also yield healthy and attractive plants.

One week before moving, check for pests such as spider mites, aphids, snails, slugs, and others. Apply insecticides if necessary and make sure to follow instructions on the packaging label. Water your plants with just the right amount two days before the trip to their new home. Over watering may lead to root rot and other diseases.

Ambient temperature

Even when moving a short distance, just a few blocks away, it is easy to cause serious damages to your indoor plants. Think of your indoor house plants as a person in terms of ambient temperature. Your plants like temperatures in the 20-25 deg C range. When transporting your plants, they would do “best” in a heated area.

When moving in winter, driving 2 hours and probably loaded for an hour your indoor plants could become chilled and take some time to recover.

Protect from elements

Just as you want a sweater or coat with lower temperatures to knock off the chill, your indoor plants could use some protection as well. When moving and packing indoor plants, nurseries use what are called sleeves, which look like paper tubes the plants slip into.

This gives some protection and allows the plant to bundle up some as the leaves fold up. Think of it as hugging the plant. This will allow you to pack the plants close together where they can “protect” each other.

Load and unload quickly

Indoor houseplants don’t like cold or hot weather. Even a brief exposure to extreme temperatures can cause damage. When loading the plants move them quickly and all at once. Load them last and unload them first. In other words, try to minimize exposure time as much as possible.

If your houseplant suffered from transport shock, let it heal for a while before repotting.

Provide a well-drained pot soil and other condition it requires. As much as possible, avoid moving the rootball to prevent trauma. Apply fertilizer as needed.

Placement in the truck

Depending on the size of the plants make sure they stay away from the sides and top of the truck’s cargo area. Hopefully the shipping area is insulated.

Secure the plants with plastic or bubble wraps. Place the potted plants in boxes with paper so it fits snugly.

If the leaves touch the sides and roof they could get burned from the cold. It is best to keep the plants away from the sides and roof.


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