How To Move House With Pot Plants

If you’ve got a green thumb, chances are you want to take your plants with you when moving home. If you’re renting, you may even need to move your portable garden multiple times in a few years. We’ve all heard about the cushy relationship between millennials and houseplants, and our movers confirm that our customers in Melbourne care for vast numbers of pot plants — both indoor and outdoor varieties. Shifting with your leafy mates helps ease the transition between places — but only if they make it to the new address in one piece.

There are a few things to be aware of when relocating plants. While they are resilient, they’re change-sensitive, and so proper care should be taken to avoid harm. We’ve seen people shift plants in trailers, in their own cars, on roof-racks (!) and in the back of our trucks. We recommend using a truck to transport plants, as the extra floorspace gives the best chance of your plants making it to the new place in good health.

How much space do pot plants take up in the truck?

A lot more than you'd expect. Plant pots are generally made from a heavy ceramic material, and can easily overbalance and topple. The risk of falling and breaking, or damaging other items, means that they’re not fit to be stacked on top of anything.

They also cannot have other items stacked on top of them, or their branches and foliage may be harmed. As a result, each pot plant takes up floor to ceiling space — we’ve done standard one-bedroom apartment moves where the furniture filled one half of the truck and pot plants the other!

Could soil or water from my pot plants get on my furniture?

MWAV trucks come equipped with a giant stack of moving blankets to protect your goods. We’ll use the blankets to pad the space between the pot plants, and this should help to catch any loose trickles of water and soil spillage that could occur in transit.

That said, there are things you can do to help prevent this as well:

  • If the pots have drainage holes in the base, enclose the base of the pot with heavy duty plastic bags, and tie it off around the bottom of the plant (though not so tight that you cause harm, obviously). This can prevent any spillage of soil over the rim of the pot, and leakage from the bottom
  • Don’t water your plants on the day of the move. Give them a good drink a day or two beforehand, which should leave the soil moist but not wet. This will also help your movers with weight

What if I have very large planter pots or planter boxes to relocate?

If you’re moving planter boxes or very large planter pots (for example, where the pot is 80cm tall or more) it’s a good idea to empty the soil into a few heavy duty bags or smaller pots in advance of the move. The plant or tree should have the root-ball carefully placed into a heavy duty non-porous bag packed with moist soil, and be laid horizontal for transport. Once the planter or large pot is in position at the new address, the plant should be re-potted as soon as possible.

Separating the pot, soil and plant in this manner ensures that movers can shift larger plants. We’ve encountered planter boxes weighing in excess of 250kg - too heavy for manual handling — which can only be moved once they’ve been broken down into manageable portions. It’s a good idea to have a chat to our experienced office crew prior to your move-day, to discuss what prep is necessary to move your planters.

What happens if a plant doesn’t survive the journey?

As with furniture items, we will take responsibility for handling errors or damage in transit (all legit movers should provide a similar damage guarantee). If MWAV movers drop or otherwise mishandle your item, or it isn’t secured properly and gets damaged while in the truck, we’ll provide a suitable replacement or compensation. We can’t take responsibility for general plant health, or a plant that doesn’t adapt well to its new environment — it’s an unfortunate reality that due to changes in light, humidity and temperature, plants sometimes don’t take well to relocation and don’t survive. Luckily, if you heed the advice above, you will reduce the chance of harming your leafy companions during the moving process.

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(03) 9417 3443

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