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How to Move and Pack your Plants for Moving House

Last Updated: Wednesday, November 27th, 2019

Moving and relocating plants is one of the more difficult parts of moving house. Not only can they not be easily stored away in a box, there sometimes so big and cumbersome that they’re almost better left where they are.

Plants don’t like to move around. The same goes for flowers, trees, and succulents. If it grows in the ground, it will not be happy about leaving the safety of the soil. Moving plants can potentially damage your plants to the point where they may not recover.

Need to know how to transport plants without damaging them? Sydney’s most popular home removalists can teach you how to pack house plants for moving.

How Far Are You Moving? 

The first question to ask yourself before you move plants is whether they can survive the journey. Because the usual answer to “how to move plants interstate” is don’t. 

Distance is a make-or-break question for transporting plants and can seriously challenge the health of your plants, particularly in hot or dry conditions. The best option for some of your less hardy plants might be to give them to a neighbour, donate them to a friend, or leave them behind. 

You’ll also want to check the relevant quarantine laws if you plan to move interstate. You should also consider your new area’s soil type and climate for suitability.

If moving locally, consider moving your plants in the late afternoon/early evening to limit warm weather stress.

How Big Are Your Plants?

Size and weight are critical factors during any move. Anything that can’t be carried by two able-bodied removalists or is too large to fit on the truck should be left behind. To reduce the size and weight of your plants, do the following:

  • Prune leaves (keep any cuttings to propagate your plants)
  • Deadhead to make plants more compact and easier to move
  • Tie back any overhanging branches
  • Remove any pests or weeds
  • Avoid watering your plants for at least two days before the move

If you are removing plants from the ground, do this well ahead of time to give them time to adjust. Wrap the root ball in a hessian cloth, keeping it moist but not wet. Place it in a cool, shaded area of the garden. 

Checking Pots For Cracks

Carefully check the condition of any ceramic or clay pots before moving them – if there are large cracks, it may be better to transport them in a plastic pot. Depending on the size of the damage, you may want to dispose of it entirely or carefully wrap it for transportation. Whether stone, earthenware or concrete, your pot needs to be strong enough to be bumped and bruised. No one wants their possessions to get covered in the soil!

How To Pack Plants & Trees

If transporting your plants in the truck, be aware that potted plants can easily take up more floor space than other items. Unfortunately, plants don’t stack, meaning they take up a large footprint by comparison. 

Pack the truck with household furniture, fitting plants into small spaces around them. If moving your plants by car, stack smaller pots into plastic-lined sturdy boxes, stuffing packing material between to minimise movement. 

Place larger pots on the floor over a plastic sheet or up against other more oversized items for stability. 

Packing Smaller Plants

The first step is to line some boxes with newspaper, then pack your plants, leaving the lid open. Butting the pots together will help stabilise your plants. Place the boxes on the floor in your car and remember that you’ve got fragile passengers when you’re driving.

Top tip: wrap carrier bags or bin liners around the pots to prevent water from leaking and soil from spilling.

How To Transport a Tree

You can indeed transport some small trees from one home to another. First, dig out the root system, place the tree on a sheet of damp hessian and wrap it around the roots. If you’re travelling a long way, wrap hessian around the tree trunk before loading it onto the truck.


Unpack plants as soon as you arrive to help them become settled quickly. Water and prepare the planting site, adding compost or mulch to boost the soil’s water retention ability. If you’re too busy to plant them straight away, dig a small hole and cover the roots with soil to ensure they stay in tip-top condition. It’s time to enjoy your new garden!

A Smooth Move Guranteed

Moving plants and trees is a hassle. Let the professionals do the work for you. Give us a call for a commitment-free quote today for a smooth move guaranteed!

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