Packing plants is one of the trickiest moving chores. Plants can be fragile and temperamental prima donnas, yet if you’re a truly devoted home gardener, you love them dearly and want to bring them along to enjoy your new home.

In the flurry of moving, what’s the best packing method to ensure healthy and happy plants? Never fear. Our expert Kanata movers help outline 8 steps on how to pack house plants for moving. TIP: While it’s essential to plan ahead, the actual packing and loading should be done at the last minute!

1. Consider Provincial/International Plant Regulations

Are you about to get started with special boxes and bubble wrap? Hold on a minute! If you’re preparing for a long-distance or international move, provincial or federal regulations may restrict the import of plants. This helps protect local crops against contagious diseases (such as powdery mildew) and infestation (like the Japanese beetle). Know before you go exactly which rules apply to the new province you’ll be moving to. For instance, here’s what the USDA has to say.

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2. Consider New Location Climate

Each species has special preferences in terms of temperature, humidity, and sunlight. Make sure that the climate in the new location is suitable. This is most important when moving to Pembroke with plants that spend at least part of the year outside. However, even if you’re dealing with indoor plants, you’ll need to check that your new home has a sheltered area with the right amount of light.

3. Repot House Plants

Your plants are fragile enough as it is. Trying to transport plants in ceramic pots will just add to the risk of damage. Instead, repot your beauties in shatterproof resin, metal, or plastic pots to prevent breakage. While you’re at it, add a fresh supply of potting soil at least 2-3 weeks before moving day to allow them time to acclimate.

4. Maintain House Plants

Ensure your plants will be in good condition for the move, with the following “spa treatments”:


Wipe leaves gently with a cloth moistened in a mild dish soap solution. This removes both bugs and dust. Allow leaves to dry several days before packing.


Pruning makes taller plants smaller and easier to pack, as well as encouraging healthy growth. Remove dead leaves and branches. Then trim carefully… and give some cuttings to gardening buddies in your old neighbourhood. As with repotting, do this a few weeks in advance of moving day, so houseplants can adjust.


Water plants according to your usual schedule till a couple of days before your reliable Barrhaven movers arrive. Avoid the urge to give a last minute spritz. If soil is too wet, the house plant could freeze or mildew, depending on whether you’re moving in winter or summer. (Soaked soil also adds weight.)

5. Pack Smaller House Plants

Place small plants inside a sturdy moving box after first punching a few holes in the lid for air flow—Pad the top and sides with bubble wrap or shredded paper. Be sure to place boxes at the top of a stack so they don’t get crushed.

6. Pack Large Plants

Wrap larger plants in cones of packing paper the same height as the plant, then box each plant in an open carton. This procedure keeps the plant upright and protects against harsh weather in transit. (Even direct sunlight can be harmful.) Ideally, put these “coneheads” on the floor of your car, surrounded by paper or lightweight cardboard, so they don’t topple.

7. Choose Safe Transportation

Your car, not a moving truck, is the best way of transporting plants to their new digs (pun intended). You’ll be able to avoid extreme temperatures along the way — no icy-cold AC, please! For a local Ottawa move, drive the plants over to your future home a day or two before the move, so they’re safely out of the way. For a long-distance cross-Canada move, you’ll be on the road a few days; take your plant family inside with you when you stop for the night.

8. Tend To Your House Plants During & After Your Move

Check on your plants during the trip. Avoid extremes of temperature. Bring water along so you can mist the plants if they start to droop in very hot weather. Never leave them in an unheated car in winter.

Once you arrive, handle it with care. Just like you, house plants will need some time and space to get used to their new surroundings. Put the pots in a well-ventilated, moderately bright spot, away from direct sun.

We’ll Take Good Care Of Your Plants

The most important tip of all: Hire a Renfrew moving company that cares about you — and your plants. At Cassidy’s, we’ve made it our business to take good care of our customers for over a century. Customize your move with the level of service you’d like.


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