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Tips For Moving Your Houseplants In Winter

By Allison Bench

You’ve found the perfect new home or apartment and you’re ready to set up some new roots. But there’s one problem: it’s still winter, and you’re a plant lover who has a collection of greenery you don’t want to sacrifice. But luckily, there are ways to keep your plants healthy as they move from one home to the next.

First, know that plants are like people when it’s extremely cold out—they shouldn’t face the uncovered elements. Avoid exposing plants directly outdoors anytime it’s below freezing. But protecting them is easy to do.

“Plants should be wrapped in plastic or paper, and if it’s very cold, a double layer will be required,” says Trudy Watts with Parkland Nurseries & Garden Centre Ltd., in Red Deer. “Ensure your vehicle is warm—and if you’re using a moving truck that isn’t heated, I’d recommend finding a different option for your plants, like in a personal vehicle.”

If you have multiple plants, you can place them together in a sealed cardboard box and separate them with balled-up newspaper or packing paper to insulate them against the elements. 

If you don’t have any other option than an unheated moving truck, you should use the “wrap and box” method—as in, bag the plants, then put them in a box with additional insulation. Ensure the plants are the last things to be loaded in the truck and the first to be removed. You can also put blankets on the boxes to further insulate them. Your plants should be fine for one to two hours in this condition, depending on the temperatures outside.

While freezing is the primary concern when you move your plants in winter, watch out for damage. While wrapping and boxing can help protect even the most delicate plants, the ones to be most careful with include ferns, those with soft or succulent stems, and flowering plants. If you have a large plant or one with extending branches, you might consider trimming it before the move.

And for a long-distance move, there are a few options. If you’re driving to your destination, keep your wrapped plants with you. They should be fine in the vehicle during stops, although they should be taken inside during overnight pauses. You can also work with a specialized moving company to help keep your plants happy and healthy during your move. Another option is to take clippings with you instead of the whole plant, and then you can gift the originals to friends and family before you head off to your new home city.

SAVE WITH AMA: With AMJ Campbell moving company, AMA members can earn up to $200 reward dollars on long-distance moves and $100 reward dollars on local moves. And for stocking up on plants—whether before or after you move—AMA members save 10% on select regular-priced items at Parkland Nurseries and Garden Centre in Red Deer.