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Planning to move? Unpacking your house plants requires special consideration to ensure they survive the process.

Do's and don'ts: Unpacking plants in your new home

For many people, plants are what ultimately makes a house feel like a home. So if you're moving to a new residence this spring, you'll definitely want to pack up your favorite greenery to liven up the space. However, your house plants can fall by the wayside when you have so many other important components to consider in the moving process. It's crucial that you pack and unpack them properly to make sure they survive the transition. Since you've put a lot of effort into maintaining their health, it's worth providing special care to guarantee that they'll arrive at your new residence just as lush and lively.

With the right tactics, you can preserve all your plants no matter how far they're traveling.


  • Check the weather for the day of your move, as well as for any days you'll be traveling. Your plants could get damaged when left in your car or truck if temperatures are especially cold. To be safe, HGTV FrontDoor suggested moving the plants indoors to your hotel, motel or wherever you're staying and opening the cartons to give them some light. Or, if you're not traveling for more than a day or two, the source recommended leaving the car windows partially open.
  • Remove your plants from their boxes and take off any plastic covering as soon as you arrive so that they can breathe.
  • Time is of the essence when it comes to the livelihood of your plants, so be prompt about unpacking them after moving.


  • It may be your instinct to take your plants out of the top of the box, but this is more likely to cause broken branches and leaves. Instead, Atlas Van Lines stressed that you should carefully remove them through the bottom of the box, which will allow you to handle the heaviest end first and avoid potential damage to the stem.
  • It's best not to put your plants back in their original pots right away if you had transplanted them to plastic containers. If you change their location too abruptly, you could cause stress to their roots and stunt their growth by rapidly re-potting them. Give them time to acclimate to the new environment for up to a week, and then gradually give them time to adjust by slowly moving from dimly lit areas to brighter sunlight.
  • Don't forget to consider the conditions of your new surroundings. Take some time to observe how the differences in air and soil quality as well as the climate may affect your garden plants. If you notice that they are experiencing any new problems after you've transplanted them, consider consulting local experts for advice about how to nourish and cultivate them better.