Illustration for article titled How to Move Your Indoor Plants Safely to Their New PlacePhoto: Jackie Tsang (Unsplash)

Pretty much everything about moving is tough and annoying, and makes you swear you’ll never move again. However, moving a large collection (or even a few) of houseplants is even more difficult. You want to make sure that they survive the trip, that their pots don’t break, and that the soil doesn’t spill all over the place and the rest of your belongings get dirty.

Fortunately in an article for mindbodygreenProfessional plant stylist, Hilton Carter, shares some tips on how to successfully move your indoor plants while keeping them intact. Here’s what to know.

Before moving

Taking a few steps before you start your move – and even pack – can save you a lot of hassle on the day of the big move. Here are two of Carter’s suggestions::

Make sure the soil is dry

Yes, plants need water to live, but it is also more difficult to move plants with recently watered soil as they are harder to move. Here’s Carter’s tip:

So if you plan to move in a week it is best to let the soil dry out so the plant and pot will be a lot lighter and easier to move … if you are dealing with a plant that needs to watering more often , try sticking a water skewer in the ground and placing a bottle filled with water on it. This will keep your soil moist without it becoming too wet or too heavy.

Use the kindergarten pots

According to Carter, leaving your plant in the plastic pot it came in is perfectly fine as long as the roots don’t grow out of the ground. Transporting them in their kindergarten pots – separate from their heavy planters or pots – could make the work a little easier.

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How to package your plants

Now that it’s time to pack up, taking a little extra time to do it carefully can save you a lot of time (and hassle) when you get to your new location.

Cover the pot and the plant

If your plant lives in a fragile pot (with no planter), Carter recommends using packing materials to wrap it to keep it safe during shipping. Now it is time for the upper part of the plant. Per Carter:

Take a plastic bag or sheet and wrap it tightly around the top of the pot. Tape it down to make sure no dirt runs out. Just make sure you don’t cover the drainage holes. You want to make sure the roots can still breathe.

Tie the branches of larger plants together

To make it easier to get on and off moving trucks and doors, Carter suggests tying branches of your larger works together:

The best way not to break off any of your limbs is to gently pull them inward. To do this, use a hook and loop fastener or string to slowly bring the twigs or stems together and tie them. This will force the branches and stems to go up more than out.

Wrap the plant

Finally, Carter says it’s best to wrap the top of the plant to protect it during the move:

Using kraft paper, peel off a piece long enough to wrap around your plant. When you have it all around the foliage, secure it with tape. This also helps when you move around in the colder months of the year. It helps protect the foliage from frostbite.

Apparently there are special moving services too, but that sounds expensive and isn’t exactly a hack.