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How to Prepare Plants for Moving

Check out these 8 tips for transporting plants across town or country.

Pack up your "plantation" with care. Here's how:

1. Load plants last, in the back of the truck, so they'll be the first things off.

2. Take small plants out of their containers and wrap the root bases in damp newspaper. Place in a plastic food-storage bag and seal by wrapping a rubber band around the stems just below the foliage.

3. Keep wrapped plants out of direct sunlight. Don't let them sit in the car, including the trunk, overnight.

4. For large plants: To avoid moving the whole plant, make a cutting with pruning shears on a 45-degree angle. Strip the lower section of leaves. Cut a piece of floral foam (not the kind for dried flowers -- use the kind that absorbs water) with a piece of wire and insert it into a plastic container, perhaps the bottom of a milk jug or yogurt container. Soak the foam with water. Punch holes in the foam with a pencil or scissors and insert the cutting into the hole. One piece of foam can accommodate a number of cuttings. If you don't have any floral foam, use a potato instead. Make a hole in the potato and insert the cutting. Many can fit in one potato.

5. No matter what time of year it is, dig up the bulbs and store them in paper-not plastic-bags. Cut away any dead or damaged area of the bulb before storing. Bulbs will keep quite a while this way. Plant directly in new soil after the move.

6. Snap off the ends of succulents and store in a cardboard box or paper bag (not plastic). Plants will keep for up to six months this way. Simply repot in fresh dirt after the move.

7. Prune large plants to make sure they aren't top-heavy and won't tip. Put the container in a large box and surround with bunched-up newspaper to keep it from shifting in the box.

8. Water the plants the day before moving them, rather than the same day.

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