Moving with Plants

Have you ever experienced the stress of wondering how your plants will adapt to your new home? I live in the Pacific Northwest part of the US, where sunlight is scarce for about 75% of the year, so finding decent light is a whole entire job. Around the time I was moving, my collection had grown to somewhere around 30 plants. I also had a ton of other things on my plate: unpacking, combining households with a partner, my son starting 3rd grade virtually, and I had just gotten promoted at work. With all these things needing my attention, how on earth was I going to keep my plants happy, too?

Here are four helpful nuggets I wish I had known before moving:

#1 – Death May Be Unavoidable

I put this as number one so that you can prepare for the worst. This was a humbling experience for me, to say the least. With all the other things going on, my plants seemed to be dying left and right, so I simply accepted it as part of the process, ignoring the small but mighty pile of emptied planters in my garage.

#2 – Move Them Around

All of my previously perfectly placed babies played musical chairs on window sills, shelves, and rooms in the new place, and all at once! Oh, boy! I would place a plant in the living room, only to find it screaming for help the next time I went to water it. So, I would move it to a shelf in the kitchen, or to the dining room table and so on, until the plant wasn’t looking so in need.

#3 – Pay Attention

Sometimes, the practical or decorative spot for your plant may not actually meet its needs. I found it helpful to take notes on where I had put a plant previously that did not work for it so I wouldn’t keep repeating the same mistake. I set reminders on my phone to check on my plants on a semi-weekly basis.

#4 – Be Patient

After a few months of struggle (honestly, it could have been a few weeks, but what is time anymore?), things seemed to calm down a bit and the game of musical chairs started to pay off. My babies eventually began to perk up *and* push out new growth. In November, no less? Oh, I was ecstatic. If you can be patient with your plants (and yourself), you’ll find that they are simply adjusting. They will find a groove eventually, just like you.

Overall, moving was a stressful experience and my plants added a layer of stress that I was not really ready for. Would not recommend it. I felt like all of the care that I had put into making sure they actually made it to the house unharmed seemed to be for nothing, since they didn’t just start thriving off the rip like I wanted. But, as I started to settle into my new world with all it’s new pieces, so did my plants.

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