Moving your plants to San Diego – how to do it?

So, you are moving to San Diego. That’s really exciting. San Diego is an exciting city with a lot to offer. You must be thrilled about relocating here. There are many interesting neighborhoods you could live in. But if you are a passionate gardener, you know that a house is not a home without plants and flowers. Don’t worry!  Moving your plants with you is not an impossible task.

It’s completely understandable that the idea of moving is upsetting if you have worked hard to grow your garden. It takes a lot of time, patience and love to grow a lush garden. And the idea of parting with it just doesn’t sit well with you. But, you don’t have to say goodbye to your plants. You can move them with you!

Take your potted plants with you

You don’t have to part with your plants when you move. Take them with you!

Get to know California State Laws on moving plants

Every state has a specific set of rules on which plants are allowed to cross state borders. These rules are intended to protect the unique ecosystems that exist in each area and to minimize the spread of harmful diseases and pests. You don’t want to go through the trouble of bringing your plant to state border, only to be told you have to leave it there. So read the rules carefully before you start.

Chose which of your plants to move

Even though you would prefer to move all your plants to your new sunbathed San Diego garden, there’s a checklist you can go through to make a sound decision. Here’s a list of things to consider:

Different size plants.

Size of the plant is important factor when moving it.


  • Size of your plants – Smaller plants are easier to transport. If the plant is too big, it might be better to leave it behind. Especially if we’re talking about a tree. In some cases, gardens are the selling point of a house. Don’t forget to run by your real estate agent your decision to take any large plants.
  • Will the hot climate of San Diego do your plants good? – San Diego has a mild marine climate. Temperatures are moderate throughout the year, ranging from 57.3 °F in January to 72 °F in August. Different types of plants need different amounts of natural light. Keep this in mind when deciding which plant go and which stay.
  • Is there enough space in your new garden? – Compare the sizes of your old and new garden and base your decision on that. Plants need enough space to thrive.

Prepare your plants for moving to San Diego

Once you have decided which plants you’re moving to warm and sunny San Diego, you can start preparing them for the move. There are a few steps you need to take to ensure your plants are relocated safely.

One month before moving your plants

This is a good time to re-pot your plants. You’ll want to do this because moving plants with heavy pots is hard. And it’s unnecessary. Re-plant them in light plastic pots instead, adding fresh new soil. If you’ve been postponing re-planting your plants in bigger pots, now is the perfect chance.

Two weeks before moving your plants

Prune them well two weeks before moving them. Pruning will make your plants smaller and easier to manage on the moving day. You can simply use your hand or hand pruners for this task.

One week before moving your plants

This is when you should check for insects and parasites. You don’t want to take them with you, so you might need to apply insecticides. Do this with caution and according to the instructions, since too much insecticides can kill not only the insect but your beloved plant.

One day before moving your plants

Water them, but be careful not to overdo it. Too much water combined with California sun may lead to fungus growth. Also, you can make sure the boxes you prepared are big enough for holding your plants.

How to handle your plants on the moving day?

  • On the moving day, gently place your plants and flowers in the boxes you have prepared. You can put some padding or bubble wrap in the boxes to fill the extra space.
  • Don’t forget to drill holes on the sides and the top of the boxes. It’s crucial for plants and flowers to breath during the relocation. Spray them with some water one last time, before closing the boxes.
  • Label the boxes that contain your cherished plants and flowers. You’ll want the movers to be careful when handling them. Or if you are driving them yourself, you’ll want the movers to know which boxes contain them. This way you’ll minimize the risk of accidentally loading them onto the moving truck.
  • In case you’re driving your plants across the country, the drive will take longer than just one day. Take your plants out of their boxes overnight so they can breath. Also, water them regularly during your journey.

Caring for you plants when you get to San Diego

Once you and your plants arrive to your new home in San Diego, first check if any of them got damaged in transport. Cut off the damaged leaves and branches. Then you can plant them back into their original, decorative pots. Or you can plant them in the ground. The ideal time for transplanting them is in the morning on a cloudy day. In San Diego this would be May or June. Transplanted plants need a lot of water, so be sure to water them regularly and abundantly. To help them adapt quickly, use a 4-inch layer of mulch. It will provide them with enough moisture.

After moving your plants, snip off any broken branches or leaves.

Remove the damaged branches and leaves when you arrive to your new home.

If the size of your new yard will allow it, you can add some local plants to enrich your garden. To add color to your garden try Island Tree Mallow with its gorgeous pink flowers or Coast Sunflower. These are native in this area and you’ll have no problem maintaining them.

Now you have the necessary information about moving with plants. And as for the plants you can’t take with you, give them to a friend. It will remind them of you.


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