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House Plants/plants and moving


We are moving from Va to SC and they will have to be outside for in a vehicle for 1 or 2 nights - I have a variety.  Will they be ok and are there any precautions I can take?  Thanks.

Hi Cindy,

Some common houseplants species begin to deteriorate at temps below 60 degrees F. Most are okay in temps as low as 50 degrees and some can even survive short periods of sub-freezing temperatures. So I cannot say how yours will do because I don't know what species you have nor just how cold it will get for the 1 or 2 overnights they will experience.

If you can tell me the species of the plants you are most concerned about, I can provide more specific information as to their cold sensitivity.

Otherwise, you should take as many of the following precautions as possible:

*Water the plants thoroughly 2 days before the move unless you anticipate sub-freezing temps
*Wrap the plants in bubble wrap, heavy plastic or Kraft paper to keep tem insulated
*Group small plants together in a lined cardboard box and then cover the box with insulating material
*Place the plants in the center of the vehicle away from the sides
*Load the plants last-on, first-off to minimize exposure

Symptoms of cold damage are leaves that turn dark and soft or watery literally overnight. Cold damaged plant leaves and stems shut be trimmed off as they will not recover. The plant roots are more insulated by the pot and soil and have a better chance of not being damaged by cold. As long as the roots remain healthy, then healthy new growth will eventually emerge to replace damaged leaves.

For cold damaged plants provide warmth, good light and less water than usual. Do NOT repot or fertilize them. They need time, warmth and light to slowly recover. You cannot force the issue, so be patient.

I have written articles on cold damaged plants that I will email for free to you (or anyone else) who emails a request to me at

Please let me know if any of this is unclear or if you have any additional questions.

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Will Creed


I am the only expert in this category with professional hands-on experience and knowledge of all indoor plants. I can answer questions regarding light, water, fertilizer, repotting, pruning and humidity and temperature requirements. I can identify plant pests and provide information on safe, effective treatments. My answers are based on 35 years of professional experience and scientific research and are clear and easy to understand. I do NOT use search engines to find answers to your questions. If you read my previous posts here, you will get a good idea as to how thorough and professional my answers are.


I have over 35 years of professional indoor landscaping experience caring for plants in homes, offices, building lobbies, stores, restaurants, and other adverse environments. I have written extensively on the care of indoor plants, including a 260 page book. My specialties include Ficus trees, low light plants, repotting, pest control, and re-blooming holiday plants. Be sure to check my ratings and nominations to learn why I am the top-rated indoor plant expert. I am the only House Plant expert consistently ranked in the AllExperts Top 20.

BA, Amherst College

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