Sometimes you find yourself in a tight spot and need to relocate things you own as quickly as possible. One of the more challenging things to find a home for is house plants. A storage unit can be a temporary habitat for your beloved plants until you can find a more permanent solution. Here's what you need to know about using this option.
Pick the Right Storage Unit
The first hurdle you'll need to overcome in the quest to store your plants is to find a facility that will take them. Not all storage companies let you put plants in their units, because the flora can attract pests or introduce bugs into the area if the plants are infested with something. You may need to call around to a few places before you'll find one who'll accept your green friends.
At the same time, you don't want to place your plants in just any unit. A good portion of storage rooms aren't temperature controlled, which means the temperature in the unit may swing wildly outside the ideal zone—between 60 and 75 degrees—for your plants. To prevent your plants from drying out or freezing to death, place them in a climate-controlled unit. These rooms maintain a consistent temperature range and humidity level year round (usually between 55 to 85 degrees), making them good for plants.
Pick the Right Plants
Not all plants are hardy enough to survive the change from a comfortable house or apartment to a storage unit, even if it is climate controlled. In particular, plants that require a lot of sunlight such as Aloe vera and Polka Dot plants may not do well because storage units are typically windowless. In fact, most storage units are dark.
Since plants actually calculate the amount of energy they need and rations that energy for times when sunlight isn't available, they may only last a day or two in a dark place before they start dying. On the other hand, plants that thrive in low-light such as Begonias and Swedish Ivy would likely fare better, since their need for sunlight is minimal.
You can get around the sunlight issue and store your plants in the unit for longer if you place an artificial grow light in the room. However, you need to get a storage unit that has a plug or use lamps that run on batteries.
Preparing the Plant for Storage
Keeping your plants hydrated while they're in the unit will also be critical to their survival. There are a couple of things you can do to help the plant retain moisture. One option is to add a little bit of clay soil to the pot. Clay soil retains a lot of water because it has small fine particles. However, it can inhibit air flow to the roots, so you don't want to add too much. Another option is to place the pot inside a bigger pot and add water in-between the cracks. The plants will soak up the extra water as necessary. A third option is to place sphagnum moss on top of the soil. This will prevent water from evaporating and the moss will also hold moisture for the plant to use when it needs it. Still, depending on how long you will leave the plants in storage, you need to plan on watering them at regular intervals.
Wet plants can develop mildew while in storage, which can spread to other belongs you may have placed in the room. Therefore, it's best to wait a few days after watering the plant before putting it in the storage unit. This will ensure the foliage is adequately dry. You'll also need to be careful when watering the plant on subsequent visits and avoid getting any of the leaves wet.
For more information about storing plants or to rent a climate-controlled unit, visit resources like http://www.northstarministorage.com.