This Won’t Be Easy

I’ve put it off as long as I can, today is the day. As soon as this post goes up, I’m going to attempt to move these two hibiscus plants to the garage. So far they’ve survived some pretty chilly nights but it’s just a matter of time before we get a good freeze and they croak.

Moving Hibiscus Plants


I’ve never tried to move these big planters before. They are not the type planters that look heavy, but are really light…you know that type. Nope, these babies are super heavy, especially with the added dirt and plants. Ugh.

Moving a Hibiscus Plant in Large Pot


I’m going to attempt to move them with this furniture dolly. I wish it didn’t have a giant hole in the center of it! I may have to resort to dragging them on a blanket, another one of my fall-back furniture moving devices.

Furniture Moving Dolly


They have to be rolled across the porch, through the kitchen and down a step into the garage. I hope I can lift them off the dolly onto the garage floor when I reach the garage door.

Screened Porch in Winter


After that, I’m going to move this Christmas tree across the garage, through the kitchen…



…and into the family room. I’ll move the table you see there in front of the window to the living room and the tree will go there. Not looking forward to this moving stuff but hopefully I’ll have a pretty tree up by tonight and hibiscus plants that are still alive by next spring.

Living Room


Stay tuned…Christmas tree photos coming soon. Hopefully. πŸ™‚

Update: Done!



Hardest part was getting the pots up onto the dolly. Don’t worry, I made sure not to strain my back. I would have stopped if it felt like that was going to happen, I promise!

After I got them up on the dolly it went well. I really don’t like these dolly moving devices. I used to have a hand truck but I loaned it to someone and they never gave it back. I don’t think it would have been very easy with a hand truck, either. I’m going to check into some of the suggestions you guys left in the comments, though…thanks for those!

Moving a Hibiscus


So here they are, I placed the hibiscus as close to windows as I could get them. They’ll get the east morning sun so I hope that helps them survive the winter. I gave them and the foxtail fern a good drink of water. They were just too pretty to let die in the cold this winter. Now it’s time to move the Christmas tree in. Other than being very awkward and prickly, it’s not too bad.

Hibiscus Moved to Garage to Winter Over


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  1. So, Susan what do you do in your spare time? πŸ™‚ I wish I had some clever clue to help you out – other than wait for the hubby to do it?

    Merry Christmas!

  2. Oh Susan….be careful! Hurting at Christmas is just something we don’t have time for. Got a neighbor who could spare a few minutes?

  3. Donna Tullis says
    • You are absolutely spot on. The sliders are the easiest way to move anything. I have them in several sizes and every year move a very large (and heavy) desk and file cabinet in order to decorate for Christmas. Just need a little help to guide the furniture through the doors, but you can easily push/pull very heavy stuff by yourself.

    • I think I have some of those around here, but I don’t think they would slide across the slats/boards on the deck. I’m always worried they will scratch the floors if a piece of grit or a pebble of sand or something gets under one. Donna, have you ever had any issues with that happening? I’ll have to look for my set, can’t remember where I stashed them away now.

  4. Ugh! Wish I could help you Susan. I know what a pain that is. I’ll send over my hubby. He could use the exercise ;).

  5. Susan, I move my LARGE (and I mean LARGE) tropicals with a 2-wheel dolly. Your Tru-Value hardware store surely has one. Makes moving those babies a whole lot easier.

  6. Oh, oh, oh! It looks like you need a dolly for Christmas. Those rolling boards are terrible to try and load something on. Good luck!

  7. I can’t decorate for Christmas this year, because we are moving in 2 weeks. I didn’t decorate last year due to having open heart surgery. By the time I open all my Christmas decor boxes in 2016, it will be a surprise to see what I have.

    • Well I hope next Christmas is completely uneventful, well unless it’s something really awesome! Good luck with your move this year, Kenju…don’t overdo! (wagging finger)

  8. Maybe over the winter you can find a wheeled something-or-other to keep them on outside? I feel certain I’ve seen things like that. Could you add casters to the planters?

    • They are so heavy, it would have to be heavy duty casters. I don’t think I’d like the way those would look under the pots, at least not full time. Thanks, Tammy for that suggestion.

  9. Jean Tucker says

    Susan, you really need to get some help, would hate for you to end up with a bad back. I am now regretting all the years I lifted too many heavy objects. I can’t do anymore, all the Christmas decorating I love so much. Have a safe and Merry Christmas.

  10. Don’t you have some neighbors who could help you?

  11. pam ~ crumpety cottage says

    Susan, we had this discussion about you moving insanely heavy things, before. Don’t do it. Please just get help you funny little lunatic. It’s not worth seriously hurting yourself over. Ugh. Now I’ll be worried til you post again.

    • Don’t worry, Pam…it all worked out great. My muscles in my arms/legs muscels are a bit sore but that’s probably more from spending hours crawling around on the floor last night trying to get a strand of lights to work on the tree. Changed every fuse and checked every light and it still won’t work. πŸ™

      • pam ~ crumpety cottage says

        Awww, rats. That’s too bad. Hate when that happens. But I’m glad to know you survived your ill advised moving of the two ton pots. Good job, Hercules. πŸ™‚

  12. Put a piece of plyw00d across the middle of the dolly.

  13. Oh…do I “feel your pain!” We, too, just moved plants in…the garage is too cold here so…our lower level looks like a…jungle. I luv my plants. Won’t it be cozy to have your tree lit!! franki

    • I was so surprised that all my plants did well in the garage last year. They always look a bit scraggly though by spring. I just hate watching perfect good plants die, then having to go buy new ones in the spring…such a waste! I do need to come up with a better, easier system for moving them, though.

  14. I feel your pain. Moved my “tropicals” into the garage a few weeks ago when the temps were predicted to be low enough for a frost. I’ve cut back on how many I shelter but it’s still a back breaking task. I use my wheelbarrow and a dolly to help me with the job. Good luck and don’t hurt yourself. Vikki in VA.

    • I know, it’s a big job for sure! I never would have thought of wintering them over there until a reader suggested it a few years back for my geraniums…and it surprisingly worked!

  15. Renee Cook says

    Bless your heart… I empathize with you moving your items. It can feel overwhelming sometimes! We have an upright hand truck with a thin shelf at the bottom. It’s pretty easy to slide underneath items, then tip it back and roll. Maybe something like that would keep you from having to lift them onto the dolly. Best wishes with your project!

  16. LindaSonia says

    If I were you, I’d leave them in place and buy Plumstone Shrub Jackets for them…$PDPmain$&$src=b-372679_main

    • Only problem is, I’d have to put them on and take them off every day all winter. I’m don’t thinkg these hibiscus would even survive a cold day here in January or February…they don’t like cold. Thanks for sharing that link, though…would be great for shrubs that normally make it through the cold but can’t take extreme…like our gardenias.

  17. What I fear we’ll see are photos of you in traction after all that moving!! Be careful! πŸ™‚

  18. LindaSonia says

    If I were you, I’d leave them in place and buy some Plumstone Shrub Jackets for them… just sayin’

  19. Oh My! Susan are you trying to do all this BY YOURSELF? I’m exhausted just reading it – other than moving the table lol? Fingers crossed your back doesn’t object to all this activity and more importantly, your hibiscus survives!

  20. Marilyn in Mt. Vernon, VA says

    Susan, you are a-may-zing!! I’m not just saying this. You truly amaze me. A lovely soak in the bath would feel quite good this evening, I should think. Hugs.

  21. Hi. I remember BHG had a plant trolley in their magazine last year (I think it was under “gifts for the gardener” or something similar). It has rubber sides that won’t damage your pot but can be adjusted to grip it securely. I think it was rated for 50+ pounds. That seems like something you could use!

    • I agree with the others who have posted…not a one person job.

      If you do not have a 2 wheel dolly or feel it necessary to purchase one when you get ready to return them outdoors in the spring, I would definitely ask a friend or neighbor to assist.


  22. I was thinking an old blanket or a rug. I would buy another hand truck when they go on sale and throw that old blanket over it and keep it in hiding. No more loaners….. πŸ™‚ I like the decorating, but I hate taking everything down.

  23. Happy to see the update. Still, listen to your commenters. They have some good ideas. Treat yourself to a dolly. Or maybe…your son or dil read this post πŸ˜€

  24. I meant treat yourself to a hand truck, especially the convertible kind. You’ll have to reverse efforts in the spring.

  25. Susan
    You have plenty of suggestions already for how to do this.
    I’m planning to have planter boxes made with casters on the bottom. Then I’ll mix styrofoam “peanuts” or that stuff that swells when it’s wet but shrinks when dry, which will make the dirt weigh less, and I’ll let the plants dry up some before moving them. Thanks for getting me thinking about this issue!
    And remember that the older we get the more likely we are that the stress we put on our bodies will show up as pain, sometimes as agony. OTOH, maybe you work out with weights every day????LOL
    You are a better woman than I, that’s for sure. I don’t like lifting more than my own weight!

  26. I’ve seen people our here in Va Beach wrap plastic wrap around small palm trees to protect them in the winter. I wonder if that would be ok for your hibiscus while in the garage.

  27. Regality (aka The Quing) says

    YAY! for SuperSusan! I live in a slightly milder clime and am experimenting with keeping some of my less tender tenders by the outside dryer vent.

  28. Cyndi Raines says

    So glad you didn’t get hurt – backs can go out so easily. For years I have always lifted, tugged, pulled, pushed, etc. beyond what I should have and I have finally said enough. I use our hand truck now for all heavy pots and garden pedestals and strap them on with a bungee cord and off we go – what a breeze. I love the one Winnie mentioned; we have one like that at work and it is WONDERFUL! You simply take the cotter pin out and lower the hand truck and replace the handle and cotter pin and it becomes a wonderful “cart”. Love it! Check it out Susan – you won’t regret it. Just have my living room tree up today. (Already have a smaller tree up in the dinning room that is decorated in birds – it is beside the large south window that overlooks my garden and birdfeeders – my favorite spot.) Can’t wait to see your lovely pictures.

  29. We kept our hibiscus IN the house for about 5 years but I finally got tired of the MESS. We let them go this year. We move ALOT of stuff on a 2 wheel dolly. It is a life saver!!!

  30. At this point, I am ready to admit that I am over some of this stuff. We got a humongous new fridge delivered today, and it has wreaked (or is it wrought?) havoc upon the house (and Christmas and my life) like you wouldn’t believe. I have to tell you that it is very disheartening to come to grips with the fact that just because you constantly have fabulous perfectly reasonable ideas, the reality is that some of them get too hard to execute with any degree of rational ease. Don’t hurt yourself.

    • Hope your fridge issues got all worked out, Ellen and that you’re enjoying it today. I hope I don’t have to buy a new one for a long time…shopping for appliances is not a lot of fun.

  31. Good job but the question is…..are you sleeping with Ben Gay tonight????? Hope the plants were not too hard to move. I need to borrow your garage for my 9 Boston ferns! Mine is for a single car so no room for ferns. DRATS!!

    • lol No, but I’m feeling the after effect this morning in my arms and legs. That’s probably more from crawling around for two hours last night on the floor, trying to get the lower branches on my tree to light up…without success.

  32. I have a hardy hibiscus it survives below zero St Louis winter’s. The tropical ones that I had did not survive in the insulated garage here

    • I would love to find some of those! Do you know the botanical name? I think the ones I have been finding in the local nursery are the tropical kind because they die every single year. This is the first year I’ve tried bringing them in.

  33. That’s just crazy….get yourself one of those hand trucks or some sturdy fellow to help you!! I’m glad you didn’t get hurt, but that just might be luck!!!

    I wish I had your energy!!! What meds are you on……thyroid??? Can’t wait to see your tree, did mine yesterday……..and Annie, my cat, really likes it…….

  34. Oh Susan..that’s always such a pain… glad you didn’t injure yourself.. it can happen so easily πŸ™
    I have huge heavy planters of different sizes all around our backyard on the stamped concrete patio and after several years of struggling with them hubby finally went and bought a bunch of Cast-Iron Plant Trolleys.
    I’d seen some in the past but always hated the big castors or wheels that stuck out like sore thumbs… he knew I didn’t like that look and somehow managed to find some really nice ones that have a little cast iron scroll trim (like a skirt) that covers the wheels and leaves just enough clearance for wheeling freely & little brakes for securing when you get them to where you want them to sit.
    They’re awesome and the pots actually look better sitting on them than on the ground and we can wheel them around whenever we want.
    I don’t recall the brand of ours but I’m sure other companies probably make similar products.

  35. Marlene Stephenson says

    I know i am behind,i just now read what you did and am glad you made it okay. Sometimes we women who are by ourselves just have to do what needs to be done, now all you have is to decorate your tree. Have a good time.

  36. u did it!!!

  37. Get those planters some plant dollies they can live on full time. Then you can rearrange them any time!

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