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How to take plants and gardens with you when you move house

Posted on 14th February 2018 by Master Removers

When you’re moving house, it’s important to think ahead about which plants you plan to take with you. If you’re a keen gardener, you may have spent a lot of time honing your garden and you could find yourself reluctant to leave your favourite specimens behind!

Here we offer the lowdown on what you need to consider when moving your prized plants, from potted indoor plants to larger, more established outdoor varieties.


 1. Draw up a plan

Think about where your plants will go in your new garden. You should try to take into account factors such as the soil type, likely exposure to wind or frost, and the orientation of your new garden – some plants will fare better in the warmth and light of a south-facing garden, while others prefer a more consistent, northerly aspect. Consider drawing up a plan of your new garden – if necessary you could arrange for another visit.

For larger or more specialist varieties, it might be worth seeking advice from a horticultural expert. It may be that some plants are just too bulky or sensitive to move, in which case you could consider taking some cuttings.


 2. Make your plans known

If you’re green-fingered, it’s possible that your hard work may have paid off in more ways than one, by adding to the ‘kerb appeal’, and possibly also the value, of your house. Your garden may even have played a significant role in the buyer’s decision to choose your house.

With this in mind, before you start up-ending that shrubbery it’s important to make sure you specify what you’re planning to take with you – just as you would with the indoor fixtures and fittings. Similarly, you should clarify the situation with the owner of your new house (just in case you were both counting on being the proud owners of that beautiful bougainvillea!)


3. Talk to your removal company

You should also discuss any plants that you plan to take with you – both indoor and outdoor –  with your removal company, so that they can make the necessary arrangements and allow enough space for them on the van. Plants can’t be stacked along with the rest of the boxes, and will require sufficient protection, support and clear space.

Should you need to put any plants into storage for a while, some removal companies will store and water your plants on your behalf, if required. They can also look after garden ornaments, equipment such as lawnmowers, and outdoor items like furniture, statues, pots and fountains. Contact Master Removers here to discuss your needs.


4. Preparing your plants

Once you’ve settled on which plants will be coming with you, it’s time to start making some preparations. As a general rule, plants don’t like being moved, so it’s important to do as much as you can to minimise the stress, by keeping your plants hydrated and protected from damage and extremes of temperature.

Generally it’s better to move plants while they are in their dormant state, and many will not respond well to being ‘re-rooted’ at other times of the year. When it comes to trees and shrubs, it’s much easier to move them when they are younger.

Where possible, outdoor plants should be placed in a dry, sheltered area ahead of the move. Depending on the variety and time of year, it can also be beneficial to give larger or climbing plants a good prune ahead of time. Cutting your plants back will minimise the risk of damage, and make the process of moving easier and safer for all parties!

You should give all potted plants a good check over and make sure the pots are in a fit state for travelling, with no sign of any cracks.


 5. Uprooting outdoor plants

Established garden plants should be moved as close as possible to your moving day. If the forecast is for hot weather, an evening slot is best, while in colder weather it’s best to do your digging in the daytime. Water the soil a day beforehand, to make sure the roots have good access to moisture and that the ground is easy to dig.

It’s important to dig as far around the plant as you can, to help keep the root structure intact. Cover the roots in soil or other organic matter and wrap them in a layer of sheeting or damp sacking, followed by protective bubble wrap or insulation if it’s cold. Don’t forget to backfill any holes you have made!


 6. Keeping well hydrated

Keeping your plants sufficiently watered is one of the most important things to remember. Draining potted plants ahead of time will help to minimise the weight and lessen the likelihood of any messy accidents, but your plants must not be allowed to dry out completely. You can you use a water sprayer to help keep them hydrated where appropriate.


 7. Packing your plants

Unpotted plants can be placed in lined boxes, with long stems or branches gently tied together and canes used for additional support. Smaller houseplants can be placed in lined, open boxes and padded with paper for protection. Larger, stable pots can be placed inside plastic bags.

Your plants should be among the last items to be loaded onto the van, and offloaded as soon as possible at the other end. Larger plants and heavy pots should be transported using trolleys and carefully secured on the van.

 8. Getting re-established

Once you’ve arrived, place your plants in a cool, dry space out of direct sunlight. Your indoor plants should be put in a safe corner while the move is taking place, after which they can then be carefully unpacked and given a good watering.

Tend to your outdoor plants as soon as you can, firstly by giving them a good water. If possible, get any shrubs or trees into the ground straight away.  Alternatively, your plants can be ‘heeled in’ until you’re ready to put them in their final position – by soaking the roots in water for several hours, digging a temporary trench and back filling it with soil (making sure the roots are fully covered).

When replanting, it’s important to water your plants immediately and every day thereafter until they are fully established, and you can apply some fertilizer and a good mulch in the Spring.


We have many years’ experience of transporting all kinds of objects, from your favourite flowers to garden statues and fountains. So you can rest assured that you and your plants will be settling in and putting down roots in no time! Contact the Master Removers here.