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How To Move Plants: 8 Tips and Tricks

Martha Lott

Written by Reviewed by Dave Sayce

11th Sep 2018 (Last updated on 4th Jan 2021) 5 minute read

When you're planning your house removals, it’s easy to forget about your garden. With so much to move within your house, your favourite plants may not be at the front of your mind. However, you wouldn't want to leave behind plants you've put so much time and effort in to. 

With many factors to consider, moving a garden can be complicated and involves a lot of planning ahead of the move. From climate and seasons to the legal side of things, there's many considerations to factor in before you decide to move your garden. 

We’ve put together a guide featuring 8 tips and tricks to successfully transport your plants for the move.

This article will cover the following:
  1. 1. Let the Estate Agent Know the Plants You’re Taking
  2. 2. Know the Best Season to Move Your Plants
  3. 3. Moving Plants to a New Climate
  4. 4. Check the Soil Type
  5. 5. Moving Larger Plants
  6. 6. Show Your Removal Company the Garden
  7. 7. Know How Big Your New Garden Is
  8. 8. Plants to Avoid Moving
  9. Some Extra Plant Tips

1. Let the Estate Agent Know the Plants You’re Taking

In an ideal world, you would decide what parts of your garden you're taking before you set the moving date. With this decided, you need to inform the estate agent of what features you intend on taking from the garden well before contracts are signed and exchanged. A buyer may have viewed your property and fallen in love with your garden, expecting it to be there when they buy the house as garden’s can boost your property's value up to 15%.

If you don't inform your estate agent of what is staying or going, the law states that the garden will remain as your buyer saw it when they made the offer. Remember not to leave it until the last minute.

2. Know the Best Season to Move Your Plants

Sometimes it's difficult to plan when exactly you can move, as you can't always rely on getting an offer at a specific time of year. However, if you want to bring the contents of your garden with you, you need to be aware that there are specific seasons plants can be moved in.

Different plants won't have the same dormant season, but, in general late October to March is the typical dormant season for most type of plant. This will be the ideal time to move plants without much risk of them dying as the soil is just beginning to warm up. Make sure you mentioned your specific requirements when requesting a house removal quote

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3. Moving Plants to a New Climate

Your garden might thrive in the particular climate you live in, but if you're moving to a completely different area, your plants might not survive. For example, if you live in the UK and you're moving from the South to the North, plants like fig trees may not grow because the climate isn't right for them.

Do your research on how the climate you’re moving to will affect your plants and make the decision on which ones are staying and going based on your findings.

4. Check the Soil Type

The soil type in your new garden will need to be checked too. This is because certain plants need to have soil at a certain acidic or alkaline level for them to survive. This might sound like a lot of effort, but it only takes some research – you could either ask the current owner of the property, or get a test kit from your local garden centre to confirm the soil type.

If you just transfer your plants straight in to the wrong soil, then it could ruin all your efforts of growing the plants in the first place.

5. Moving Larger Plants

If you have lived at your property for more than a couple of years, it's understandable for you to become attached to your larger plants and trees. However, attempting to uproot and transport them to the new property runs the risk of severely damaging them. 

Alongside these considerations, do your research to find out which plants can be uprooted and transplanted, and which ones you should take cuttings from to take to the new property. Look up instructions on how to take proper cuttings from your plants and keep the cuttings in a pot filled with compost to root. Plant and tree experts Ashridge Trees say to imagine the roots spanning as far as the branches reach, and to dig accordingly. Moving trees younger than 5 years can be relatively stress-free, whereas older plants may need specialist help.

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6. Show Your Removal Company the Garden

Plants are fragile but also take up a lot of room. Have the removal company survey your property before your moving date so they know exactly what you're taking and what is going to be involved. If you have large potted plants that need to be moved, the removal company may need special lifting equipment and to make specific transport arrangements for you. For any plants in boxes, don't tape the top of the box closed, so they know not to stack any boxes. A good solution is to label which boxes have plants to make it even clearer.

7. Know How Big Your New Garden Is

Along with the soil type and climate, you'll need to consider the size and shape of your new garden and whether your plants will even fit in it, or all the effort will have gone to waste. All you need to do is take a look around the garden you're moving to and compare it to your current garden's size and shape. You'll also want to consider where the sun will hit most and what plants need the most or least exposure to the light.

Make sure you do your research. It involves a lot of planning and you might have some difficult decisions to make if you find that your new garden isn't the right fit for your plants, either because of the climate, soil type, or the size of it.

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8. Plants to Avoid Moving

There are a few plants you'll want to avoid bringing with you and even think twice about getting in the first place. Plants such as Japanese Knotweed can grow as fast as 10cm a day and capable of forcing its way through concrete, foundations, walls and drains. The plant can cause subsidence, major cracks in brickwork and damp. To find out more about what plants to avoid, we've put together a guide to plants that can damage your property.

Some Extra Plant Tips

Moving plants can be tricky, but these are 4 facts you should know before bringing plants with you to your new house. 

how to move plants

  • October-March is dormant season
  • Avoid Japanese knotweed in your garden
  • Gardens can add up to 15% on the value of your home
  • Fig trees won't grow in the North in the UK
Martha Lott

Written by Martha Lott

Having written for Huffington Post and Film Criticism Journal, Martha now regularly researches and writes advice articles for everything moving house related.

Dave Sayce

Reviewed by Dave Sayce

Co-Founder and Director, Compare My Move

Dave Sayce is the co-founder and director of Compare My Move and has over 10 years of experience in the house removals industry.