How to take your plants with you when moving house

by | Nov 22, 2023 | Moving With Plants | 0 comments

Gardeners talk about plants being “stressed” when potted on or planted out.  All those tiny root systems that get cut in the process of transplanting, and the process of reestablishing those roots in soil with adequate water and light so they can recover and thrive again. Although the plant is temporarily stressed, it has the chance to recover and adapt to its new location. If it is more spacious, and previously it had outgrown its pot, then the plant will happily expand in its new location. It’s a little like moving house. As experts in home removals and storage solutions, we specialize in taking the unnecessary stress out of a home move. However, the process is emotionally taxing, and like plants, humans also experience a bit of stress in the uprooting phase.  Here is our guide for moving plants when you are considering a home transplantation. 

Plan for your new house and garden 

You may have various questions spinning around, regarding which plants should come with you and which to leave behind. One way of answering these and formulating a way forward is by considering a plan for your new house and garden based on these questions:

  • What is the light and space like in the interior of the house? 
  • How does the orientation of the house and garden receive sunlight? 
  • Is there a patio or outdoor area for container gardening? 
  • How is the front garden and how does it receive light? 

By drawing up plans for the garden you will be able to see if space affords you to bring many plants from your existing garden with you, or if they would thrive best where there are currently. For indoor plants, which are already in containers, the process is a little simpler, but depending on space and light you may need to donate a few to friends or leave some behind. 

Intentions for the move regarding your garden

Once you are clear on your plans for the garden, which plants, pots, and garden furniture is coming with you, let the buyers know what you intend to include in the sale, and what is coming with you.  If they were swung into the purchase by your garden aesthetics and layout, it is worth letting them know what will be retained in the sale. Similarly, if you were leaving white goods and fixtures and fittings, these details are important in the overall value of the property.  If you have invested a lot of time in the garden, it is likely to have added to the value of the property and the interest generated on the market. Being upfront with your intentions ensures you have a shared vision of the property and garden with the inhabitants of your old home. 

Discuss your intentions with your removal company

When getting a quote for a removal job, it is important to let the company know how many plants you intend to move, as it will affect the number of vehicles required. Plants cannot be stacked like boxes, and due to their fragility require special arrangements.  Factoring this into your decision-making is important as houseplants can often be an afterthought for people. They exist as part of the ecosystem of the house, and as such people forget to consider how much space they will take up in the transportation process. 

Storing plants and garden furniture 

If you need to store garden furniture, garden tools, and even statues in between moves, a storage plan is the answer. Some removal and storage companies will even store plants for you and keep them watered and maintained for a while.  Moving house can involve maneuvering from one stepping-stone to another, so having a safe place for all your garden paraphernalia and plants to stop over is perfect until you reach the destination.  Similarly, if you find yourself in a temporarily smaller living space, and don’t want to disband your collection of DIY and garden tools and machines, long-term storage will keep them in mint condition for when you can get back to mowing the lawns again. 

Preparing your plants for moving 

Firstly, your houseplant collection will be easier to move, just keep them hydrated prior to the move but avoid watering a few days before moving as this will make them heavier to lift.  For your outdoor plants that are making the journey, you may be potting some up for the move. At this point, you could cut them back quite a bit, so they are more compact.  Depending on the plant you will consider when in the cycle of the year is best to replant it, so some may be in their containers for a while.  In the winter, when plants are in a dormant state, this is the best time to move them, dig them up, and pot them up.  Right in the middle of their growing cycle, late Spring and Summer, it is more disruptive for them.   Check existing pots for cracks and potential issues during transit. 

Digging up outdoor plants 

For plants that will go straight into the soil at the other side, you may want to use large garden supply bags to transport them, instead of large containers.  Large heavy-duty bags that usually contain woodchip or compost can be helpful, particularly if you have another large structural container to put them in during transit.  When digging up plants, water the soil beforehand and dig wide around the plant to preserve as much of its root structure as possible. Keeping their roots concealed with compost and soil, wrap them in the garden bags or plastic bags using bubble wrap if temperatures are low. 

Packing your plants 

If you are doing the packing yourself, you can line boxes with bubble wrap to protect the plants in transit.  If you have access to heavy-duty plastic crates, like bread crates these can be handy for heavy pots.  Make cones from card and plastic film to protect the leaves of your plants, tape them at the bottom, with the larger end of the cone open at the outermost part of the leaves.  Load your plants last into the removal vehicles and unload them first at the other end. Large heavy plants will need to be secured inside the vehicle and transported using a trolley. 

Re-rooting after the move 

Place outdoor plants in a suitable location until you are ready to dig them in or arrange them.  Ensure it is easy to water them and keep them well watered. For your houseplants, keep them out of harm’s way until you have the new layout of your home set up, then finding spots for the plants will bring the finishing touches to your new sense of home.  For a stress-free landing and unfurling at the other side, use Gentleman & a Van to take care of the logistics of the move.  Read our excellent reviews  to see that we have happily transplanted many people into their new, prosperous habitats. Not to mention offices and all their contingent wildlife. While we can take care of your storage, removal, and property needs, you will be freed up to plan your next horticultural Eden.