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How to relocate your garden plants when you move home

December 3, 2020

Can you take garden plants with you when you move home? Even planted ones? And if so, how? We answer your questions…


Image: thejoyofplants.co.uk

When you move home, of course you’re going to pick up your furniture and accessories to take with you, however some movers even go so far as to take their treasured bathtub or statement doors with them to their new home.

But what about the garden? According to statistics, UK homeowners spend an average of £675 on their gardens every year, so you might not be so surprised to hear that some people choose to take their garden plants with them.

“Moving to a new house is as exciting as it is daunting. One sure way to reduce the stress is making sure your leafy friends get there in one piece.”, says Shannen Godwin, spokesperson for one the leading plant and bulb companies in the UK, J Parker’s.

If you’re considering packing your garden up for the move, here’s what you need to know.

Take care in preparation

Three weeks before your moving date, transfer your potted plants from any heavy pots into rigid plastic ones of the same size. This will make them easier to transport.

For planted garden plants, leave them in the ground as long as possible, as late as the day before you move home. When digging up your garden plants, create a hole large enough to avoid damaging its root systems. Once it’s been excavated, wrap the roots in damp sackcloth and use bubble wrap to secure.

Read more: 9 of the best flowers to plant for a blooming winter garden

Take your time during this process and look out for any obvious issues. Prune and treat your plants as necessary, you do not have to be surgical because you’ll take a closer look a week before you go. With garden plants, this is also a good time to evaluate the roots and decide if it might be better which of them stayed put.

a british garden with raised beds of planting - garden - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: Colin Poole

Make tough decisions

During your preparation, look out for any issues that might arise in transporting plants – prune and treat them and look at which have roots that suggest the plant may be better staying put or that you think may not survive the trip.

A week before moving, look at them all more carefully, and examine for parasites. Remember that it’s quite the task to move homes with your garden plants, so if you don’t have/want to take it, don’t! The new owners will likely be glad to have some plants in the garden, however, also don’t leave them an overgrown mess. You could also look at selling plants on sites like Gumtree or Facebook marketplace to recoup some of the money you’ve spent.

You aren’t required to leave garden plants as part of a home sale unless specified, but if you want to be considerate to your new buyers, who may have valued the established garden you’ve created, you may want to let them know via your estate agent, so there’s no nasty surprises later down the line.

potted plants in modern garden - goodhomesmagazine.com

Image: thejoyofplants.co.uk

Moving day

Don’t go mad wrapping your plants in bubble wrap, leave them enough space to be transported without damage. Buy cheap felt and cut a slit in it to place over plant pot tops and you’ll avoid loose soil in transit.

For any plants in boxes, label so overs know there are delicate plants inside, and punch in air holes. Don’t water them before the trip, as this will make them heavier and more likely damage boxes with water. Make sure they’re last in the car/van/truck and first out, as they’ll need sunlight – if you’re travelling for more than 12 hours, you may need to rethink this plan.

Considering moving your plants when you move home? Let us know! Tweet us @goodhomesmag or post a comment on our Facebook page

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