How To Move Plants When Moving House (2022)

How To Move Plants When Moving House (1)

Written by Zenyx GriffithsReviewed by Dave Sayce

11th Sep 2018(Last updated on 21st Sep 2021)9 minute read

Preparation is key when moving house, but especially when moving plants. Transporting plants can be difficult as you have to factor in a variety of issues such as weather, temperature, the type of transportation being used and the materials needed to protect them. However, with a little preparation, it doesn’t have to be a stressful process.

With so much to move within the property, your plants may not be at the forefront of your mind. However, with so much care and effort that has gone into growing them, it’s important that you plan your next steps carefully to help move your plants without killing or damaging them.

Compare My Move has worked with a number of property and finance experts to create insightful guides that will aid you through every step of the moving process. In this article, we will explain the process of packing and moving your plants when moving house.

This article will cover the following:

  1. How to Pack Plants For Moving House
  2. Transporting Your Plants
  3. Unpacking Plants After Moving House
  4. When is the Best Time to Move Plants?
  5. Tips for Moving Plants
  6. Saving Money on Your House Move
(Video) How to move houseplants when moving house

How to Pack Plants For Moving House

When packing plants, you should re-pot any that are currently in clay pots to shatter-proof plastic pots. You should also prune any of the large plants to remove dead leaves and limbs - this will not only help make the plant healthier, but it will also provide you with a little more space in the van. Don’t forget to check for any pests, parasites or insects to ensure you don’t cause an infestation at your new home.

If you have a number of large plants to move, wrap them with old bedding or even tissue paper to help protect the branches. Removal vans can be quite crowded if you have a lot of items to move, so the more you can protect the branches from snapping the better. Smaller plants can be kept in regular moving boxes - just make sure to add newspaper or other items in between the pots to ensure they don’t move around in transit. When planning the move, it would be wise to ask your removal company about the size of their moving vans.

Don’t forget to poke holes in the boxes that contain your plants as they will need to breathe. It’s also advised that you keep them in a dry area of the house for a week before your moving day as plants can make the air moist which will weaken the cardboard boxes.

Whether it’s house plants, hanging baskets or flowers from the garden, plants are an important part of the property that can add a lot of colour and character. According to research by My Tool Shed, a tidy and well-kept garden can add up to 20% to the value of a home, meaning an average house in the UK could increase by £46,542. Further data from Post Office Money even found that a landscaped garden can raise the value by a massive 77%.

Transporting Your Plants

Before you begin loading your items, label the boxes that contain your plants and mark the top clearly so everyone knows to be careful. Ideally, you should bring the plants with you in the car rather than placing them in the van. However, this isn’t always possible so marking the boxes is essential. You should also write down the soil preference on each pot so you can unload them in the right environments.

When transporting the plants yourself, try to control the temperature of the vehicle carefully as extreme hot or cold temperatures can damage plants. This is especially important for larger plants. Smaller potted plants should be fairly comfortable in the removal van, but larger items will need more organisation.

If you’re placing your plants in the van due to the added space, try to be thoughtful as you arrange them. Do not place heavy items on top of the boxes as it will cause damage. Consider each plant’s preferences and try to find the spaces with the correct amount of sunlight.


Do Removal Companies Move Plants?

Not all removal companies will move plants, especially if it’s a long-distance house move. Those that do agree to move them will likely expect you to prepare the plants for the trip.

Do not place your plants at the back of any removal van as not only will they dry out and possibly be crushed, but they will also be hidden from any sunlight. There is also less air circulation in van trailers, causing a rather dangerous environment. Most vans are also not temperature controlled which can endanger your plants, especially in extreme temperatures.

Unpacking Plants After Moving House

When you arrive at your new home, you should try to get your plants back into a similar condition they were in at the previous property.

Carefully unwrap and unpack your plants as soon as they’re off the removal van and you have space to safely do so. To help prevent breakage, you can remove the plants from the bottom of the box rather than grabbing them by the top stems or leaves.

Once free, you can place the plants back into their proper pots and spray them with water to revitalise them, if you feel they need it. Find the right spot for each one in the new house by taking the amount of light and ideal temperature into consideration. Avoid moving the plants from room to room as they need to acclimatise to the new environment. Some plants suffer from transplant shock, meaning they will need a few days to recover after moving house.

When is the Best Time to Move Plants?

Early spring or late autumn is the best time to move plants. Between October and March, the majority of plants become dormant - this is the part of the plant cycle where they can adapt more quickly to a new environment, making them easier to move. This time of year typically has the ideal climatic conditions for moving plants as the weather is usually mild and the temperatures fairly moderate.

However, different species of plants will have different dormant periods, so it’s vital you do your research before moving. You should make a list of the different plant types you have to pack and note down each of their dormant periods. You may not necessarily be able to move during this period, especially if it’s a last-minute house move, but it will ensure you’re more informed about how to take care of the plants and help them recover.

(Video) Moving House With Plants: How to Move Plants

Tips for Moving Plants

To help protect your beloved plants, we’ve created a list of helpful tips for moving plants during a house move.

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

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 move in.

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.

2. Research the Climate You’re Moving To

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.

3. Check the Soil Type

If you’re transferring plants to the new garden, then the soil type in your new garden will need to be checked. 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 a little 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.

(Video) Moving Homes with 200+ Houseplants Vlog! | Moving with Indoor Plants!

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

4. Know Which Plants Can Be Uprooted

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 instead. Look up instructions on how to take proper cuttings from your plants and keep them 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.

5. Show Your Removal Company the Current Garden

Plants are fragile but also take up a lot of room. Make sure the removal company conducts a house removal survey 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.

6. 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. 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.

7. Keep Your Plants Well Hydrated

Make sure the plants you’re transporting are sufficiently watered before the move. Don’t forget to drain any potted plants a few days before your moving date to minimise the weight and reduce the chance of spillage. However, do not let them dry out completely. A water sprayer would be an idle tool when moving plants.

(Video) Moving houses with 100+ plants | all you need to know

8. Know Which Plants You Should Avoid Moving

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

Saving Money on Your House Move

Don't forget to compare removal quotes to save even more money on your home removal. Compare My Move can connect you with up to 6 professional removal companies in your area. We'll also save you up to 70% on the cost as well.


How To Move Plants When Moving House? ›

The best method for transporting plants is to move them in your own vehicle or the cab of the moving truck. This is because the plants will have access to sunlight and good airflow, and you can control the temperature to keep them from getting too hot or cold.

Can I take my potted plants when I move? ›

To make moving plants easier on your back, take them out of their heavy pots and planters and give them new homes in lightweight plastic pots a few weeks before your move. Watch the temperature. If possible, transport plants in a temperature-controlled environment, like your car.

Does moving affect plants? ›

It is bad to move potted plants around because you risk the plants not getting sufficient light, water, and heat. You also risk damaging the plant when moving it. You need to be careful to pick the right location when moving the potted plants.

Is moving stressful for plants? ›

Moving can be stressful, but don't let your plants feel the same stress. Following the tips can help ensure your plants will thrive in their new environment, and you'll be able to enjoy the beauty of your garden and indoor plants for years to come.

How do you move plants without killing them? ›

Lay a piece of polythene by the side of the plant or shrub. Then dig widely around the base, trying not to damage the root system too much. Get as much of the root ball out as you possibly can. Push a spade well underneath the root ball, then carefully lift the whole plant onto the polythene.

Where should you store plants when moving? ›

The commercial movers must be instructed to put the declaration "house plants" at the top of the inventory list for the shipment and the plants should be stored near the van doors to facilitate ease of inspection at the California border station.

Do plants dislike being moved? ›

Great question, Hope. The answer is yes, plants do mind being moved. They are able to adapt to lower light or higher light situations but it takes time to make the necessary changes; one is the epidermis thickness.

Can you take plants when selling house? ›

Garden plants form part of the sales agreement, so removing them without the permission of those moving in can invalidate the transaction. Therefore, you must make sure you give the buyer written warning of your intention to take the plants from the premises prior to the sale.

How do you move plants from one city to another? ›

Move your plants by yourself; this is certainly the best option. All you need to do is find some robust boxes, you need to line them either with plastics or cloths and at last place your plant inside. You need to put either a bubble wrap or foam between the pot and the box for cushioning.

Do house plants like being moved around? ›

Mistake #5: moving your plant all the time.

Stability is essential for your plant to adapt to its new habitat. Some changes can be disruptive to the plant's balance, such as re-potting, changing room etc. Too much moving-your-plant-around is no good.

How long does it take a plant to get used to a new home? ›

Others recommend waiting at least two weeks to let the plant settle in the new space before adding more stress. It boils down to what you're comfortable with and the level of risk you're willing to take with your new plant. Most plants can survive for at least a few months in their nursery pots.

Why are my plants dying after moving? ›

Take care when moving plants around the house. They could experience shock from rapid changes of temperature or light, which can lead to a sudden loss of leaves. If you plan to move houseplants indoors for winter, start by placing them in the new location for a few hours and then returning them to their previous spot.

Do plants like to be touched? ›

Your plants really dislike when you touch them, apparently. A new study out of the La Trobe Institute for Agriculture and Food has found that most plants are extremely sensitive to touch, and even a light touch can significantly stunt their growth, reports

How long do plants stay in shock after transplanting? ›

Transplant shock can last from two weeks to five years, depending on the plant or tree you're growing. This can cause temporary stagnation of growth or flower and fruit production. The longer the transplant shock remains, the higher the chances of the plant dying.

Do plants go into shock after transplanting? ›

Plant transplant shock is caused by harm to the plant roots, during the transplanting process. Transplant shock happens to seedlings, bedding plants, newly planted trees and yes even cannabis plants.

Can you uproot a plant and replant it? ›

How to Replant an Uprooted Plant. When a plant has been uprooted, you must act quickly and decisively in order to save it. First, inspect the rootball carefully for breaks and damage. If the roots are white and relatively intact, your plant is healthy, so wet the rootball well and replant it where it belongs.

How do you move long distance with plants? ›

Prep a box that can hold the pot tightly by taping the bottom seams well. Then place the plant inside. Fill in extra space around the pot and plant with packing paper or newspaper, so it's secure but can also breathe. Poke a few air holes on each side of the box to allow for airflow.

Should I water plants before moving? ›

To avoid soggy soil and parched plants, water your houseplants a couple of days before a move, depending on the time of year. “You don't want to water the plant too close to the move, because the plant will be too heavy and you don't want it dripping water inside your car,” Bawden-Davis said.

What is the best time to move plants? ›

Experts agree that fall is one of the best times for transplanting, but spring is also considered good. Each season has advantages that the other lacks. Many claim that fall is the best time to transplant trees and shrubs. Fall transplants can benefit from the months of cooler, moister weather ahead.

Do plants know their owners? ›

It's something that plant lovers have long suspected, but now Australian scientists have found evidence that plants really can feel when we're touching them.

Why we should not touch plants at night? ›

At night, since the stomata on a leaf are closed, there is no gas exchange taking place. Therefore, there is neither oxygen nor carbon dioxide present around a tree at night. At night, trees give out some toxic gases such as sulphur dioxide. This can be harmful to humans as well as other life forms.

How do you take your garden with you when you move? ›

How to take plants and gardens with you when you move house
  1. Draw up a plan. Think about where your plants will go in your new garden. ...
  2. Make your plans known. ...
  3. Talk to your removal company. ...
  4. Preparing your plants. ...
  5. Uprooting outdoor plants. ...
  6. Keeping well hydrated. ...
  7. Packing your plants. ...
  8. Getting re-established.
Feb 14, 2018

Are plants considered fixtures? ›

Plants and trees growing in the ground are considered to be fixtures, which are included in the sale of real estate because they are attached to the ground by roots.

Are garden plants fixtures and fittings? ›

Unless specifically agreed otherwise between vendor and buyer, plants growing in gardens (not pots) are always classified as fixtures and fittings.

How do you transport large potted plants? ›

Simply wrap it around the outside of the pot and hold it in place with a bit of packing tape.
  1. Wrap containment netting loosely around the potted plant.
  2. This helps to prevent excess movement and also possible cracking of terracotta or porcelain pots, if the plants get jostled a bit while driving.

How do you transport plants without soil? ›

If You Can, Move Your Plants Yourself
  1. Plastic pots.
  2. Sterilized potting soil.
  3. Packing paper or newspaper.
  4. Bubble cushioning roll.
  5. Plastic bags.
  6. Paper towels.
Nov 6, 2018

Do movers and packers transfer plants? ›

Moving planters with packers and movers

You can relocate your potted plants locally on your own but for long-distance moves, you must get them shipped under the supervision of packers and movers. Hire a moving company for plant shifting as that's the right way to keep them away from damage.

What should you not do with plants? ›

4 Things That You Should Never Do in the Garden
  • Don't overfeed your garden with fertilizer. ...
  • Don't apply synthetic fertilizer. ...
  • Don't use any form of pesticides. ...
  • Don't Over Fertilize. ...
  • Don't Use Synthetic Fertilizers. ...
  • Don't Plant in Too Much Shade. ...
  • Don't Use Broad Spectrum Pesticides.

What does transplant shock look like? ›

Symptom. Leaf scorch is a common symptom of transplant shock. Leaf scorch first appears as a yellowing or bronzing of tissue between the veins or along the margins of leaves of deciduous plants (those that lose their leaves in winter). Later, the discolored tissue dries out and turns brown.

How do you prevent transplant shock in plants? ›

Ways To Minimize Transplant Shock
  1. Know When To Transplant.
  2. Try Not To Disturb Roots.
  3. Take As Many Roots As Possible.
  4. Be Mindful of Sun and Wind.
  5. Water Plants Carefully.
  6. If Roots Are Removed, Remove Top Growth.
  7. Epsom Salts.
  8. Remove Dead Parts.

What does a plant in shock look like? ›

The telltale signs of shock are yellowing or brown wilted leaves that droop drastically. Often a stressed plant becomes very delicate and the leaves easily fall off, if touched or bumped. There are two kinds of shock to be aware of when relocating or repotting your plants: plant shock and transplant shock.

Should you loosen roots when repotting? ›

Roots packed tightly in a pot don't take up nutrients efficiently. To promote good nutrient absorption, trim the roots and loosen up the root ball before replanting. Use a sharp knife or pruning shears for this job, removing as much as the bottom third of the root ball if necessary.

Can plants hear you talk? ›

Here's the good news: plants do respond to the sound of your voice. In a study conducted by the Royal Horticultural Society, research demonstrated that plants did respond to human voices.

Do plants get lonely? ›

Plants will definitely experience something like being “lonely” in pots because they miss out on underground connections. The majority of plants form symbioses with fungi underground, via their roots.

Do plants cry when you cut them? ›

While they may not have brains like humans do, plants talk to one another through smell and even communicate with insects to maintain survival. Like any living thing, plants want to remain alive, and research shows that when certain plants are cut, they emit a noise that can be interpreted as a scream.


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