Tuesday, June 14, 2022

Advantages and Disadvantages Of Moving House With Plants Reviewed

Yellow roses moving house

I know that within the next few years we will likely move house. We have put a lot into our garden which will be the hardest aspect of our home to leave. 
For our house move we are hoping to find a smaller house and a bigger garden! 

When you move house of course you take all your belongings with you. However, we do not usually take items considered integral to your house such as doors, fitted kitchen and integrated appliances. So when it comes to the garden I have been considering are all the plants also integral to the sale, do we leave everything or are there plants we want to take with us? Is it acceptable to remove plants from the garden and how do we do that? 

White flower Bridal bouquet

We have some very treasured plants with special memories.  
Many of our plants were given to us as gifts or donated by our family in the early days of living here. Others are gifts we have given each other or have particular memories. So we are reluctant to leave these plants. 

However, I do not know what type of garden we will be moving to the aspect, or even exactly the soil type. This does not bother me too much though as I know most will be adaptable or live happily in large pots or containers. So I know that the plants I want to take that thrive here will be perfectly fine in a new home. 

However, if you are moving to an area with a very different soil type and do not want to look after container plants you may need to think carefully about which plants you take with you.

Magnolia pink flowers

Removing Plants From Your Garden When Selling

 First, though I had to consider the ethical question of is it right to remove loved plants from a garden you are selling?

 Buyers will view our house and garden as it is and understandably expect it to come with all the plants they see upon viewing. 

Someone once told me that to know what you can take and what you can leave you should imagine your garden turned upside down. anything that drops off you can take, otherwise it should stay! So really anything rooted in the ground stays but containers and cuttings and seeds can be removed. 

 My opinion is that it is acceptable to remove plants and take cuttings as long as you are upfront with the buyers about which plants you are totally removing. I think it is unacceptable to buy a house and then find upon arrival that half of the plants you thought you were also buying have been dug out changing the look and feel of the garden.

I have learned that it is important to check as inground plantings are often considered part of the property or a fixture. So 
if you are planning to remove a significant proportion of plantings or obvious plant from your garden it is best to indicate those exclusions in the listing process. If it is decided later than this to remove planting, an amendment should be made with the buyers agreement. It is always best to fully disclose exactly what you are planning to take from the garden. Do always check the law/rules in your country/state exactly the situation when selling. 

Blue grape hyacinths

Five Options To Move House With Your Garden Plants. 

An increasing number of sellers are taking special plants with them when they move house.

So if you want to take your treasured plants and sell the house and garden honestly, what can we do? Here are five possible solutions. 

 1. Dig Up Plants And Move Into Containers Before Selling. 

 At least a year or so before you plan to move if possible, make a plan to dig up and move any treasured plants you must take with you into pots. Before the sale begins put these pots to one side or outside the garden. Make it clear in the selling instructions or listing that anything in a container is an exclusion, not part of the house sale.

This may work for plants that are not too big. For me, this includes several treasured roses, a small Camellia and a few small evergreens. Small herbs are coming with me, two of our strawberry plants and a couple of our many Heucheras. 

Our garden is so packed full of shrubs, perennials, bulbs and other plants that these will not be noticed from the overall plan. However, you need to plan ahead for this as certain plants can only be moved with the least disruption to the plant at specific times of the year. 

purple heuchera

 2. Take Cuttings Of Your Plants And Gather Seeds Before Selling Your Home

 However, some plants are simply too big to move in this way and would leave massive gaps in the garden if I took them with me which would not be fair. For example, our beautiful Camellia and our gorgeous climbing rose.  It would take an enormous effort to dig them up, may, in fact, kill the plant and would leave a gap in planting that would look very wrong in the garden. In addition, they are used every year for birds to nest. I do not want to take this valuable resource away from the wildlife.

 I do not know if the new buyers will want them and I really hope they will keep them. I would be devastated if they felled them, but they are not practical to move. So what I have done is to take cuttings of the camellia and the rose. This way I can take a little of the plant and grow it on to become just as gorgeous as its parent.

pink Camellia flower

No one will notice cuttings taken and it will not change the look of the garden or any current benefit to wildlife. I am also  taking cuttings of our laurels, some of the roses, fuchsias, forsythia, rosemary our large wegelia and bridal bouquet.

 It is important to start this process as soon as you think about moving. For many plants, there is an optimum time to take cuttings. If they do not take one year you will want to have another year to take them so ideally start as early as you know you are moving. 

Taking cuttings will save us a huge amount of money and leave the garden still beautiful for the buyers and available for the wildlife.


3. Negotiate With Buyers About The Plants.

This is an option if you would like to take certain plants with you and have not had time to pot them up before viewings.

When you have a firm offer check with the buyers if they would mind if you took the plant. Some won't mind at all, others may refuse, so this is riskier but still worth asking. 

 Seek advice from your Realtor or Estate agent before taking this course of action. This may need to be negociated and added as an exclusion in the sale agreement.

 4. Ask Buyers If You Can take Unwanted Plants.

 Ask the buyers if they plan to or later decide to get rid of any plants to let you know and you will collect them. It is probably better if the new buyers who are now the homeowners actually dig up the plants and you just collect them otherwise there could be misunderstandings. 

This only works if you remain local and if the buyers actually remember to contact you. I feel this is the least likely strategy to work and could incur issues that may not be worth it.

5. Take Photographs Of Your Garden And Plants

If there are treasured plants that you cannot take with you for whatever reason then take a photograph. We can then carry the memory of the plant with us. 

We can even get the photographs made into posters, greeting cards, or canvas prints such as the one below. 

Tools For Taking Plant Cuttings And Moving Plants

All you need in order to take cuttings is a strong pair of secateurs such as these Wolf ByPass Secateurs.

You will also need some good quality compost for full grown plants and cuttings and however many pots of different sizes you think you will require. 

Labels are also a good idea so you can tell what all the cuttings are.

I like to have a variety of sized pots. I reuse every pot that comes into our garden so none ever go into landfill. 

For the purpose of moving larger treasured plants I have bought a few larger planters in different sizes for the plants I am taking with us. I would recommend ones with handles so that they are easier to move. Once they are served their purpose they will be reused for vegetable growing forever. 

 Advantages To Taking Your Existing Plants

 1. You take treasured plants, especially those with special significance and memories with you. These are valued things you may not be able to bear to leave behind. 

2. You save significant amounts of money on replacing favorite plants. Plants are so expensive now so if you can take cuttings and seeds, especially it will save you a lot of money. 

 3. You have continuity to settle in a new place. Familiar plants may help you to settle more easily.

 4. You can easily stock an empty garden for very little financial outlay. Gardens take time to develop so if you have some plants ready you are ahead. 

 Disadvantages To Taking Your Plants

 1. Your new garden may be very different from your existing one and your plants may not suit or fit the place and the soil type and aspect may be different. For example from heavy clay to chalk. Or South to North facing. 

 2. You may want a totally new start with fresh, maybe very different plants or garden theme. For example a change from cottage garden to modern minimalist. 

 3. You may be moving to a garden that is already well-stocked with plants you love.

 4. You may be moving to a place with a balcony or courtyard your existing plants will not fit into or be happy living there. 

So as an avid gardener who loves her plants I am seeking a happy medium. We are taking some treasured plants and taking cuttings and seeds of others we want. I aim to pot up all those we are taking before the house goes on the market and be upfront with buyers that anything in a container will not be staying.

We have put such a lot into this garden from an empty patch to a vibrant, full and wildlife-friendly paradise. It will be a wrench to leave, but that won't be for quite a while yet and when the time comes I know I will look forward to taking some of the treasured memories with me and creating a new garden.  

More Gardening Articles

Note: The author may receive a commission from purchases made using links found in this article. “As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and/or Esty (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from qualifying purchases.”


  1. Jasmine,what a wonderful, thoughtful approach you are taking in planning for your eventual move! I know how much of yourselves as well as your money you and your husband have invested into making your garden a thing of wild beauty. What a comfort it must be to know that you will still be surrounded by many of your treasured flowers and plants after you move.

    I hope you also will be able to take the amazing swing seat you refurbished so lovingly.

    1. Thank you so much Margaret! Yes I think when you have invested a lot of time, money and love into a garden, we wanted to be able to take some of it with us in the form of plants or cuttings and seeds. I know a lot of people who are now taking plants and cuttings with them when they move house. It is important to consider it carefully though and to be totally up front with the buyers what is staying and what you plan to take, that is only fair and honest. Yes the garden swing seat will be coming with us too!

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. After my siblings and I grew up and left home, my parents downsized from a 3-bedroom house to a smaller place. My mother had rose bushes around the front porch, which she loved. She wished that she could take them with her to her new residence, but the new owners had bought the house with the roses in place. Months later, they happened to drive down their old street and mom saw that the new owners had torn out all the rose buses. She was devastated and dearly wished she'd rescued her roses as she wanted to.

    So, Annie, your gardening article on how to preserve the flowers and plants you love best from your old garden is very helpful. Had mom known about this, she could have had cuttings from her prized rose bushes for planting at her new home.

    1. I am glad you find the article to be helpful. I am sorry to hear what happened to your parents roses, I would have been devastated too. I have seen it happen so often when people buy a house they do sometimes get rid of all the existing planting. Sometimes it is to replace it with their taste in plants , other times it is to pave it all over. I think the reason I am doing all this forward planning is because i saw it with a neighbours garden, all the beautiful roses and flowers were dug up to become additional car parking spaces. Luckily the original neighbours had given me cuttings of some of their roses years before. Many of my plants came from my parents garden and are so very special.

  3. Very thoughtful article. It is clear you have really thought this through. I have several plants in my front flower garden that were originally from my parents' farm. I took parts of the plants and replanted them in my yeard 20 years ago and they have since multiplied and in fact my sisters have taken parts of my plants. They are very special to me...especially now that the farm has been sold.

    1. Thank you Mary, I can see why those plants from your parents farm are so very special to you. It is wonderful that the cuttings from those plants are now thriving in your sisters gardens as well! Plants I have from my parents house and garden hold a special place in my heart too, especially now they are both passed and the house sold. I am so glad I have them so i just cannot leave them behind when we do move.

  4. Moving is difficult and a lot of work. I very much remember the heartbreak I felt leaving my last home and the garden I had planted and nurtured for years. Most of all, I hated leaving my beloved trees. When we listed our home, I doubted the new owners would appreciate the garden and the years of work, but I had nothing to worry about. The new owners chose to buy our home because of the garden and they have continued to care for it. I drive by ever so often (even though it has been 20+ years) and I can see they are excellent caregivers. I did take all potted plants & potted baby trees, but I also made that note in the contract for the house that they would be going with me. The very first thing I did, even before unpacking boxes inside, was plant my Rose of Sharon bush. The following few months I duplicated our original garden by planting the same kind of trees. Gardeners don't just plant bulbs, sprouts, seeds, & saplings in a garden, they plant their hearts there too. That is why it is so hard to leave.

    1. I Love that you said "Gardeners don't just plant bulbs, sprouts, seeds, & saplings in a garden, they plant their hearts there too." That is so true of gardeners and why it is so hard to leave a loved garden. I am so glad your buyers are looking after your garden so well, I would be so happy if that happens to us. I fear most for our front garden as often people want more space for car parking. Yes I think it is very important to put in the contract anything you are taking with you so there are no complications. It is difficult moving house and leaving our treasured gardens all we can do is try to make it as smooth as possible and look forward to making a new garden and new memories.

  5. Your points here about how to take plants, if you plan too, are well advised. In Ontario Canada, inground plantings are considered part of the property (a fixture). If you're planning to remove a significant portion, or an obvious portion of inground plantings that will make a clear difference to the initial appearance of the property, it would be best to indicate these exclusions during the listing process, or if the decision is made after the fact, have an amendment to the offer drafted up with the purchaser agreeing. Full disclosure is always best. Can you tell I'm still a Realtor, lol. I completely empathize with you and your garden, and parting with it. We may be selling in the next few years, and parting with all the landscaping we've nurtured for 30 years is breaking my heart.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. Thank you. Yes I think it is very important to check the law/selling rules in each country/state to check the situation with taking plants from the garden. It is a good idea to indicate any exclusions when listing the property to avoid any complications with the sale and full disclosure is vital I think. I agree it is really hard to leave a garden when you have put a lot into it and its something many of us face.


    3. A great and informative article about an important aspect of moving.

    4. Thank you so much, I appreciate you visiting my article. I am glad you found it informative.

  6. This is a very well thought out plan for anyone who is moving in the future and gives you step by step plans to make that move with your plants intact. This can be done by anyone who is moving if you have the time to do so. I like how well thought out this Review is and appreciate the care and needs of plants that will also make the move with you! Good Luck in your future plans Raintree Annie!

    1. Thank you so much Olivia! Yes if we want to move with some of our plants and take cuttings and seeds it does require forward planning. Not everyone who moves house will know so far in advance but if it is possible to spend a little time taking cuttings and seeds at least then it can mean you take a little of your treasured garden with you and it helps when restocking a new garden.


Most Recent Reviews on Review This Reviews

Search for Reviews by Subject, Author or Title

The Review This Reviews Contributors

SylvestermouseSylvestermouseDawn Rae BDawn Rae BMbgPhotoMbgPhotoBrite-IdeasBrite-IdeasWednesday ElfWednesday ElfOlivia MorrisOlivia MorrisTreasures by BrendaTreasures by BrendaThe Savvy AgeThe Savvy AgeMargaret SchindelMargaret SchindelRaintree AnnieRaintree AnnieLou16Lou16Sam MonacoSam MonacoTracey BoyerTracey BoyerRenaissance WomanRenaissance WomanBarbRadBarbRadBev OwensBev OwensBuckHawkBuckHawkDecorating for EventsDecorating for EventsHeather426Heather426Coletta TeskeColetta TeskeMissMerFaeryMissMerFaeryMickie_GMickie_G


Review This Reviews is Dedicated to the Memory of Our Beloved Friend and Fellow Contributor

Susan DeppnerSusan Deppner

We may be apart, but
You Are Not Forgotten

“As an Amazon Associate, Ebay (EPN) and or Etsy (Awin) Affiliate, I (we) earn from purchases.” Disclosure Statement