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House moving and needing plant advice

I am due to move shortly and I am hoping to be able to dig up and pot up some of my established shrubs and trees with me. I would like advice on potting them up and if they need feeding or covering during the winter months.

I live near Lands End in Cornwall so don't get many frosts but a lot of misty, damp, salty and windy weather. The plants will need to be left in pots for a few months as the new property has a garden that is neglected and overgrown so will need a lot of work before planting begins.

I have olive trees, bottle bush trees, bay trees, ornamental willow trees, raspberry bushes, gooseberry bushes and a lovely collection of fushias and a collection of different grasses and bamboos.

Should I cover them with anything once they are potted up and will they need watering or do I just leave it to the rain to do its work ? Do I need to feed them or leave that till the spring time ? Is there any particular potting compost I should use ? What size pots should I use in relation to the size of the plants and finally do I need to trim any of the roots or leave them intact ?

I am sorry for the long list of questions but I hope gardeners with more experience than I have will be able to help me as I hope to move them all successfully and dont want to do anything wrong. Many thanks, Rosey



  • PalustrisPalustris Posts: 3,953

    Important to remember that you must specifically exclude any plants form the sale and make sure the purchasers know it. Plants in the soil belong to the property and as such removing them without excluding them is illegal.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,023

    You can always take cuttings from favourite shrubs which are too big to move but it's probably a bit late now unfortunately. image

    Most shrubs that are dormant are easy enough to move if you get a decent rootball on them. Don't let them get dried out before you pot them up or plant them in their new home. I've sometimes put stuff in black bin bags to move them when I don't have enough pots. They've always survived. Dug them out and shoved them in. Put them in as soon as I'd moved and they didn't even know they were in a different garden! image

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,085

    Hello , I have moved house a couple of times and took a few plants 

    if where you are moving to starts to get frosts/ snow I would protect them with fleece , also check out that the pots do not dry out.  Would not worry about size of pots , roots as long as they fit into pots and don't feed them

    best of luckimage

  • It depends a lot on the scale of what you are doing. I found these large plastic tub trugs great for moving large plants, and even as temporary pots, with or without drainage holes made. They are cheap relative to the value of most large plants, and easy to carry by the handles. They are also useful for moving heavy pots. You can also just lay shallow rooted plants on the new garden, with weed suppressing fabric under preferably, and pour some soil round the exposed roots for protection, moving them later, preferably before spring growth gets going.

  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,023

    I've done that too trillium and it's very successful - a kind of overground heeling in image

    Those big trugs are great - the supermarkets often sell them cheaply - I have two or three which were only £3 and I have a slightly smaller one which I use for deadheading etc which was £2. Builder's buckets from DIY stores are only £1 so they're very useful too for shifting clumps of perennials etc .

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • Thank you everyone for all your useful information.

    The link you gave me was extremely useful to read and I have sent it on to a couple of other friends who are moving aswell.

    I have collected a wide range of containers over the summer to repot the plants into but hadn't thought of using bin liners or trugs which seem such a good idea. Pots are so expensive the bigger you need to use.

    Hopefully the plants will move ok and I will definitely be taking up all your advice. I expect I will be back again for advice when I start on the new garden as it is a neglected mess that needs a lot of attention before I even think about planting my plants back into it.


  • FairygirlFairygirl west central ScotlandPosts: 48,023

    Any hardy shrubs or perennials will survive in pots and bags etc for quite a while as long as they don't get dried out or waterlogged. Good luck with your move Rosey - hope it's a dry day!

    It's a place where beautiful isn't enough of a word....

  • GWRSGWRS Posts: 8,085

    Hope the move goes wellimage

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