If you’re moving home (or office for that matter) and have large pot plants to take into account, then a bit of forward planning just might be advisable.
Professional furniture removals companies will typically cope with such items as a matter of routine, but there are a few points to consider in advance – at least if you wish to avoid gasps of shock and horror from your removals team on the day!
• If your plants are tall, let’s say roughly anything much over about 2.20 metres in height (about 7 foot 2 inches), then warn your removals company. The maximum internal height restrictions of a vehicle might mean your plants will need to be pruned down a little. That’s something you’ll want to do in advance and in a relaxed fashion, rather than starting to frantically hack them in a panic on removal day itself.
• It’s hopefully stating the obvious but if your furniture is going into storage for a period of anything over say 24 hours, you should take specialist advice about watering and the effect of a loss of light. Many plants will cope adequately with both for shorter periods but more sensitive ones might not.
• Think ahead about external plants in large stone/cement/iron pots or troughs. Sometimes these are too heavy to be lifted by hand, even if the guys concerned are strong and fit. Lifting equipment might be needed – so make sure that such items are clearly drawn to the attention of the removers during their initial survey and quotation.
• Remember that in the case of some external plants in aged wooden pots, it’s possible that their roots will have grown through the pot or trough over several years and may now go deeply into the soil they stand on. If so, it’s very likely that they’ll be difficult to move and that’ll be even more so if you’ve packed away your shovels and spades in advance. Note that many removals companies won’t consider the last-minute digging up of your plants to be part of their legitimate service responsibilities.
• A word of warning on legalities here too. Most non-movable plants in your garden will typically be considered ‘fixtures and fittings’ and therefore will be considered to be included in the sale. Digging lots of them up and taking them with you, could be considered to be theft unless you have explicitly noted your intention to do so as part of the sale contract. A grey area might also exist when plants form part of a fixed or semi-fixed installation in the house, such as a tree in a cemented-in pot in an atrium. Take legal advice before you just start to dismantle such plants and their fittings as part of your removal.