Jaipi Sixbear is an established author of hundreds of helpful online articles. Jaipi learned to garden at an early age. She has old and new tips and tricks for growing your best garden ever.
Heading out of town? Can’t afford a plant sitter? Afraid you’ll come home try dry, wilted plants? Here’s some helpful tips for maintaining houseplants while you’re on vacation.
Feed plants the day before you leave.
Your plants will be experiencing different conditions while you are away. Giving them a nutritional boost can help them deal. Plants aren’t people. They don’t have emotions. Still, they do go into shock when handled or positioned differently. Nutrition before transition is wise. There’s also another good reason to feed them before leaving town. Doing so means your only concern is keeping houseplants moist while you are away. There are several watering techniques that work well on vacation. When choosing the best method, consider the needs of each plant.
The bathtub method of vacation watering is quite popular.
That’s because it works well for most common houseplants. Simply fill the bathtub with several inches of water. Place your potted plants in the tub. While you are away, your plants will absorb the water to stay healthy. Since they are being bottom watered, the chance of them getting too much water is slim. One drawback to this method is that most bathrooms are fairly dark. Plants that need substantial light may suffer. In addition, this method doesn’t work for succulents or other plants that require less water.
If your plants need substantial light, try this technique.
Leave your plant in it’s normal sunny location. Water it well. Remove the plant saucer to expose drainage holes. Wrap the plant in cellophane. This creates a sort of greenhouse for the plant. Water will collect on the cellophane and rain on the plant. Excess run-off will allow the plant to drink from the bottom. If your plant uses a considerable amount of water, place it in a large bowl before wrapping it. Fill the bowl with an inch or two of water.
What about succulents and other desert plants?
Never leave arid climate plants soaking in water while on vacation. They are used to hot, dry weather and little water. Time your watering schedule so they receive a thorough watering just before you leave. They should be fine until you arrive home. If you plan to be gone longer than a week or two, take an extra precaution. Rather than leaving them to bask in the hot sun, which they normally love, place them in an area that gets filtered sunlight. This way, the water you provided them before your trip will sustain them longer.