How to Keep Your Plants Happy While You're Away
Jul 07, 2023
Going on vacation is a much-needed break from our daily routines, but it can be worrisome for plant parents who want to make sure their green friends are thriving while they're away. Fortunately, there are several simple steps you can take to keep your plants alive and healthy while on vacation. Whether you're planning a short weekend trip or a longer getaway, this post will provide you with some tips and tricks to ensure your plants stay happy and healthy in your absence.
Tips to Keep Your Plant Happy While You're Away
Timing Your Vacation with Your Plant's Needs
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Before booking your vacation, it's important to consider your plants' needs. Check the care instructions for each plant, and make a note of their watering, lighting, and temperature requirements. If you have plants that need frequent care, consider planning your vacation during a time when they need less attention, which, for most plants, is usually during the winter season.
Finding a Plant-Sitter
If you have plants that need daily care, it's a good idea to find a plant-sitter to take care of them in your absence. You can ask your friends or family to look after your plants while you are away. You can group plants by type and needs and place them in the same spot, leaving clear notes on their watering and fertilising requirements. Grouping them together also helps with increased humidity levels, which would benefit most indoor plants.
Use Your Kitchen Sink
If you don't have a lot of plants, you can fill up your kitchen sink with water, and place your plants together in the sink. Remove the bottom saucer and ensure that your planters have drainage holes in them. Doing this will help your plants wick up the water they need through the drain holes, without waterlogging their roots. You could also use self-watering planters instead.
Drip Bottle Method
If you're looking for a simple and effective way to keep your plants hydrated while you're away, you can create a DIY watering system using a plastic bottle. You start by creating five small holes in the cap. Turn the cap upside down and use a sharp object, like a needle or pin, to puncture the holes in different spots. Fill the plastic bottle with water and screw the cap back on tightly. Then, dig a hole in the soil of the plant's planter that's deep enough for the bottle neck to fit through, and insert the bottle into the soil cap first. The water will gradually seep out of the holes in the cap and keep your plant hydrated. This is an easy and low-cost way to ensure your plants stay healthy, even when you're not around to water them regularly.
Bring Plants Indoors
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You can bring smaller outdoor plants indoors so that they can be protected from the harsh sun and other external elements in your absence. They may take time to adjust to the new environment and may lose a few leaves, but they should be fine for at least a week.
There are many ways to create a mini greenhouse for your plants, depending on their size and type. The goal is to create a humid micro-climate, similar to a terrarium, by covering the plants with a clear plastic bag. Place stakes at the four corners of the planter to create a tent-like structure, to support the plastic bag. After watering your plant, cover it with the plastic bag and place it in a location away from direct sunlight. The humid environment created inside the mini greenhouse will cause water droplets to form and fall onto the plant, effectively watering it.
Preparing Your Plants for Your Absence
Before you leave, make sure your plants are in good health. Water them thoroughly but avoid overwatering as this can cause root rot. Consider moving them to a location with more natural light, or you can move them to a shaded area if you are travelling during summer, to prevent them from drying out. If your plants are sensitive to temperature changes, try to maintain a consistent temperature in your homes before leaving. You can also place water trays next to your plants to help with the humidity levels.
After a relaxing and rejuvenating vacation, the last thing you want to come home to is a sad and wilted plant collection. Luckily, with a little post-vacation care, you can ensure your green friends return to their healthy state
First things first, assess the health of your plants upon your return. Take a closer look at the leaves and soil to see if they are showing signs of dehydration or overwatering. If the soil is dry and the leaves are crispy, it's a clear sign that your plants have been thirsty while you were away. On the other hand, if the soil is waterlogged and the leaves are droopy, it's likely that they received too much water during your absence.
Next, it's time to reintroduce your plants to their regular routine. Give them a good watering and place them back in their usual spots. Don't be tempted to overcompensate for your absence by giving them too much water or fertilizer all at once. Remember, less is more!
Finally, if you notice any issues that may have arisen during your absence, take action to treat them. For example, if you see signs of pests, such as webbing or small bugs, you may need to use an insecticide or remove the affected leaves. If you notice any yellowing or browning leaves, it could be a sign of a nutrient deficiency, in which case you may need to fertilize your plants.
Planning a vacation while being a plant parent does not have to be a daunting task. If you do travel frequently, consider choosing plants that are low-maintenance and that can thrive without a lot of attention. With a little bit of preparation and planning, you can ensure your green friends stay healthy and happy in your absence!
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