If you’re taking a much-needed break after 2021? Bon voyage! We’re very jelly. But let’s not forget about our plant babies. Whether you’re a long serving plant parent or just purchased your first, your enthusiasm for your holiday might be dampened by the fear of coming back from your holiday only to see your beloved leafy greens wilted, missing leaves or in tatters.
Here are some quick and easy methods to help prevent your plant suffering and alleviate any concerns.
The obvious one and honestly the best tip of all is to see if you can’t find a (trusted) plant sitter. Be it a friend or kind neighbour, leave them with clear plant care instructions or walk them through it before your big trip. Short of this, here are some helpful pointers.
Before you leave, make sure to take out the secateurs and deadhead or trim off any dead, dying, or unsightly leaves, buds or flowers. Your plant will burn unnecessary energy and require more water and light to maintain these unwanted parts.
Pruning dry leaves of indoor plants
If you’re only going away for the week or less, give your plants a good and thorough soaking before you leave. This will make sure your plants are well hydrated and won’t go thirsty while you’re on holiday. A reminder, to remove any excess water in the saucer so that your plant doesn’t sit in soggy soil for too long which can lead to root rot and attract pests.
Going on holiday for a more substantive amount of time? Lucky ducks. You may wish to try some of these DIY watering systems.
Old school water wick
For this you will need a vessel to hold water (bottle, vase, bucket) and some cotton thread (perhaps you have some left over from your macramé hangers).
- Cut a length of the rope (~30cm) and give it a quick soak in some water.
- Next, fill your vase with water and place it next to your potted plant (ensuring the mouth of the container is higher than the base of your plant).
- Take one end of the rope and place it into your water container (making sure it reaches the bottom) and push the other end into your soil a few centimetres deep. Alternatively, you may wish to place the pot over the container and poke the thread through a drainage hole of your pot (as pictured).
Either way, the cotton rope will slowly wick water from the container into the pot.
Wick watering from below
The bottle method
This method requires a plastic bottle (size will depend on the size of your plant and planter) and a drill or sharp instrument.
- Using your utensil of choice, place a couple of small holes in the lid of the bottle.
- Fill your bottle with water, reattach the lid and whilst holding your thumb over the top, push the bottle top down into the soil.
The water will slowly release into the soil whilst you’re blissfully on holiday.
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Light and temperature can drastically affect your plant’s growth and care requirements. If you’re going away for a prolonged period, it may be beneficial to move your plants away from the windows, so they won’t photosynthesize and draw through the moisture as quickly. By no means are we suggesting you move your plant to a shaded or dark corner or so far from the window your plant can no longer see the sun but even a slight shift can significantly reduce light intake. Grouping your plants will together will also assist with humidity and reduce transpiration and evaporation.
Grouping houseplants on a shelf