At some point in our lives, we have come back from a relaxing getaway only to find that all our plants have perished. Unfortunately, this was the case for me despite being gone for three days. However, I have learned that there are many ways you keep your plants alive during vacation. Here are a few tips and tricks that can easily be implemented to save you (and your plants) from a crispy fate.
How to Keep Plants Alive During Vacation:
Group Your Plants
First things first, group your plants according to need. Personally, my biggest mistake is leaving the wrong plants in intense sunlight. Thus, categories you may want to consider include light and humidity. For example, group all your cacti and succulents together. These kinds of plants require a window that recieves bright light all day. If you have ferns, they would definitely dry up if you treat them like succulents. Instead, find a window that gets indirect sunlight. Not only will this ensure that their sunlight needs are met, but putting them together will help retain humidity.
Thinking about your plants’ needs is also essential during the change of seasons. For more tips on that, read up on how to care for your plants during the winter.
Plant Spikes and Bulbs
Both plant spikes and watering bulbs are perfect ways to slowly water your plant without lifting a finger. Since the mouth of each vessel is so tiny, water leaks out at a slow rate. This rate is also determined by the dryness of the soil as the moisture is absorbed until it reaches equilibrium. I replenish my globe about once or twice a week so this is perfect for vacation.
Additionally, a quick DIY is to punch a tiny hole through a water bottle cap for a plant spike in a pinch. Just be sure to sterilize your water bottle before introducing it to the soil.
Sub Irrigation Systems
If you want to get fancy or own a lot of plants that require frequent watering, a sub-irrigation system may work for you. It is essentially a watering system within a container that starts below the plant. For this reason, it is great for plant walls and city living. Through this method, roots take up water through capillary action. This mimics how plants take up water from the ground, thus conserving water and preventing root rot.
String and Jar
This trick is exactly what it sounds like. Using a cotton string, place one side in a jar of water and the other side a few inches into the soil. Through capillary action, water will travel from the jar to the soil until it is moist. Again, this is another way to prevent over/under watering at a very low cost. For more on the art of watering plants, be sure to check out this handy article.
If you’re planning to be away for more than two weeks, realistically you will need a little more help. At that point, your watering globes or jars will empty and your plants may dry out. Ask a friend or family member to check in on your plant pals weekly or biweekly to water your plants or refill your self-watering systems.