How to Look After Your Houseplants When You Go on Holiday
Going on Holiday? You will need to prepare your houseplants to survive in your absence.
If your holiday will be less than a week, watering (but not over-watering) them before leaving and making sure they are not left where they will get too hot or cold is probably all they will need. But if you are leaving your home for longer, you will need to think harder about how the plants will survive in your absence.
If you have a trusted friend or neighbour, you could arrange for them to visit your home while you are away and look after your plants.
Otherwise here are a few suggestions:
- Put all your plants together in the same room where they get indirect sunlight, a little ventilation and will not get too hot or cold. I use my bathroom. Place shade-loving plants in the centre of the group.
- Water the plants as normal. Place trays under the pots containing a layer of gravel and add water to the trays, not above the level of gravel. Don’t let the pots sit in the water.
- Place a bucket of water in the middle of the group. In my bathroom I fill the bath with 10-20 cm of water, plug in.
- Insert a Gro-Sure Houseplant Droplet Feeder into each pot so that you are not only watering your plant but giving it some fertiliser over the period of your absence.
The humidity in the room and around the plants will reduce their need for water. This procedure is usually enough to keep your plants happy and healthy for up to a month.
For large plants that can’t be moved, you could employ the garden twine wick method.
- Fill a bucket or other suitable container with water (the reservoir) and place it on a tabletop close to the plants.
- Cut several lengths of garden twine (the wicks) so they are long enough to reach to your plants from the reservoir.
- Soak the lengths of twine in water for 5 minutes.
- Place an end of each in the water reservoir and fix in place with duct tape or clothes pegs.
- Stick the other end into the soil of your plant pots; making sure that the water reservoir is above the pots and the twine wicks are not touching anything else en route.
- The garden twine wicks will slowly conduct water to your plants by capillary action while you're on the slopes or working on your suntan.
- And insert a Gro-Sure Houseplant Droplet Feeder into each pot. You will find these are useful for pinning the end of the wick into the soil.
The more plants and the longer you're away, the more water you'll need in the reservoir.