There are some proven methods and home remedies you can use to water your plants when on vacation. With a few clever ricks, you can keep your plants healthy and alive. So if you’re worried about watering during your trip, here are effective plant care solutions. Save time and money by using these handy self-watering methods on your houseplants or garden crops.
The thought of the beloved greenery and flowers wilting or even dying during your vacation can actually cause a lot of stress. This is especially true if you’ve spent time and effort tending to your plants. During a scorching mid-summer heat, even a week’s absence can do harm.
Additionally, watering garden or house plants while traveling can be an almost impossible task. However, once you have the know-how, it’s easy to keep them hydrated while you’re away. You don’t necessarily have to rely on a friendly neighbor to stop by and do it for you.
These quick and easy methods and watering schemes will help you plan ahead and prevent your plants from suffering while you’re away. This is especially important in the summer months, when water quickly evaporates from the soil and plants can dry out quickly. However, only use these techniques on crops that require daily watering, such as herbs, vegetables, and some houseplants.
It’s best to leave your succulents alone when you’re out of town. However, the first thing to do, no matter what method you use, is to water all of your plants thoroughly before you leave. Soak pots and containers at the base of the plant until the water rises above the soil. Let this sit and then repeat the process.
Use the Water Wicking Method
To do this, you will need a large water container, such as a vase or bucket, and some cotton rope/shoe lace. A cotton clothesline rope, available at most hardware stores, works great. First cut a piece of it long enough to fit between the bottom of your water container and the soil of your plant.
Then take one end of the rope and push it a few inches below the surface of the soil, close to the plant. Be careful not to damage the roots. First, place the other end of the rope on the bottom of your water container and fill it with water. Make sure your rope touches the bottom of your container. The cotton rope slowly wicks water from the container into the pot, maintaining a constant level of moisture in the soil.
DIY Drip Irrigation System
You’ve probably seen these glass watering balls that you can put in a flower pot to water your plant. You don’t necessarily have to buy these though, as you can easily create your own version. Start with a clean and empty plastic bottle. For a small to medium sized container, a water bottle will work well. Poke several drainage holes in the bottle near the top. Before you go on vacation, water your plant as usual. Fill the plastic bottle with water, then quickly turn it upside down and submerge it in the first few inches of soil in the pot. Make sure the bottle isn’t too close to your plant and that it stays deep enough so that the soil covers the holes. The water will slowly come out of the bottle, when the soil dries up. For larger pots, you can use an empty wine bottle. Just fill it up, put your thumb over the opening before you turn it over and stick it in the ground.
How to Water Your Plants When on Vacation – In the Sink or Bathtub
Indoor potted plants can be kept hydrated by this method in a sink and bath or shower tub and some old towels. In addition, you can give houseplants in pots with good drainage a bath during your absence. To do this, fill your sink or bathtub with a few inches of water and place a towel in it to protect the surface from scratches. Place your potted plants in the sink and leave them there while you’re away. The soil draws water to the roots and keeps the plant hydrated for up to a week. However, also consider the lighting conditions near your sink or tub. If your plants need a lot of sunlight, don’t put them in a dark bathroom.
Turn a Plastic Bag into a Greenhouse
This trick seems unconventional but works well for longer vacations. Get a clear plastic bag big enough to cover your plant and its pot. Put stakes in the pot to prevent the bag from sticking to the plants. Some home gardeners find that the bag should definitely not touch the leaves, but a little contact is fine. Water your plants as usual, being careful not to over-saturate them. Place the plant in the bag and pull the plastic up and around your plant. Blow some air into the bag before sealing to allow it to inflate around your plant. It’s safer if the bag doesn’t press against the leaves. Leave your plant in a place with indirect light. Direct sunlight will heat up the bag and likely kill the plant. Such a mini greenhouse catches water as it evaporates and drips it back into the plant.
Use Water-Retaining Granules
Water-storing granules will water your plants when on vacation. Such products are readily available and are a great way to reduce the frequency of watering your plants. They hold water and release it over time, ensuring the soil stays moist. Follow the directions on the package of your chosen product. In general, you simply need to mix the granules into the soil. Such products can be effective for both potted plants and in-ground flower beds.
Try Self-Watering Planters
An even more reliable way to keep your potted plants healthy while you’re away is with specially designed planters. Even if you’re at home but don’t have time to water, it’s worth investing in self-watering planters. They’re perfect if you’re looking for light plant care, as the clever containers allow plants’ roots to access water from an integrated reservoir when needed. There are also many different designs to choose from these days, so you don’t have to compromise on style.