How to Save Your Houseplants While Vacationing

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Written by:  Aimee Jarrels, Extension Master Gardener Volunteer of Pender County

Caring for houseplants is a trend most people can afford to keep up with and reap the benefits of without facing many drawbacks. However, much like pets, houseplants do need to be looked after even while you’re away from home for longer periods of time. The plus side? Most plants can survive well enough for a few days even without your attention (not all though).

Seeing as summer is right around the corner, people may be gearing up to spend their off-days with their families perhaps away from home. While you’re out vacationing, who’s going to feed your green pot plant babies? Well, here are a couple of tips and tricks that can save your houseplants while you have your share of fun.

What do you need?

  • Your pots should have drainage holes at the bottom surface to avoid the collection of water and damping that can lead to root rot or even mold.
  • These tricks work for plants that need to be watered weekly. But, if you own cacti and succulents you’re good to go for at least a month.

Garden Twine Trick

Place a bucket or bin or even a frying pan with tap water on a table. This will act as the water reservoir. Make several sections of garden twine or wick and soak them. Once they’ve absorbed the water completely, place an end of each section inside the water reservoir and fix the other end inside the soil of your pot plants. Be sure to keep the water reservoir elevated so the water can travel down with gravity. The garden twine will slowly conduct the water directly to the roots through capillary action.

Damp Towel Trick

Place a towel or a thick and fibrous linen cloth in a tray filled with water to humidify it. Then put your potted plant on top. Add additional water as required. This creates a humid zone close to the roots. The longer you are away from your home, the more water you will need.

These methods are cheap and simple to set up. They can be fixed with material lying around your house and don’t take much time to manage either. Although simple, these tricks work better than high-tech sensors.

Self-Watering Pots

Self-watering pots are easily available in any gardening store or horticulture shop. They are relatively affordable and fairly simple to use. These pots save time and effort. The age-old culture of asking a friend, relative, or neighbor is another way to save your precious houseplants. Depending on the area, some plant shops offer plant maintenance services at a daily cost as well.

Other things to consider while away are the room temperature, humidity control, and the presence of sunlight. Be sure to study up on the plants you keep for any special requirements or care to think of an alternative. With these tips by your side, you won’t be seeing shriveled stems or brown leaves any time soon.