'Tis the season to hit the road to get a repreive from the daily grind. But what do summer travel plans mean for plant parents? Continue reading to learn how to help your plants survive your summer vacation.
Water Before You Go
Depending on the length of your trip, you may only need to give your plants a good soak before you leave. If you plan to be away for about a week or less, this is a good option for you.
We recommend taking your plants outside and using a hose to drench the soil. Some plants, like the Swiss cheese plant (Monstera deliciosa) or fiddle-leaf fig (Ficus lyrata) will also enjoy some mist action on their leaves. Let them dry out a bit in a shady spot with filtered sunlight before bringing them back in.
If you don't have access to a hose, give you plants a refreshing shower in your bathroom. You'll want to be sure to use lukewarm to warm water, as many houseplants do not respond well to cold water.
Keep in mind that your succulents don't need much water to begin with and will likely enjoy your absence. You only need to worry about getting them a drink if you are going to be gone for a month or longer.
Set Up a Self-Watering System
If you plan on being gone for more than a week, you'll want to consider setting up a self-watering system for your plants, specifically your tropicals. You can buy self-watering devices online (here are some of our favorites). You can also make your own from items you likely have laying around the house, like shoelaces or plastic bottles.
For your tropical plants, it's also a good idea to set up humidity trays while you're away (especially if you're leaving your AC on which can dry out your home). You can make these yourself. Here's how.
Make Use of Timers
Some of our more experienced plant parents use devices like humidifiers or grow lights to help their babies grow in their home. If you aren one of these plant parents, we suggest investing in plug in timers to schedule when your plants need extra light or humidity while you're away. There are many different kinds of timers, both digital and mechanical. Our favorite are the inexpensive indoor, mechanical 24-hour plug timers.
Timers are also a great tool to use for watering your outdoor plants while you're away. You can set a sprinkler to run every other day for your outside plants, without having to invest a lot of time or money into an fancy irrigation system.
Hire A Sitter
If you're not comfortable with timers, or you have other "children" at home while you're away, like a dog or cat, hiring a sitter to lookout for you plants is a good idea. We like to leave our plant sitter with written instructions. For example:
Thanks for taking care of my plants! All plant supplies are labeled and located in pantry downstairs. Extra mister and water is in upstairs bedroom for humidifier as needed. Here's what I need you to do:
- Fill the humidifiers each day. There is one upstairs and two downstairs.
- Top off the humidity trays each day for the four prayer plants that are on the hearth of the fireplace and the two large plants in the dining room.
It's also helpful for your plant sitter if you can group plants by their water/humidity needs. This helps avoid any confusion. Proximity to other plants in a group also helps create more humidity, which is preferable for tropicals.
What do you do to keep your plants healthy while you're on vacation?