How to keep your plants alive when you go on holiday
You don’t have to be in the same place, or country, to keep your plants happy. All it takes is a bit of planning.
We all need a break sometimes, but how do you water your indoor plants when you go away on holiday? You can’t take them with you (seriously, don’t) and you don’t want to come home to dead plants.
Here are a few simple tips to keep your plants sufficiently watered while you enjoy some sun/ski/anything else.
If it’s winter, don’t worry
The first thing to remember is that if you’re going away in late autumn or winter your plants are likely to be dormant.
They won’t be growing so a week or so without water won’t bother them. But consider moving them to a well-insulated room, so they don’t get too cold.
Move your plants out of the sun
If left in a spot that sunny and warm, your plants will lose water more quickly, through evaporation and faster drinking.
Move them away from the window so they still get some light, but aren’t exposed to too much heat.
Water thoroughly before you leave
The most important thing to do is to give your plants a really good water before you go on holiday.
You should still let the excess drain off fully - you don’t want to leave them sitting in water - but a good drink should mean they’ll be fine for at least a week.
Huddle them together
If you group your plants together they’ll create their own little microclimate, which will help to keep the air around them moist. Also they can chat to each other while you’re away.
Use the wet rag trick
A little DIY trick you can try is to put a glass or bowl of water next to your plant, then get a length of cotton rag or rope. Put one end in the water and the other end in your plant’s soil.
Your plant should suck up the water as it needs it.
Put damp newspaper on the soil
After you’ve watered your plants, soak some sheets of newspaper in water and then lay them on top of the soil. Try to cover all the surface.
This will stop water evaporating so quickly and help to keep the soil moist for longer.
Get some hydrospikes
Hydrospikes are nifty little gadgets you fill with water and then stick in your plants’ soil. Your plants will suck up the water as they need it.
These are a good idea for plants that cope less well with drought, like ferns and fiddle leaf figs.
Ask a plant-loving friend
It’s often recommended that you ask a friend to water your plants while you’re on holiday, but this isn’t always the best idea. A well-meaning friend who doesn’t know plants may accidentally cause more harm than good by overwatering. Also, people can forget, through no fault of their own.
If you have a local friend who’s great with plants, ask them, but unless you’re going away for more than two weeks you shouldn’t worry too much.
Be gentle when you get home
When you get back from your holiday, don’t panic if your plants look a bit wilted. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can recover after a gentle watering.
Don’t be tempted to overcompensate and give them too much water. Just take it easy. No use undoing all that holiday calm.