How to keep indoor plants alive when you are on holidays
I became an indoor plant parent around 2019 and really had to resist the urge to turn the house into an indoor rainforest during Covid-19 lockdowns in 2020.
You know the story, it starts with 1 (to check the cat wouldn’t eat it), then becomes 2 then somehow ends up at 10+! Oh and then you see a cute pot, and you really NEED it, and it NEEDS a plant so back to the nursery you go…
On a more serious note, I now need to think about how to keep my plant babies alive when we go on holidays. We do normally have someone come and check the cat so they could also water the plants if needed. But not everyone has someone come and check the house – so how can you keep your plants happy?
Updated 16.04.2021. Any post on this site may contain affiliate links which could result in Many Journeys Blog receiving a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Below are ideas to keep your plants watered if you don’t want to organise a plant-sitter while you are away.
Put the plants in a bath with 1 cm of water. This seems like the simplest and best idea provided you have a bath. If you don’t have too many plants then a sink would work fine.
Slow seepage with a bottle
Put holes in the lid of a bottle and insert into the soil. Some tutorials suggest cutting the bottle in half but this can cause the water to drain too quickly so it is better to leave the bottle whole. Also make sure the soil is already wet to avoid the water draining too quickly. Alternatively, there are attachments you can buy that fit standard size soft-drink bottles.
Terracotta water dripper
Fill with water and then the water slowly seeps through the terracotta into the soil. I have the snail dripper from Oxfam (sadly they no longer have online or retails stores) and find it works well for smaller pots and looks super cute!
Sealable bag with thread
Essentially you thread cotton through the base of sealable bag and water slowly seeps down the cotton into your pot. There is a tutorial on the Instructables website.
Have twine running between a pot of water and your plant pots. Water will move down the twine and keep soil moist. Detailed instructions can be found at Scissors and Sage.
Capillary Watering Mats
These mats are made of absorbent fabric such as felt. They absorb water from a reservoir and then the soil in the pot draws moisture from the mat. Again, the Instructables website has a tutorial.
Water crystals or wetting agents
There any many products stocked in plant nurseries and hardware stores that can increase the water holding capacity of the soil. These are generally low cost and easy to apply.
Give your plants some love before you leave and trim off any dead leaves and fertilise if needed. If you are moving your plants into one location for someone to water make sure they still have the right amount of light. May also be worth doing a quick check for any pests so these can be removed before you go.