You’ve packed your bags, made arrangements with the pet sitter, and thrown out those suspicious leftovers in the back of the fridge. You are almost ready for vacation! Just one last thing to consider: how to keep your houseplants alive while you’re away.
Depending on what types of plants you parent and the length of your travels, you may be able to make some slight adjustments to keep your plants happy and thriving without having to bribe a friend to care for them.
Here are the key tips to set your plants up for success and give yourself a worry-free vacation…
Put similar plants together
Start off by grouping your plants together based on which ones have similar water and light needs. Cacti and other succulents generally need moderate sunlight and little water to thrive, so they’ll require the least amount of prep before you switch into vacation mode.
Group tropical plants together, keeping in mind that they tend to have higher humidity and temperature needs. Placing these plants in close proximity creates a more humid microclimate around them as they release moisture through their leaves (ie. the process of transpiration!)
Adjust those temps
If you haven’t already, place your plants with the highest sunlight needs near south and east facing windows. Keep plants with foliage that burn easily away from bright windows. In the winter, move all plants at least a foot away from drafty windows and doors to avoid cold exposure.
Consider your average indoor temperature and if possible, set the thermostat between 65 - 70 degrees Fahrenheit. If you’re concerned about wasting energy (which we totally understand), you can create a temporary greenhouse for plants that prefer a particularly hot and humid climate.
Set up an automatic watering system
The biggest question on leaving plants unattended for more than a few days is how will they be watered? My plant babies will get thirsty! You might say. Luckily there are some great options for automatic plant watering systems, from drip irrigation kits to self-watering pots to plant watering spikes and globes that will gradually release water as the soil runs dry. Which one you choose is completely up to personal preference, what your budget is, and how technical you want to get.
If any of the above seems like too much to think about, you can always bribe a green-thumbed friend to care for your plant babies. With a new house plant, obvi.
Photo by @plantastic_mr_fox