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8 Ways to Keep Plants Alive on Summer Vacation

Updated: Jan 25

Whether you have a long weekend at the beach, or an international adventure planned, we are sharing our tips and tricks for keeping your plants thriving at home, while you are thriving on vacation!

Here are our tips to keep your plants watered and happy while you are gone:

1. Soak Your Plants

Give all of your plants a good soak before you leave! Aside from your drought tolerant houseplants, like snake plants or succulents, you want to thoroughly water your plants before leaving. We recommend watering each plant until the soil is fully saturated and excess water begins draining from the drainage holes. Discard of this excess water to avoid root rot! This will be adequate for a trip that is less than a week long.

2. Set Up DIY Self Watering Systems

If your trip is longer than a week, you might want to look into setting up a DIY self watering system! Use a capillary wick to transfer water from a reservoir to your plants soil - place one end of the wick in a bowl of water and the other end in the soil of your plant. The plant will pull in as much water as it needs. Make sure your bowl contains enough water for the duration of the trip! A second DIY option is to use a bottle to slowly trickle water into the plant's soil. You can use an old plastic or glass bottle to do this - poke a small hole in the top of the bottle, fill with water, and place upside down in the soil! The water will slowly trickle through the hole, providing the plant with a steady amount of water!

3. Move Plants to a Shady Area

Moving plants to a shady spot is a great way to conserve water! Plants use a process called transpiration to absorb water and moisture. The more sunlight the plant is exposed to, the higher the rate of transpiration, and in turn the more water the plant needs to continue growing. Temporarily moving your plants a few feet away from the sunny window will slow growth and can help the water last for a few extra days! Plants that are already in a lower light area don't need to be moved, just your sun-loving plants!

4. Maintain Comfortable Temperature

Another way to prevent excess water uptake is to maintain a constant and comfortable temperature for your plants. If your plants are outside, make sure to keep an eye on the upcoming forecast for any heat waves or dips into lower temperature that might occur while you are gone. Take precaution to protect your plants from dangerous weather conditions! For your indoor plants, don't leave the AC, fans, or heat blowing on or near your plants. These systems can quickly suck up the moisture from the air and soil of your plants!

5. Add a Moisture Maintaining Layer to Soil

Another way to keep moisture maintained in the soil, is adding a layer of moss, mulch, or wood chips to the top of the pot. This layer will prevent the water from evaporating out of the top of the plant! Pebble trays are also great ways to boost the moisture!

6. Don't Fertilize Your Plants

You want your plant to grow as slowly as possible, to conserve water and energy! So hold off on the fertilizer until you return. You may want to decrease or stop fertilizing altogether in the weeks leading up to your vacation as well.

7. Group Plants Together

Place several of your plants together in a group! Grouping plants together is a great way to conserve moisture and humidity. Even better, place your group of plants in a small room, like a bathroom! The smaller the space, the easier it is for the plants to maintain moisture in their soil, and humidity in the air!

8. Call a Friend!

Give a trusted friend or family member the run down on how to care for your plants while you are gone. This will give you peace of mind and will ensure your plants don't miss you too much!

Now that your plants are ready, you can get back to packing, planning, and preparing for your vacation! Enjoy your trip with the peace of mind that your plants are happy and healthy, waiting for your return!

If you are a frequent traveler, consider filling your home with drought tolerant plants that won't miss you (too much) while you are gone. These plants are for you:


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