Going out of town for a few days of much-needed rest and relaxation may be the ultimate escape, but it can also leave you stressed and anxious if you happen to have some plants around the house. What’s the best way to care for those beauties and ensure that you don’t arrive home to a bunch of wilted greenery? Whether you’re gone for a week or several months, it’s important to put a little energy into caring for them so that they look their best when you come back home. Here’s what to do.
Give Them a Thorough Cleaning
If it’s been a while since you last gave your plants some TLC, now is the time to assess them all from top to bottom. Take stock of their overall condition and pay special attention to problems like dead or curling leaves. Anything that looks out of place should be removed so that they don’t rob the plant of the vital energy that it needs to thrive in your absence. Decay doesn’t do your plant any favors, and may instead potentially cause the problem to grow worse with time. Take a peek at the soil while you’re at it to make sure there isn’t any dead leaf matter lingering on or within it.
Provide Them With Enough Water
You never want to overwater your plants — that could leave them at risk of developing rot and issues like mold formation on the soil. But you should definitely provide them with some good moisture before you head out the door. To determine how much they need, feel the soil. The topmost inch or so should be relatively dry, at which point it’s perfectly safe to soak them thoroughly. Do keep your specific plant’s needs in mind, however, as some may not require as much. Make sure to water enough that it flows out of the container’s bottom.
Set Up an Indoor Jungle
If you’ve already cultivated an indoor jungle where all of your plants are grouped together, then you’re in a good place already. But if your greenery is dispersed throughout the house, now is a good time to temporarily relocate everything to a single space. Doing so elevates humidity levels in that area, a factor that’s crucial to your plants’ health and longevity. Before you leave for your trip, spritz your plants lightly with water to keep them fresh and moist.
Add Water to a Saucer
For a relatively quick and economical way to give your plants a little moisture boost while you’re gone, you can fill a saucer that’s approximately the same size as the plant’s container with water. Place it directly on top so that the soil gets a little extra hydration while you’re out of town. Keep in mind this is really only a viable and practical solution if you expect to be gone for no more than a couple of days. A small saucer typically won’t hold enough to feed a plant if you’re gone for a week or more.
Try the Water Bottle Trick
With a little ingenuity, however, you can easily give your plants the moisture they need even for a longer getaway. Take an empty water bottle and puncture several holes along the sides, plus a few at the bottom. Before you leave, water the plant directly. Then nestle the empty bottle into the soil so that only an inch of the top is visible. Fill it with water from the opening and place the cap snugly on top to reduce the risk of evaporation while you’re away. This is a slow-drip, self-watering option that hydrates your plants on a deeper level. You can depend on it to do the job for at least four or five days.
It’s not always easy to leave your plants behind, even if you are headed on an exciting vacation. But by taking a few creative measures, you can be confident that your greenery will look its best when you return.