How to Water House Plants While Away on Vacation


Picture of watering a plant

Are you going out on holiday and worried about your herbs, vegetables, and high-water demand houseplants? It would be best to never worry about letting them suffer because we have many methods to help keep your plants watered while away from home.

Sometimes if you are a forgetful gardener, you might forget to have a watering schedule for your plants. This scenario remains worse if you are in the middle of packing and planning a holiday. Just like pets, your plants also rely on you for water, especially if they are indoors.

Therefore, you must ensure that they get regular watering even when you are away on vacation or else, they may not survive.

Fortunately, our ultimate guide to maintaining beautiful houseplants and a healthy garden include many ways to water your plants while away. This article will explore methods such as wicking that will help keep your plants healthy no matter how long you stay on holiday.

Most of these methods will keep your plant healthy using recycled materials in your storeroom. In addition to vacationers, forgetful gardeners can also utilize such methods to keep their plants healthy.

13 ways Keep Your Plants Watered While You are on holiday

If you are planning a summer vacation, you may need a better hydration plan for your plants, mainly because water evaporates faster during this season. The house plant’s healthy vegetables you have worked hard to maintain can quickly dry out unless you know the tricks to keep them hydrated when you are not at home to care for them as always.

No matter the method you choose, always water your plants thoroughly before you leave. If you use hanging baskets or plant pots, ensure that you soak the soil until the water rises above it. Use the following top 12 methods to water your plants while on holiday:

1. The Old-school Water Wicking System

picture of water wickering system

This mechanism is best when you have large, unmovable plants. Gardeners with too many plants they cannot move can also use this technique. You will need a long and absorbent wicking material from the bottom of the water vessel to some inches beneath the surface of your plant potting soil and a container that can hold enough water for your plants.

Some of the suitable wicking materials include cut costumes, cotton, nylon, or even yarn. You will begin by having the water container filled with water and positioned next to the pot away from direct sunlight to avoid evaporation and raised so that its mouth remains higher than the base of the plant.

The wicking materials are cut into ideal length for each pot, and gently one end is placed into the plant’s soil to be watered, which is about three inches deep. The other end is put into the bottom of the water container making sure it reaches the bottom.

The plant will receive water slowly and consistently from the source, ensuring the soil remains moist while on vacation.

2. Making use of a Plastic bottle

picture of plastic bottle in a plant

This method works best for plants in large containers or a garden bet. It is a great way to reuse plastic water bottles. The use of plastic bottles remains beneficial to plants that need water frequently.

Make sure to saturate the soil completely before leaving. Then open few holes at the bottom and the sides of the plastic water bottle using a hammer and nail. Open a hole in the pot to cover the water bottle up to the neck region. Fill the bottle with enough water for your plant.

Besides, you can add some fertilizer to nourish your plant before placing it into the hole in the pot. Remember to gently pat the soil around the bottle to ensure that no soil gets into the bottle. Tighten the lid on the bottle to slow down the rate of water flow.

3. Use a glass bottle

picture of glass bottle on plant

Empty glass bottles from drinks such as wine remain useful in the house. For instance, they become beneficial in this watering exercise. This mechanism is simple to use and is best for plants that require much care. Besides, gardeners can add interesting bottle designs decorations to the glass bottles for watering the plant pot.

Before heading out, make sure your soil is watered to avoid incidents of soaking up from the water in the bottle. Use a nail and a hammer to poke small holes in a cap, fill the bottle with water, and put the cap back on the lid. Dig a hole in the soil and bury the bottle into this hole.

4. Making a Small Greenhouse at Home

picture of small greenhouse

You will need a water recycling terrarium with a large clear plastic bag. Open the bag and put it on a waterproof floor in a room with moderate temperature. Spread the moist piece of fabric along the bottom of the bag.

Arrange your watered plant pots and pull up the sides of the bag over the plants while blowing air to puff the bag and close it on top. This method is best for gardeners that have a manageable number of plants.

Alternatively, where you want to water individual plants, four wood stakes and a clear plastic bag will be useful. Take the four wood stakes and position them in each corner of the pot to form a base of your small greenhouse. Then, water your plant and leave it in indirect sunlight.

Finally, wrap your plant inside your plastic bag while ensuring that the leave’s tips do not touch the bag.

A small greenhouse conserves moisture in your plants by trapping water that evaporates from the leaves of the plants. The condensed droplets will fall back into the plant roots. Gardeners with non-succulent plants and house plants can use this method for at least three years if they preserve the plastic bag.

Suppose you don’t have any idea about a small greenhouse. I wrote an article on what you must know about it. You can read it here.

5. Consider Getting a Plant Sitter

Assign a friend or neighbor who can access your flower garden or house if your indoor plants need frequent watering. Make it easier for your plant sitter by grouping your potted plants according to the watering needs and leaving behind clear watering instructions.

Water and check your plants for pests and diseases before leaving to reduce the number of visits your neighbor or friend makes.

Besides, you do not want your plant sitter to get worried if your plants die because of pests or diseases while you are away. Importantly, find a neighbor who likes plants or a friend from near your place. Remember to return the favor when they are away; you may decide to gift them when you are back to appreciate the work done.

6. Giving Your Plants a Long Bath Before You Leave Your Home

This technique is useful when your plant pots have good drainage. Begin by filling the bathtub with water and laying a towel laid in the tub to protect the surface. Take the plant from the pot are then place it on top of the towel. Your plants’ roots will draw enough water that will keep the plant hydrated while you are away.

Open the window for enough natural light to enter the bathroom to meet your plants’ photosynthesis needs. In large plants that can be difficult to move, water them normally until the water drains out the bottom of a watering pot before you leave.

7. Using self-watering bulbs/globes

picture of water globe

These are cute small bulbs or globes of blown glass tinted in pretty colors with long thin necks. These little bulbs remain suitable for small and medium potted plants. Begin by filling these bulbs with water before covering the spout with a tiny piece of a coffee filter.

After that, open a little hole in the soil carefully not to destroy the plant roots. Finally, stick the spout deep in the soil to slow the water movement to the root ball. However, fill the globe with water for large plants and insert the thin neck into the soil.

8. Using self-watering pots

picture of self watering pot

This is useful for planters with inner pots with extra drainage holes where water can be drawn from the reservoir using a thread up to the soil to keep it moisturized.

9. Use the Power of a shade to Keep Your Plants Hydrated

picture of a plant in a shady area

Move the pot plants into a shady area to keep them hydrated by reducing the rate of evaporation. Move the house plants away from sunny windows to keep them hydrated while you are away. Ensure you group the outdoor and indoor plants while placing them in the shady area to reduce transpiration and evaporation while out.

A sheltered place will keep your plants safe from wind in your absence.

10. Mulching Outdoor Plants

picture of a hand putting a mulch

This is useful when you will be gone for only a few days. Water your plants thoroughly and cover your garden bed with two to three inches of coverage to keep the soil and plant roots moisturized. Please do not add more coverage since it can block oxygen to plant roots.

Suppose you don’t have any idea about mulching. I have a video about proven mulch ideas you can do. Watch it below.

11. Setting an irrigation system for your outdoor plants

picture of irrigation

You can opt for an irrigation system for your plants if you got funds or will be out for a long time. You can set up a sprinkler irrigation system on a timer to ease your mind from worries. Use an automatic timer for the drip irrigation system and set it while considering your plants’ watering needs.

Besides, you can make use of technology in your smartphone to control your irrigation systems.

12. Moderating indoor conditions for houseplants

Picture of plants that are grouped

Group your plants on a tray and fill them with water to keep them hydrated. Grouping will reduce transpiration and evaporation, which is factored by temperature, humidity, and sunlight levels. Moderating indoor conditions, such as temperature, will favor your plants.

13. Moving outdoor plants indoors

Picture of plants inside the house

Gardeners with outdoor plants with smaller pots can move them indoors where they can moderate the surrounding conditions. However, due to lower sunlight levels, some plants may shed their leaves. However, do not worry because the humidity levels remain ideal for keeping the plants healthy.

Conclusion on how to water house plants while away on vacation

Watering your plant while away should never worry you, thanks to the many methods you can use to keep you hydrated and healthy. These techniques work best for require daily watering. If you have succulent ones, you may not need to water them while away.

You have worked all year round to grow those beautiful plants, but this should not deter you from heading out for a vacation. Explore new places, get the rest you deserve, or visit friends without worrying about your plants at home.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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