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Vacation Watering

We are preparing for a vacation and I am worried about coming home to a bunch of dead houseplants. Is there any way to keep them watered while we are away?

Yes, there are a few steps you can take to ensure that you return home to healthy plants rather than heartache.

If you don’t plan to be away too long, you can help conserve moisture by placing the plants in a location out of the direct sun. This will slow down the growth of the plants and reduce the amount of water they need. Just make sure they are well watered before you head out of town.

Now, if your trip is going to be a bit more extended, you may want to take all of your houseplants that are planted in clay containers and place them in a wash tub or bathtub. Just place the plants on unglazed bricks and fill the tub with a few inches of water. The clay containers will absorb the moisture through the bricks and transfer it to the plants. Also you’ll want to make sure that they have plenty of light so if you put them in the bathroom or garage, leave the lights on.

The houseplants that have been taken outside for the summer will survive best if they are sunk, container and all, into the ground in a shady location where they will be watered by a sprinkler.

If some of your houseplants have problems with pests, and you have time before you leave, separate them from the others and give them the treatment they need so there’s less chance the pests will spread.

Now if you plan to be gone for say two weeks or longer, I recommend you find someone to come in and serve as a plant sitter to check on them.

Houseplants may need a little extra care from time to time but they certainly are worth it.