It’s finally vacation time, and one of the decisions we need to make is how to take care of those special houseplants we’ve babied all year. My first word of advice is to not go the easy route and ask a family member or neighbor who knows nothing about plants to care for them. Nine times out of ten, these lovely, conscientious people will over- water your houseplants and most will never recover.
There are other options. If you’ll only be gone for a week or less, plan it so your plants will dry out right before you leave, water well, and then forget about them. If you have some plants in small pots that need water every few days, cut the ends off of a shoelace. Place one end of the shoelace in a bowl of water (placed higher than the plant) and the other end in the soil of the small plant. The water will slowly drip into the plants.
If you’re going to be gone for several weeks or even a month there are several things you can do. First move the plants out of their usual bright or medium light into a darker cooler place in your home or office. That way they won’t need nearly as much water as they usually do. Group the houseplants together to increase the humidity around them, again decreasing the amount of water they need. Water well, but do not leave them sitting in water!
If you have some plants that need to be moist at all times, try using a product called Dri- Water. We use this product to keep the poinsettias in 12 ft poinsettia tree frames watered during the Christmas season. It really works! You can read about Dri- Water in the Glossary of the website.
Remember, the worse thing that will happen if your houseplants dry-out is that they’ll be droopy and have a few yellow leaves when you get back. This would a good time to put some SuperThrive in your water. You can read about SuperThrive in the Glossary of the website also. Coming home to droopy houseplants is much better than coming home to over-watered houseplants suffering from root rot.