How to Water Indoor Plants While on Vacation

Ask any Millennial, and they’ll tell you that owning indoor plants offers a lot of benefits. Along with being incredibly trendy additions to a home, having a collection of indoor plants can provide fresh herbs, visual stimulation, as well as a nice array of calm-inducing companions. 

During most days of the year, having a collection of indoor plants is a simple, easy way to add a new dimension of joy to your life. All you have to do is water them. However, when you choose to go on a vacation, things change. The plants you’re so pleased with having now become a little more problematic. 

Having indoor plants can pose a problem for people who want to go on vacation. Without a caretaker to water them, your indoor plants can die. Thankfully, there are ways to make sure that the plants you own get the watering they need without worrying too much. Here’s how to keep your plants safe during a vacation…

Before You Begin…

We all know that different plants require different levels of watering and care. Before you start trying to find a new way to get them watered, you’re going to need to know their specific watering and sun schedule. 

Take notes of your plants’ sun and watering requirements before you try any of the following solutions. This will ensure that you are able to get your plants’ needs met while you’re out and about. 

Once you note the needs of your plants, you can choose one of the plant-sustaining options below. 

Option #1: Have friends water them for you.

The easiest way to water indoor plants while on vacation is to ask someone to care for them while you’re away. If you can’t get a friend to drop by every other day to water them, hiring a house sitter to do it will work just as well. 

This option is the easiest to set up. All you need to do is look up house sitting services near you, or calling up a friend who would be willing to drop by. As you hire them, give them notes about the care and keeping of your plants. 

Option #2: Automate it. 

If you’re a tech fiend, then you’re in luck. There are some tools you can use to automate your indoor plant watering routine. Wifi plant watering systems can be linked up to your phone, and programmed to water your plants on the set schedule you want them to be watered. 

Each plant watering system has its own guidebook, so you will need to read your own kit’s instructions in order to automate it. Once you have it set up, you should be alright. However, there are some caveats you need to be aware of when you’re dealing with automated solutions:

  • Most don’t have an unlimited water capacity. The tanks used to store the water for your plants are only so large. That’s why it’s important to avoid traveling for long periods of time if you’re using an automated watering solution. It’s best to cap your use at around 10 days of travel, or to extend your watering tool’s use by having a friend refill it while you’re gone. 
  • You need to double-check your automation before you go. Many a good plant has died because of a misprogrammed watering kit. 
  • Be realistic about this as a solution. If you have one or two houseplants, this can be a good solution. If you have 20 of them, you are better off just having a housesitter water them for you. 

Option #3: Make them outdoor plants for a while.

It’s often said that Mother Nature knows best. If you live in an area that has temperatures and rain levels that work with your plants, then temporarily placing them outdoors might be a smart way to save money on housekeepers and avoid more tech clutter. 

Most homes have a balcony, front yard, or garden where you can place your indoor plants. That being said, this solution is best left for city areas with relatively predictable weather patterns. In rural areas, leaving your indoor plants outside may turn them into dinner for deer and other pests. 

Option #4: Use the old water bottle trick.

Another option that you can use to keep your plants alive while on vacation is to use a water bottle to water it for you while you’re away. Grab a bottle of water and a long cotton wick. Start by filling the bottle with water.

Use your finger to push a hole several inches deep into the soil of your potted plant. Place the wick in the hole and cover it with soil. Then, place the other end of the wick in the bottle of water, making sure that the end of the wick is touching the bottom of the bottle. 

The cotton will be able to wick up water from the bottle and send it to your plant’s soil at a pace that won’t drown your plant. It’s a science trick that works wonders for both vacationers and forgetful plant fans alike.

Option #5: Use a plastic bag to create a greenhouse.

If you are going away for a while, you can also use a plastic bag to recycle water. For this, you will need a clear (or white) plastic bag. To start off, just water your plants the way you normally do. 

Then, place the plastic bag over your potted plants, making sure to give the bag as little contact as possible with your plants. The plastic bag will act like a greenhouse, recycling moisture from the air to keep your plants’ thirst quenched. 

Temperature is an issue here. If you choose this route, make sure to put your sun-loving plants in indirect sunlight. The greenhouse effect, paired with the heat from direct sunlight, is enough to kill most indoor plants. Plants that require shade more than anything else should be placed in a warm, dimly lit area for this trick to work.

Leave a Comment: