How to Care for Potted Plants Outside During Vacation


Leaving to go on vacation can be an exciting time as you try to pack everything you need and get your house ready to be empty for the next week or two. However, you'll also need to take a few measures to care for your potted plants outdoors so they will survive your absence.

Step 1

Move your outdoor potted plants to a shady location where they may receive some direct light but won't become overly hot in the sun all day. Even your full sun plants should be able to survive a week or two in shady conditions. Water your plants to evenly moisten the soil.

Step 2

Collect 2-liter bottles or plastic gallon milk jugs so you have one for each plant. If you have a particularly large potted plant, you may want to use two bottles for it.

Step 3

Create a space for each bottle or jug on the surface of your pot's soil so it can rest ½ to 1 inch deep into the soil. If a 2-liter bottle is too large to fit in your pot, then fit three 20-ounce bottles into the soil in an evenly spaced arrangement.

Step 4

Heat the tip of a needle, and pierce the bottom of each jug one to two times. Hold your finger over the small holes as you fill each bottle with water to the top, and replace the cap.

Step 5

Set the bottle into the soil in the prepared area of each pot, where it will slowly drip new water as needed for your plant. The devices should provide water for each of your potted plants for one to two weeks.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • 2-liter bottles or milk jugs
  • Needle
  • Lighter or match


  • "The Complete Houseplant Survival Manual"; Barbara Pleasant; 2005
  • "New Complete Guide to Landscaping"; Better Homes and Gardens; 2002
Keywords: plant vacation care, potted plant care, potted plant watering

About this Author

Margaret Telsch-Williams is a freelance, fiction, and poetry writer from the Blue Ridge mountains. When not writing articles for Demand Studios, she works for as a contributor and podcast co-host.