How to Care for Plants While on Vacation

Overview

Going on vacation is a time to relax, but worrying about your plants can spoil the fun. Most plants can survive at home for about two weeks, provided you have put in place a variety of conditions and watering methods. After two weeks, it is important to have a friend or family member check on the plants on a more regular basis.

Step 1

Place a plastic bag or large sheet of plastic over the plants. Tie the bag or plastic around the bottom of the pot. Make sure there is space between the plant leaves and plastic; the plastic should not cause the leaves and branches of the plant to bend. Place plants into the shower. Add a bucket of water in or nearby the shower. Soak a piece of string in water and place one end into the soil of the plant, and the other in the bucket. The plant will sip the water like a straw for hydration.

Step 2

Keep the temperature the same in the house as you would if you were there. Try to avoid turning off or drastically changing the air conditioning or heater. However, raising or lowering the temperature by a few degrees is okay.

Step 3

Use self watering globes while on vacation for indoor plants and outdoor container plants. Purchase globes at most garden centers---many are glass and have different swirls of color. Fill the globe with water and stick the bottom end into the soil near the base of each plant. Test the globes before you go away to determine how long the water will last. Decide if the globes will need to be refilled by a friend or family member before you return.

Step 4

If you enlist the aid of family or friends, write down directions on index cards and place next to each plant. Include important information such as how much water to use and how often each plant should be watered.

Step 5

Ask a friend or family member to come to the house if the vacation will be over two weeks, or if you feel the plants may not survive. Consider whether or not the plants might be "boarded" at your friend's home for additional convenience.

Step 6

Consider hiring a commercial gardening service. Ask local nurseries or gardening centers if they have referrals of gardeners who specialize in "vacation care." Or ask the nursery if they would board the plants while you are on vacation suggests The Garden Lady, a gardening Website. Inquire with gardening clubs and association for other sources of help.

Things You'll Need

  • Bucket
  • Plastic bags or sheeting
  • Watering globes
  • Index cards

References

  • Plant Care
  • The Garden Lady
  • Vacation Lists
Keywords: watering methods, plant care vacations, plant care

About this Author

Julie Hampton has worked as a professional freelance writer since 1999 for various newspapers and websites including "The Florida Sun" and "Pensacola News Journal." She served in the U.S. Army as a combat medic and nurse for over six years and recently worked as the Community Relations Director for a health center. Hampton studied journalism and communications at the University of West Florida.