How to Water Indoor Plants While Away


To ensure that your indoor plants don't dry out and wilt while you're away, set up a simple wick system. The water travels up the wick into the soil of your plants and moistens the soil enough to keep the plants alive until you return.

Step 1

Group plants in a central location, such as the bathroom or kitchen.

Step 2

Elevate the plants so that the top of their pots are above the top of the buckets.

Step 3

Fill buckets with water and set next to the group of plants.

Step 4

Cut lengths of cotton clothesline or old shoe laces into wicks long enough to reach from the top of an individual potted plant to the bottom of the nearest bucket of water, plus about 3 inches.

Step 5

Insert a large knitting needle, screwdriver or other round, sharp object into the soil to prepare a hole in which to insert the wick. Make the hole near the center of the pot and about 2 to 3 inches deep.

Step 6

Insert one end of the wick made of clothesline or old shoe laces into the soil in the potted plant. Bury the end of the wick about 2 to 3 inches below the surface of the soil. Insert the other end of the wick into the bucket of water, making sure that the end of the wick reaches the bottom of the bucket.

Step 7

Loosely cover the tops of the buckets with plastic wrap to keep the water from evaporating.

Tips and Warnings

  • This is a temporary watering method. If you wish to use it permanently, you must remove the root ball from the pot and run the wick from the top of the soil through the root ball and out the bottom of the pot. Replace the root ball in its pot. Set the pot over a water-filled container with the wick in the water.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton clothesline or old shoe laces
  • Large buckets or other containers
  • Knitting needle, screwdriver or other sharp object
  • Plastic wrap


  • Watering indoor plants.
Keywords: water indoor plants while away, wick method to water indoor plants, keep indoor plants alive when away