How to Keep Houseplants Alive While You're Gone

Views: 14599 | Last Update: 2009-05-02
Keeping houseplants alive while gone on long trips can be done by watering them before leaving. For longer trips, rinse them off with lukewarm water in the shower and let them sit in about 2 inches of water in the bathtub. Maintain healthy plants while... View Video Transcript

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Yolanda Vanveen

Video Transcript

Hi, this is Yolanda Vanveen from and next we're going to talk about how to keep house plants alive while you're gone. Now all of us lead really busy lives and sometimes we go on big trips and we don't always have someone that can come over and take care of our plants while we're gone. So what do we do to keep plants alive? Well I've tried a lot of different methods and I've watered and made sure things that were really wet before I left and they've survived pretty well. Or I've got the big glass balls that let the water go in eventually and those work okay as well. But I took a trip a few years back, well now ten years back probably now, and I was gone for two months. And I didn't know what to do because my neighbor, Larry, took care of my cat, but he told me, "don't even ask me to touch your plants. I'm not into plants". So I was so worried that I would lose all my plants. But I came up with a way to save them and they survived for the two months I was gone. So what I did is I just threw all my house plants in the shower. First before I even left them I covered them all up, I ran the shower and my trick is lukewarm water, so don't use hot water and don't use cool water, use lukewarm water, and I do this with my plants about once a month anyway. More like once every two to three months. But I've found giving your plants, your houseplants a shower is the best thing you can do for them. And they love it and it's easy and it's not messy. So I've got it lukewarm and I'm going to leave it on them on this shower mode and I'm trying to not be too much pressure, so more of a mist type pressure is better than having it on strong pressure, and I'm just soaking my plants. I just soak them. And you can move it back and forth to make sure every plant is covered. I've even got my hanging plants in here. And this is how I clean my hanging plants and this is pretty much how I water my hanging plants too is I just give them a shower. And they love it because the leaves get all the dust taken off of them which clogs their pores just like dust clogs our pores. So by giving them a shower, you give them a break. So what I do before I take a big trip, like I was gone for two months like I said, is I soaked everything down, just soaked it down. And then I actually, once everything is really wet, I plugged it up and left about two or three inches of water in the tub. And you don't want to leave too much water either because if you're gone in the wintertime and you've left a lot of water in there and it's two months that they're sitting in thick water, they might just rot and you'll lose them in the end too. So you don't want to over water them. But I've found within two months just a couple inches of water makes all the difference. And you don't want to put any chemicals or anything else in the water. I don't put any fertilizers, nothing. Just pure water because you don't want to risk if you have cats coming in through the house or my cat's in the house too, Dexter might try to drink that water and I don't want him to get sick. So I've only got a few inches of water and I just leave it and I turn it off. And I've got artificial light. The key is you have to have some kind of artificial light in your bathroom. And this is a pretty strong light in here, and I think they'll do just fine. They do much better if I left them out in the house where they wouldn't be watered at all or get any moisture. So I'm ready to go on my trip. I'm leaving my plants in the bathtub, and I'll be back. This time it won't be two months. But I bet if I was even gone to two months and came back, they would still be alive.