How to Look After Your Indoor Plants When You go on Holiday
Hi plant people! Here’s hoping you guys are planning some fun in the sun this summer with some well earned trips away. If you are planning a get away, you might be feeling a little bit worried about how to make sure your indoor plants will cope without you there to check in on them regularly. Well don’t worry, The Little Botanical team is here to help. This week we’re bringing you our top tips and tricks for keeping your green beauties as happy and healthy as possible while you’re away. The good news is that with a little careful planning now you’ll be able to jet off and enjoy your summer holiday without having to worry about your botanical buddies.
Top Tips for Keeping Your Plants Healthy While You’re on Holiday
Whether you’re jetting off on a sunny escape overseas or looking forward to an action-packed staycation, your plants needn’t suffer while you’re away. If you’re leaving houseplants for one week or slightly longer and don’t have anyone to check in on them, a little TLC and forward planning will keep them as good as new. Keep them bright and healthy with our care tips below.
Keep Them Watered
Ensuring your plants don’t get too thirsty whilst you’re away is an important part of making sure they can survive going it alone. There’s a good chance that most of your plants will not thrive if they are left without water while you’re gone, especially if you’re going to be away for a week or more. The best way to avoid them drying out is to give them a good drink on the day you’re going away. Following this, take them out of their ceramic pots and pop them in some shallow water in your bath or sink. This allows them to soak up whatever water they need while you’re gone – no sad, drought-ridden plants for you on your return. This approach works really well for leafy botanicals that need a little more TLC. These include the Peace Lily, Alocasia, Calathea, Croton and ferns, including the Boston Fern and Asparagus Fern.
For larger plants, such as the Monstera, Areca Palm and Strelitzia Bird of Paradise, you can pop them in the bath with shallow water on a wet towel (so you don’t mark your bath). You can also take them out of their pot and place them in a shallow bucket of water.
Although indoor plants shouldn’t be left to stand in water permanently, they will be happy in shallow water for around one week to ten days. This keeps them from getting thirsty whilst you’re enjoying your holiday.
There are some exceptions to this rule though! There are some plants that won’t thank you for giving them unlimited access to water while you’re away. Make sure you don’t immerse any drought-loving indoor plants in water before you go away as too much water can damage their delicate roots. This includes succulents and cacti as well as houseplants such as Aloe Vera, Sansevieria, ZZ Plant, Yucca and Spider Plant. Instead, give these plants a small drink before you go away. They should be fine until you come home.
Group Your Plants Together
Another top tip of ours is to group your houseplants together while you’re away. Choose a spot in your house that gets natural light but not direct sunlight. Away from window sills is probably best to avoid scorching the leaves. Spend some time before you go away sorting your plants into small groups based on their needs. We would advise keeping succulents and cacti together and away from leafy, tropical plants as they all need different things in order to thrive.
And then within your tropical plants, you can divide those into groups that need plenty of water and those that don’t. Botanicals do this naturally in the wild based on their requirements because it helps them form their mini microclimates.
Plants that need humidity to thrive release moisture through their leaves. This process is known as transpiration. By grouping moisture-loving plants together, they’ll produce a more humid environment for one another, keeping each other happy and healthy until you return from your holiday refreshed and ready to care for them again.
Optimise the Environment
Houseplants don’t like change. They’re at their happiest in consistent temperatures away from drafts or too much heat (from radiators or heaters, for example). When you go on holiday, try to keep conditions as close to normal as possible. This can be tricky when you need to protect your house by turning the heating off and closing all windows. The best option, if you have no alternative, is to move your plants into a cooler, shaded area (that gets a little bit of natural light).
Doing this reduces temperature and humidity loss by approximately 80% and prevents the leaves from drying out or scorching. Once you get back from your holiday, you can move your beautiful botanicals back to their original spot.
What About My Succulent?
Succulents and cacti are hardy little plants that don’t need any additional care while you’re away. This is probably one of the reasons why you chose one in the first place! As we mentioned in the water section above, these are drought-loving little plants and they can survive for more than two weeks without water. This gives you plenty of time to enjoy your holiday in peace without worrying about your botanicals while you’re gone. Simply give them a little drink before you go and move them away from windowsills and direct sunlight.
Call in a Favour From a Friend
Your plants will be fine when left alone for a short while. But if you’re leaving plants for two weeks or more, why not call on a neighbour or a friend to check in on your plants while you’re away? Ask them to check on your plants’ position to make sure they’re not in direct sunlight. Also get them to give your green beauties a nice big drink if their soil is drying out to prevent them from getting thirsty.
You could also ask them to wipe the leaves with a damp cloth to remove any dust that’s accumulated. This will ensure your house plants can photosynthesise and grow while you’re away. You can return the plant-sitting favour for them next time they go away (an airport Toblerone would probably go down well too!!)
Choose the Right Accessories
The right accessories can make all the difference in keeping your houseplants looking and feeling their best, even when you’re away for a short while. Stock up on a few of these handy care favourites to get your plants prepared for your getaway.
Our Zab Plant Mister is a handy little tool for keeping houseplants hydrated. Keep the humidity high in the run-up to your getaway by spritzing your plants with a small amount of tepid water. This will stop your botanical beauties from drying out or getting grumpy while you’re on your travels.
Available in gold or copper, our watering cans are designed with a long, slim spout to rehydrate your green beauties directly into the roots. They’re perfect for hard-to-reach houseplants, giving you the opportunity to give them plenty to drink before you head off on holiday.
Plantsmith Perfecting Houseplant Care Mist
With a complete blend of 17 essential nutrients to aid growth, our Plantsmith Perfecting Houseplant Care Mist gives your houseplants a moisture boost before you head off on your travels. Just before you go, shake the bottle well and mist the leaves until it looks like a fine mist has settled on them. Then gently spritz the compost to moisten it and prevent your plant from wilting or crisping while you’re away.
Plantsmith Fortifying Houseplant Tonic
Promote stronger leaves and longer-lasting flowers while you’re away on holiday with our Plantsmith Fortifying Houseplant Tonic. This professional formulation houseplant food contains 13 essential nutrients to stimulate cell growth, including potassium, magnesium and iron. Simply shake the bottle well and mix 5 ml (approximately four pumps) into a litre of lukewarm water and apply it to the base of your plants before you go away. When you come back, they should be stronger than ever.
The Little Botanical Naked Range
It’s normal to lose the odd plant when you go on holiday. Don’t worry if you happen to lose one or two of your botanical beauties whilst you’re away. Take a look at our Naked Range, where you can buy some of our most-loved plants “naked” in their growing pots and re-use The Little Botanical ceramic you already have at home.
Now that you’ve got your holiday plant care nailed, we hope you’re even more excited for your trip. If you do still have questions about plant care while you’re on holiday please do get in touch at [email protected] and we’ll be happy to offer any additional tips and advice before you go. Happy travels plant people.