Yay, you’re going on vacation! You’d better start packing, get a pup sitter, and those cute sandals you have bookmarked online… oh yeah, and what about the plants? We invest so much time into caring for our leafy companions. The thought of leaving for a week or two and messing it all up? We’ll just say that’s next-level plant parent anxiety.
So how can you care for your plant babies while you’re on a summer vacation?
Phone a Friend: Helping Others Care for Your Plants While on Summer Vacation
Do you have a friend that you’re constantly texting about your latest plant updates? Why not join forces and help each other out this summer? Either ask them to pop into your home each week or give them your plant for a “sleepover.” You will both prove to be a valuable resource in caring for your plants: after all, summer vacations come when your plant is at its thirstiest!
Preparing for Plant Sitting
Let’s be honest, even your most experienced plant-parent friend isn’t familiar with your plants and your home. Each individual plant acts a little differently, so you’ll need to give them a helping hand.
Do an overall health check. No one likes taking charge of a sickly plant and feeling responsible for its death. If your plant has pests or fungal issues, make sure your friend is on board with your treatment plan!
Group your plants, so your friend doesn’t have to run around your house searching for plants! In the summer, water is your plant’s most urgent ‘care need’ while you’re on vacation, so categorize your plants by “thirst level.”
Leave popsicle stick hints/name tags. Write brief instructions on plain popsicle sticks like “water after 1 inch dry” or “don’t fertilize,” and place them in the pot. If you’re leaving behind a big collection, this is also an excellent way to identify which plant is which!
Create a care video. Briefly outline each plant’s needs, how deeply the soil should dry out, and any other tidbits you can think of. Your friend will thank you!
Make a spreadsheet. For a large plant family, leave a spreadsheet with easily findable tips for each of your plants, identifying them with your popsicle stick name tags.
Preparing for a “Sleepover”
This is the best way to care for your plant’s summer needs if you leave on a long vacation or have “just a few” plants. By incorporating your plants into their collection, your trusted friend will be able to monitor them closely! Follow these steps for the best success:
Find the best spot: Go to their home or have a video call to decide on the best location for your plants. Think about the lighting and vent placement. Choose the area that’s most similar to your plant’s current environment!
Make sure they’re familiar with your plant’s requirements: Provide them with written or video instructions. Loan them whatever tools they may need. For example: do they have a humidifier or mister? If not, loan them yours while you’re away so that they can give your plants their usual TLC. (Or, gift it to them as a “Thank You” present.)
Do a pest check: You don’t want to introduce insects into your friend’s home! If you have an infestation on your hands, make sure your friend is aware and take on the added responsibility of quarantining and treatment.
Getting a Professional Sitter
You can find “house sitting” services in many areas, which can include pet and plant care. Some pet kennels also offer plant-care services, so check out the listings for your local area! Follow steps similar to those above.
Flying Solo: How You Can Care for Your Plant’s Summer Care Needs While on Vacation
If you’re only going to be gone for a week or a week-and-a-half, you may not want to bother your buddy. There are a few things that you can do to meet your plant’s summer care needs while you’re away on vacation.
Sun evaporates moisture, so the more sunlight your plant receives, the thirstier it is! Moving your plant further away from the window will buy you an extra day or two between waterings. Relocate your plants 1-2 weeks before your vacation so that they can acclimate to their new location while under your watchful supervision.
Remember that plants need light to survive: do not close the curtains or put your plants in a room without windows. Some plants however, can grow even in darker environments: find out more in this blog.
You likely have a diva or two in your collection: that one constantly thirsty plant. How can you take care of it while you’re away? By using a self-watering system. Who knows, this might be such an effective way to care for your plant’s summer thirst you will want to use it even when you’re not on vacation!
Just a note: Self-watering systems are suitable for plants that like to maintain even moisture. You shouldn’t use them with plants that like to dry out between watering.
These handy tools water your plant’s soil through osmosis. The dirt draws moisture through the clay tip, which is connected to a plastic water bottle reservoir. Depending on the size of the bottle you choose, the stakes will keep your plant moist for 7-10 days.
Planting your leaf babies in self-watering pots is also an excellent idea. When you’re at home, you don’t have to use your container as a self-watering pot system if it’s not your preference. But, the good news? The reservoir is there, ready to be filled whenever you want to take a trip. All of our plants come with self-watering pots. Find out more on how to use them in this blog.
DIY Self-Watering Systems
With a few simple components, you can make your own self-watering system! All you need: a potted plant, a shoestring, a book, and a glass of water. (Do you feel like MacGyver yet?) How does it work?
Fill a large jar or glass full of water.
Place it next to your potted plant.
Elevate the glass on top of a book so that its mouth is higher than your plant’s base.
Put the shoestring in the glass so that it touches the bottom.
Push 3-inches of (the other end of) the shoestring into your plant’s soil near its base.
Keep your DIY system out of the direct sun and bright light to prevent the moisture from evaporating before it reaches your plant.
With some advanced planning, you’ll be able to care for your plants while you’re away and have a plant-parent-anxiety-free summer vacation. All you’ll have to worry about is how to get your new leafy addition on the plane back home!
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