With restrictions loosening up in many parts of the world, the plant pets that we’ve acquired over the lockdown season may need to survive without us for short spans of time as we indulge in the freedoms of weekend getaways.
Regular watering is one of the major concerns for plant parents when they’re not around. Plus, if you have many varieties of house plants, each one will require different levels of care. If none of your friends are available (or reliable) for when you want to get away, here are some suggestions on how to get them by on their own.
Use a wine bottle to water your plants
This strategy is perfect for larger plants that need regular watering. Take an empty twist-off wine bottle and poke a hole in the metal cap. Fill the bottle with water and screw the pierced cap back on top. Turn the wine bottle cap-side down into the soil of your potted plant, making sure it’s deep enough for the bottle to maintain this position on its own. This ensures that your plant will get a slow release of water while you’re gone.
Put plants in the bathtub or kiddie pool as a water reservoir
If you don’t have enough wine bottles for your collection of tropical plants, then a bathtub is a great alternative. Fill your bathtub with one or two inches of water, remove any saucers from the bottom of your plants’ pots and put each plant in the tub together. The plants will be able to absorb the water through the drainage holes on the bottom of the pots. If you have outdoor plants, then a kiddie pool will work as well.
If you have a wide variety of plants, it’s best to keep similar ones together while you’re gone. Low-maintenance plants such as succulents and cacti should be together, while tropical plants should be grouped so that they can feed off of each other’s moisture and warmth in your absence.
How to regulate your plants’ airflow when you’re gone
Okay, so you have a game plan for watering, now the next area of concern is regulating airflow and oxygen for your plants. Don’t worry if you don’t feel comfortable leaving your windows open while you’re away; There are other strategies to ensure your precious plants are in their ideal environment even when you’re not there.
Make a temporary greenhouse
For small plants that love humidity, place a plastic container over them to create a mini greenhouse. This will allow the cycle of water and humidity to be maintained. If you don’t have a container, a plastic bag will do the trick.
Move plants away from windows until you get back
While you’re away, you’ll want to reduce the variables that could change the environment around your plants. This means keeping plants away from air vents, sunny windows, and heaters.
Adjust the heat or AC before you leave plants alone
Although it’s not the most sustainable or environmentally practice, if need be, you can turn your heat on low to ensure your plants don’t get too cold. It may mean a slightly higher utility bill for when you return, but your plants will be more likely to survive your absence.