If you're planning a trip away and wondering what to do to keep your plant family in tip top condition, here are some clever ideas to make sure you don't come home to withered leaves. No matter which option you choose, make sure your plants are thoroughly watered before you begin.
THE BATH METHOD
• Fold a large towel once or twice. • Lay it flat in the bath and soak it with a thin layer of water so the towel is thoroughly soaked. • Make sure the stopper is in the tub to retain as much water as possible. • Put all your houseplants on top of the towel. • The plants will suck up the water as needed.
If you’re going away for a longer period, try putting them on top of bricks and filling the water to just above the top of the bricks or get creative with a washing-up bucket and a bowl for smaller plants. Just make sure you are not using the saucers as this will impede the water from soaking in through the holes in the bottom of the pot.
THE WATER BOTTLE METHOD
• Put a couple of holes into the bottle’s top using a hammer and small nail. • Fill the bottle with water and screw the top back on. • Flip so the neck is facing down and stick it into the dirt. Try to keep it as vertical as possible. • The plant will suck up the water as needed.
The key is to make sure the plant is fully watered and the soil moist before putting the bottle in for osmosis to occur. The larger the plant, the larger the bottle you'll need. The bottle method can also be used for outdoor pots.
If you aren’t so keen on DIY there are several easy kits you can purchase which use a similar osmosis method. Alternatively there are water bottle adapters that attach to the bottle in lieu of the cap method above or that have a very small tap where the water can drip out slowly.
Regardless of which method you use, moving plants to a shaded area is a must. This reduces evaporation and the shade encourages slower growth thereby reducing the plants thirst. Don’t forget to test before you go. That way you won’t come home to a watery mess should you find you put the water bottle in sideways or made the holes too big in the cap. Happy Holidays!