Are you setting off for the holidays? Worried that your indoor plants will be dead when you return? Here are a few tips to keep your plants alive while your away.
Firstly, you may need to move some of you're plants away from windows. In Summer, protecting your plants from extreme heat is essential and in Winter keeping your plants insulated from the cold is vital.
Try closing windows and blinds or moving your plants to the most sheltered room in the house.
The main worry about leaving your plants for long periods of time is getting them enough water. So, if you don’t have a friendly neighbour who can pop over and water your plants once a week, here are a few tactics to try:
• Give your plants a bath – simply sit your plants into your bath and give them a good soak before you leave. In addition, pop the plug in the bath and fill 1-2 inches of water. This will ensure your plants are able to suck up as much water as they need while you're away.
• Give your plants a shower – similar to the bath approach, you can give your plants a thorough soak in the shower while away and instead of filling a bath simply purchase a few plastic saucers and fill these with water. Saucers at Foley's cost from $1-$5. Placing plants in a bathroom with a water source will also create some humidity (vital for your plants during summer).
• Making a string drip system - Place a length of cotton string or cloth into the bottom of the soil of your plant. Whatever you use has to be able to hold water. Place the opposite end of the string into a large jar of water and place it at the bottom. If the string floats, tie it to a weight to make sure it remains at the bottom. The process of capillary action ensures that the water travels from the jar via the string to the plant. The mouth of the jar needs to be above the base of the plant so the water can travel down the string more easily.
If you have multiple pot plants, you can bury multiple lengths of string into your plants with the ends submerged in a pot full of water. The size of the jar or pot can be altered depending on how long you are going to be away. If the pot is covered, it will minimise evaporation while you are away. Keep the plants out of direct sunlight so the water does not evaporate due to the heat from the sun and also to ensure that the string doesn’t dry out. Following this method should provide enough water for your plants for up to a week.
• Saucers, jars or trays of water – this is the simplest trick of all. Try filling jars, saucers or any kind of tray you can find with plenty of water and sit plants them so they can suck up as much water as required while you’re away.
Note: low water plants might only require a thorough water before you leave for your holiday provided you have moved it away from windows and into a sheltered position.