Your plants can still survive even when you’re away
That is, if you prepare well enough
Aug 18, 2017
When I go out of town, I always have one worry: Who will take care of my plants? Before I sleep every night, I always think about the heat in Manila and how they have dealt with it. Every morning, I would remind my mom to water the plants. It’s a struggle I have to deal with, especially with vanda orchids.
When we leave our leafy (or thorny) friends for a vacation, moisture is usually compromised. Although a short period of drought can be relatively harmless, moisture loss may cause serious damages that may not be corrected anymore or that may take so long before the plant regenerates. As a result, the plant may no longer be aesthetically pleasing.
But if your feet are taking you to a faraway place, your plants will be okay if you do these.
Supply water before you leave
These are my monstera watering accessories: a watering spike I picked up from Lee Valley Tools – makes use of a 2L pop bottle; a 1L watering can by Esschert Design. I know that my monstera will use up the approximately 2.5L of water I administer to the pot each week so that’s why I say “I water this monstera once a week.” The frequency depends on how fast the water is used, which is determined by the amount of photosynthesis going on, which is determined by the intensity of light the plant receives. So the most correct advice for watering should tell you how dry the soil should be before you should water. If anyone tells you an exact frequency, then there is an underlying assumption about brightness. #monstera #monsteradeliciosa #monsteramonday #torontoigers #torontoblogger #plants #plantcare #houseplants
Before you embark on that much-awaited vacation, water your plants deeply. If you’ll be gone for a weekend or a long weekend, that would be sufficient. However, if you’ll be away for a week, it would be wise to use a self-watering pot or system (e.g. dripping system or a D.I.Y. watering system). Since roots can acquire water from below, you may also opt to just leave water on your pot’s drainage plate.
If you’ll be gone for more than a week or even months, the best option is to get someone you trust to plant sit. Make sure that the person you ask has enough knowledge as too much love can kill your plants, too.
Make sure the light is right
One of the mistakes every beginner has done is leaving a plant in an inappropriate location. It can be too sunny or too shady. While it’s okay to bring out your plants once in a while, leaving them in a sunny location when you’re away may result in sunburn and dehydration. When you leave them in a shady location, on the other hand, they may not be able to get sufficient light to create food and even suffer from root rot—when plants have too much moisture around roots and too little light, the water won’t be put to good use and will just attract bad microorganisms.
Before you leave, check the light’s behavior in various areas. Ideally, a good space for houseplants is near a window that gets morning or late afternoon sun.
Group plants together
Plants are also gregarious creatures. They love their friends, especially those who love the humidity. When you go away, they can also get sad. So, give them friends. The idea behind this is that plants benefit from the moisture its neighboring plants let out and vice versa. As a result, the environment becomes ideal and suitable for their survival. Besides, who doesn’t want friends, right?
Header photo courtesy of Unsplash
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