How to Water Plants While You’re Away

1983

Everyone needs a vacation from time to time. Pets often get put under the care of a friend, neighbor, or pet boarding house, but what about plants? Some plants can last a long time without water, but other plants need weekly or even daily care. If you are going away for a trip, you need to ensure that your plants will receive enough water to survive your absence. In some cases, you might not even need a friend or neighbor to plantsit for you!

1. Water Your Plants with a Wine Bottle

Get a glass bottle with a narrow neck. A wine bottle will be ideal, because it will be large enough to water 4 to 6 square feet (0.38 to 0.56 square meters) for up to 3 days.

Fill the bottle with water. Don’t fill it all the way; just up to where the neck starts will be plenty. At this time, you can also add additional items, such as liquid fertilizers.

Place your thumb over the mouth of the bottle and turn it upside down. Position the bottle right next to the plant you need to be watered.

Push the bottle neck into the soil, moving your thumb out of the way as you do so. Make sure that the bottle’s neck is several inches in the soil. It’s okay if the bottle leans to the side, but it should be sturdy and secure.

2. String Watering System

Photo: Wake Up Susie

A wick-edly good idea that uses cotton or nylon string. But I learned that if you only have thin cord, braid it so it holds water better. I also learned that if you use a string that’s not 100% water absorbent, it’ll fail.

Just remember to use a container filled with water appropriate for your plant’s size.

3. Use Diapers to Keep Your Plants Watered

Before you leave for vacation, re-pot your plant and place diapers on the bottom of the pot. The diapers will keep your soil moist for days!

4. Making a Bottle Drip System

Make sure that the soil is completely damp. If the soil is too dry, it will soak up all the water from your bottle before you even leave for your trip.

Get a plastic, 2-liter bottle. If you have a smaller plant to take care of, a smaller bottle will do just fine.

Use a hammer and nail to poke 2 holes into the bottom of the bottle. This is very important.

Poke a few more holes up the sides of the bottle. You don’t need a lot; 3 to 5 holes will be plenty

Dig a hole in the dirt next to your plant. The hole needs to be deep enough to cover the bottle up to the neck. Insert the bottle into the hole. Gently pat the soil around the bottle and be careful not to get any inside it. Fill the bottle with water. At this point, you can also add some liquid fertilizer as well.

 

5. Damp Newspaper

Put those old newspapers to good use – jut save a few from the recycling. Create a layer of damp newspapers and place it over the soil of the pot to keep your plant watered. This works best for large pots.

6. Damp Towel

 

Placing a damp/wet towel underneath the drainage hole of your plant pot will also help keep your plants fresh if you’re away for a week or so.

7. Pebble Tray

This is one of the easiest ways to water your plants when you’re away from home if your trip is short. Get a shallow tray and fill it with small rocks. Now, fill it with water – make sure that pebbles or small rocks are all under the surface of the water. Place your potted plants in the tray. This method works quite well if you’re out on a short trip.

8. Neighbors or Friends

This has to be the easiest ways to water your plants when you’re away from home. Ask someone you trust to do it for you – a friend or neighbor you can trust with your house keys. If you have an extensive collection of house plants and they mean something to you, you can always consider a plant-tending service.