Hey, Plant Moms need a break, too! While we all love our sweet plant babies that bring us joy on the daily, duty calls. We must go to the beach or somewhere just as fabulous! You will want to keep your indoor plants alive while on vacation. And luckily, I have a few tricks to keep houseplants alive and succulents healthy when you go away. These are the houseplant tips that you need to know before you travel. With a little preparation, you won’t feel bad about leaving potted plants for two weeks. Unfortunately, it is hard to bring a ficus as a carry-on. Annoying, right?
Plant parents need to create a system in which our plants will sustain during our absence. I make it seem like we would be going off to war… But it is hard to part with them and not feel guilty for not giving them my full attention! Nonetheless, sometimes you have to be separated. When you bought those small plants, that soon grew into your prized tropical plants, you never thought that you would be leaving potted plants for two weeks without your TLC.
So first and foremost, you are going to want to make a timeline to help navigate what to do for your plants. Here are tips for what to do leading up to your travels. Also, tips for what to do just before you leave to keep your indoor plants alive while on vacation. Leaving your plants for an extended period of time just takes some preparation and planning. After all, your potted plant collection is used to regular watering, and someone to check on the plants’ needs regularly.
Days Leading Up To Your Departure
Planning for your trip has many elements, and one of them is making arrangements for pets and also taking care of your houseplants while you are away. You mastered caring for your houseplants on a daily basis and it is hard to imagine that they will be able to thrive without you. These houseplant tips for travel will help you get away without too much guilt.
Get an idea of how each plant is going to react with not having 24/7 care
For example, your desert-type plants might do just fine with a little water before you leave and be exactly the same when you get back. But those that are slightly more needy may not enjoy being without their normal watering schedule. However, you know your plants best and if they aren’t typical of their usual breeds, then you know how to categorize them!
If you like these houseplant tips, you might also like Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Plants Alive, 90 Unbeleafable Captions for Plant Photos, Caring for Succulents – 3 Tips or The New Plant Parent’s Guide – Plant Care 101
Separate each plant by their lifestyles
This might sound silly, but it truly works and is one of the most important things to do. When it comes to the plants that you know are going to do just fine, then they can be moved to the side (or stay in their place!). However, those that are for sure going to need some extra TLC, you need to move them somewhere that will be a better habitat for them with you not there.
This may mean that these plants get moved to your bedroom where you keep a humidifier and the fan going. Or some might have to get moved to the kitchen where it is dry and it is always sunny. Do they like indirect sunlight, full sun or do they do better with no natural light? I don’t expect you bought a new plant knowing you were leaving, so you should know how much sunlight each needs and what is the best solution.
You might have to go to your local shop and get a self-watering bulb or globe for some of them that may need water every day. These can be great because they only release when the roots allow water to come in, so they rarely get overwatered but still get the moist soil they need! You can also use a plastic bottle in the same way to automatically water plants as they need it. All plant parents know that good drainage is very important
Dry them out a little
A few days before leaving, dry out the soil and roots out a little bit ( of course at a healthy level!) by giving less water. This will make for a good, hearty watering on the day you leave to give them water that will last for a least a few days. Just don’t’ give them too much water! If there are drainage holes in the pot, make sure you put a tray under the pot. Drip trays will also protect the surface your plant is on, too. If this is the case, bottom watering with a few inches of water is the easiest way to give them a good watering.
Keeping succulents healthy when you go away is a bit easier since they are going to enjoy getting dried out. Other plants, such as ZZ plants and snake plants are the same way and a great choice for someone that likes to go away for a long weekend or longer regularly.
As You Are Leaving to go Away
As you are dramatically waving goodbye and blowing kisses to each of your green babies with your significant other literally pulling your hand to get out of the doorway, there are a few things you may need to make sure of to keep your green friends happy. I am certain that you want to keep your indoor plants alive while on vacation!
Move all plants away from intense sunny spots or heat vents
This might mean you have to redecorate before leaving, but it would be worth it to have all your plants still alive when you get back! Leaving potted plants for two weeks is a lot of time from their perspective. Also, ensuring that they are away from heat vent protects them and YOU. Take into account if there will be hot weather or a cold snap while you will be gone. A quick change in the temperature in your home is hard on your plants.
You might even want to think of the opposite and move some out of super dark, drafty areas if they are not going to get sunlight from there. Arrange the house a few times to provide the proper lighting for all! Some plants are quite temperamental to light and heat, but to keep succulents healthy when you go away you may not have to make too many adjustments. There is a reason that they are great starter plants!
When it comes to keeping some of your plants humid, you might find it difficult if you live in the desert or another super dry area. You can create a mini greenhouse where you can provide them days of moisture!
Water their roots and soil, put them in the center of a clear and flat trash bag or other clear plastic bag (you’ll have to cut it). Then pull the plastic over top to cover the plant. Stabilize the top so it doesn’t fall on top then bam! You have yourself a baby greenhouse! There are also a ton of YouTube videos to show you a step-by-step tutorial of making one. This is a great way to give your plants that like humidity a better chance at survival.
Wicking isn’t tricky
Another potted plant trick is water wicking. You need a large like vase or bucket and some cotton rope or cotton clothesline. You cut a piece of the wicking rope that is going to be long enough to fit between the bottom of your water container and into the soil of the plant. Next, push one end of the wicking rope several inches below the surface of the soil, close to the plant. Just make sure you don’t disturb the roots. Lastly, place the other end of the wicking rope in the bottom (touching the bottom) of the water container and fill it with water. That is it! The wicking rope will slowly wick water from the container into the pot to keep the soil moist.
Don’t worry about a thing, my fellow plant parents, they will be just fine! Enjoy your vacation and time away with these houseplant tips. But, if you have a couple of crazy plant people in your life you may have another option. I am more than certain that they will LOVE to come by and care for your plants as if they were their own! A plant sitter with a green thumb that stops by a few times a week will give you peace of mind. Especially if you are gone for a couple weeks in a row.
Safe travels! I hope these houseplant tips help to keep your indoor plants alive while on vacation. Let me know if you have other tips to keep plants alive when away. If you like home decor and renovation posts, you might like We Bought a House! West Coast 1980s Fixer Upper Empty House Tour.
Bella Bucchiotti is a storyteller, food lover, dog mom and adventure seeker living on the Pacific coast. She shares her passion for food, dogs, fitness, adventures, travel and philanthropy, in hopes of encouraging followers to run the extra mile, try new recipes, visit unfamiliar places and stand for a cause. Bella lives with Type 1 Diabetes and Celiac Disease.