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Holiday or Vacation, How to Keep plants watered while away.

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James Kilkelly
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 19, 2008 6:18 pm    Post subject: Holiday or Vacation, How to Keep plants watered while away. Reply with quote

Holiday or Vacation, How to Keep plants watered while away.
by GPI

Passport, check, plane tickets, check, old Shep booked into the kennels for two weeks, check. Houseplant watering, oops, forgot about those. Unlike your lawn or shrubs in the garden, which can survive on their own while you are away, forgetting about your houseplants could mean you return from a trip to find dead or dying plants.

A few days away.
Thankfully most houseplants will take a few days on their own in their stride, especially tropical houseplants such as succulents and cacti, which are used to surviving without water for extended periods. The few days away cannot always be anticipated as in the case of family emergencies, but when you have prior warning e.g. weekends away or attending a wedding, you can take the simple step of giving the plants a thorough watering just before going away. Before you finally leave the house, drain the excess water from saucers below your pots, so that their roots don't drown from sitting in water during your absence.

A week away.
If you expect to be away for about a week, water as you would for a few days away, but in addition you should also consider moving your plants away from bright windows to prevent them drying out rapidly. Better still move them to a cooler room with filtered sunlight, and for this a stay in the bathroom is ideal.

. Your bathtub, a handy way of keeping your houseplants watered, photo / picture / image.

Two weeks or more away.
If you are going away to sunnier climes for your summer holidays, you may be leaving your beloved houseplants alone for an extended period, two weeks or longer. This scenario requires you to again water well before leaving and move your plants to their holiday accommodation of the bathroom. However, seeing as you are in the bathroom, further measures can be now be taken to prevent your houseplants suffering or dying from drought, measures based on providing a store of water for the plant to draw on.

It works like this, put several layers of bath towels in the bottom of the bath and wet them thoroughly, until they are saturated through. Then with the bath-plug in place, fill the base of the bath with water just stopping short of the top towel or two. This will now be your plants water reservoir while you are away.

You will be clustering the plants quite close together on top of the towels to share the humidity, so I would advise you to carry out a check for pests and diseases which, if left undetected can spread rapidly on grouped and unattended plants. Check beneath leaves, up along stems, across the top of the compost, and even the base of the pot for any signs of disease or insects. Deal with any problems found as well as removing dead leaves and flower buds before you pop the houseplants into the bathtub.

You should position the plants to take advantage of the available moisture by screwing each plant pot lightly down into the top towel. With the holes in the pots base in contact with the wet towel it will now be able to draw water as needed through capillary action. Depending on the size, variety, and quantity of plants in the bath, this method can be expected to fulfil their watering needs for anything from two weeks to a month.

So, next time you are going to book into that five star hotel for a few weeks, first book your plants into the smallest room in the house, the bathroom.

Any queries or comments on Holiday or Vacation, How to Keep plants watered while away, please post below.

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