February vacation is right around the corner, which means it’s just about the time we start frequently hearing the question, “Do you babysit plants?” While we think that’s a great idea for a side hustle and wish we had a big, beautiful greenhouse to take on boarders, we simply don’t have the space or time to watch everyone’s plant babies. We do, however, have some great tips and tricks to help keep your plants happy and healthy while you enjoy your vacation.
1. If you only have a couple of plants, we recommend grouping them together in a big, wide container or bucket. Layer the bucket with rocks or marbles and fill it with water to the top of the rocks. Put the plants on top of the rock layer. This creates a nice humidity bed to keep your plants from drying out. This technique is good for about a week.
2. If you have a lot of plants, you’ll need a bigger bucket! We recommend putting all your plants in the bathtub. Fill the tub with about a quarter inch of water and put the plants (in their pots) in the water. This will not over water or drown your plants because they will only drink the water they need. This technique is good for 7 to 10 days.
3. If you have large trees and plants that you can’t easily move, we recommend investing in a self-watering spike or watering globe. The Plant Nanny Wine Bottle Stake, for example, will release a bottle of wine’s worth of water slowly and steadily into the soil. You can find those on Amazon here.
4. Before deciding which watering system is best for you, make sure you know your plants. Some plants will be fine for 2 weeks or more without water, especially in the winter when many plants enter a dormant period. Snake plants, succulents, and cacti are some examples that will be fine without water. If you aren’t sure about your plant, just ask us!
5. If your house or apartment gets a lot of light, we recommend moving your plants to a shadier spot. If possible, moving plants into a basement usually works great because basements provide a cooler, dryer, and darker environment. Plants will go into a dormant mode in this type of atmosphere and they will not need to drink as much water.
We hope this list will help you be worry-free on your trip and if you have any other specific plant care questions, please ask us!