I get a lot of questions about vacation watering! And no wonder, independent plants are my specialty!
As much as I’d like to… I honestly DON’T recommend a plant straw for every plant. Here are some strategies for how to keep plants happy when you’re gone!
Train your plants to tolerate drought
Lots of plants in their natural habitat are used to periods of drought. Train your house plants to be too!
As you may have heard, many plants prefer to dry up in between waterings. While they may not grow as quickly as they could have with consistent access to moisture (& nutrients and light) these plants might become more persistent to other issues, such as pests and root rot, when allowed some rest.
Let’s say you want to be able to leave the house for two weeks, transition into a routine where you never water drought tolerant plants more often than that. After a while, you’ll learn to identify what plants can tolerate really long periods of drought, and you might start noticing how weather, such as heat and sun, affects your plats.
Some plants are not drought tolerant at all. If you have any of them you most likely know, especially after going through step 1. With a plant straw installed - you can actually leave these plants for as long as you’d like.
How? At least as long before leaving as you plan on staying away, install a plant straw. Watch the plant over the coming weeks, and adjust the setup if needed. For example, you might need to swap for a larger vase if it’s emptied earlier than you’d like, or you might want to use a longer length of cord in the soil to give your plant more moisture.
Other products and strategies
Increase humidity - plants pick up moisture from the air as well! Use a pebble tray, a humidifier on a timer or simply place a large vessel of water close to your plants. This way, you’ll be able to extend the time your plants survive without you... and they’ll probably thrive even when you’re around! ;)
Watering globes and self watering pots work similar to plant straws, with water in a separate or built in vessel. In my experience - globes with terracotta tips lasts slightly longer than the ones with an open end, but other than that… No further comments. :)
Move your plants - plants consume less water and nutrients when they’re exposed to less light. Place plants in the shade outdoors, and away from sunny windows indoors.
Ask a friend! If you plan to leave for longer periods, knowing your semi-drought tolerant plants normal watering cycles and reaction to weather is perfect when asking… So don’t skip step 1. :)