How to Deal with Your Houseplants Over the Holidays

How to Deal with Your Houseplants Over the Holidays

You love taking vacations to new or your favorite places, but you also love your plants and don’t want to see them wilt while you’re away. Studies have shown that trips are good for your health, so good for you! However, you cannot put your plants on hold until you come back. Unlike pets, you can’t leave plants under the care of a neighbor or a boarding house. While some plants can survive for quite long without water, others need close to daily care. But even for these, you can leave them on their own with a little planning and forethought. Here are a few tips to ensure you don’t come back to withered and sad looking houseplants.

Before you leave

Just before you embark on your vacation, there are a few last-minute tips that will help your plants remain moist for longer. First, remove decayed and dead leaves and then soak your plants up in water. Trimming the foliage of mature plants will make sure they will require and use up less water while you are away.  You can even prune the buds and fruits just about to blossom to mitigate the water requirement. Secondly, mulch your plants with mulch material such as bark trimmings or dry leaves. This way, the soil will stay moist for longer since there will be much less evaporation.


There are a number of ways to keep your plants hydrated when you leave them for a while. To begin with, make sure the soil is completely saturated. After that, get a glass bottle with a narrow neck and fill it with water. Place your thumb in it and turn it upside down. Push the bottleneck into the soil, making sure that it’s sturdy and secure. Make sure that the water is draining properly, and your plant will be watered until the water runs out. Alternatively, you can create a sting drip irrigation system or pierce a bottle on the sides, fill it with water and insert it into a hole in the soil.


Protect your plants from direct sunlight, perhaps using a sheer curtain for those that are too big to move. The more the sunlight, the faster your soil will dry out.

General tips

Move pots and containers together so the plants can provide each other with shade and humidity.

Hydrogen peroxide can be of great help in killing any gnat eggs inside the soil. You can also spray the leaves with a mixture of hydrogen peroxide and water on the day you leave.

Ask a neighbor or friend you can trust to help water your plants while you are away. Turn the thermostat down to keep the surrounding cool.

If you have any sensitive plants, place them inside a small greenhouse made of plastic trash bags placed upside down over each plant.

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