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Keep house plants hydrated during holidays

water on leaves

Taking off on summer holidays? Wherever your vacation plans take you, before heading for the airport don’t forget about any thirsty plants at home. A two-week absence doesn’t mean your green friends have to experience a drought — the following methods should keep plants alive and well until you return.

plastic bottle water plant

Bottle hydration

Take an empty small disposable plastic bottle (former soda receptacles work great) and cut out the bottom with a pair of scissors. Unscrew the lid and cover the hole with a few layers of cotton gauze, and then secure it by wrapping string or an elastic band around the neck of the bottle. This lets water release slowly into the soil as well as prevents soil from clogging the opening. Test by filling the bottle with water the day before you leave. Repeat on the day of.

bathtub water

Bathtub waterer

In the tub, put the drain stopper into the closed position. Run the faucet until there’s about an inch or so of pooled water. Less is more here, as you don’t want to run the risk of drowning your plants. Lay down a thick beach or bath towel to cover the bottom and then place your potted plants on top of the towel (this will, quite obviously, only work with pots that have drainage holes to allow for water absorption).


Wet wicking

This is an easy solution that doesn’t require a lot of prep work. Simply set a large full bowl or pail of water and set it next to the plants to be hydrated. Cut an appropriate length of wicking material that will soak up moisture like paracord, thick yarn, or natural fibre rope and place one end deep in the container of water. Take the other end and insert two or three inches into the plant’s surrounding soil. If the container is big enough, you can feed multiple wicks to feed different plants.

By Benjamin Yong

June 29, 2017

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