We all deserve a break once and awhile, and the holiday season is ideal for taking one. Whether you're headed to Hawaii for two weeks (take us with you?) - or simply planning on not getting out of bed till the New Year - we have your plant care covered. The last thing you want to come home to - or wake up to - is a sill full of dead plants. And let's face it, most of us can't afford a plant-sitter, nor have a friend who's enthusiastically offering. Do not fret… follow our top 3 tips below to ensure your houseplants survive winter break (hey, you survived the months leading up to it!)
- For short departures: Soak it. While you shouldn't regularly overwater your plants, this is an exception to the rule. If you're going to be gone for up to a week, a good soil-soaking before departure is be sufficient. Make sure to let drain so the soil is soaked but your plants aren't sitting in water. We like to transport our plants to the tub and give them a good shower. It also provides a great place for them to drain - aside from all over your hardwood floors, of course.
- For longer absences:
a. Add it. Add mulch, rocks, or wood chips to your plant's soil to help hold moisture.
b. Bag it. Water thoroughly and then cover with a clear plastic bag, creating a makeshift greenhouse. Make a couple slits in the plastic to allow for air circulation. (This should work for up to a 16-week absence!)
c. Move it. Transport your plants to your bathroom (provided you have a window) or another small room with medium light. The smaller the room the easier it is to maintain humidity. Grouping your plants together also helps. We're waiting for our next long vacation to try the "bathtub trick" we found on the blog Home + Away with Lisa.
Plants are likely to wilt in direct sunlight - and if you're not home to catch it, the results after a week or two can be devastating. If you usually keep your plants on a sunny sill, move them to the center of the room, or a spot lit by indirect sunlight, while you're away. This helps to keep the soil from drying out. Turning down the thermostat a smidge helps, too. Once you return, be sure to move your plants back to their usual spot on the sunny sill.
If you use fertilizer - hold off on until you return. You want your plants to grow as slowly as possible while you're gone. They deserve a little rest and relaxation, too.
P.S. If you travel frequently, it might be best to choose a plant that doesn't need frequent watering. We'd recommend a drought-friendly succulent or cactus!