Leaving your plants home alone for the holidays? It can be nerve wracking (or downright overwhelming) to step away from them, or entrust their care to someone else, but we've got our best tips to make sure you return to happy and healthy plants!
If you won't be gone long enough to need a plant sitter, IE- your plants won't need water before you return, there are still a few things you should do to prepare for the time away:
- Check to make sure that all plants are as recently watered as possible and won't need more water before you return. If they will, consider finding a plant sitter, or using a self-watering product like a Plant Straw.
- Ensure humidifiers are full, and any grow lights/humidifiers are on a timer.
- Quarantine any problem plants to keep pests or other issues from spreading.
- If you usually run the heat or AC, make sure that you have those set to come on occasionally while you're away. Temps can change dramatically indoors without climate control and plants can freeze/overheat.
- Don't forget your propagations/cuttings. Change water before leaving and/or make sure plant sitters know to top off or change the water. For non-water based propagations, make sure the planting medium is moist enough, and heat mats are set on a timer as well.
If you'll be gone for longer than your plants can go between waterings, you'll want to find a plant sitter. Whether you're using a pro, or just a friend who is willing to help, set them up for success with a few simple steps:
- Group plants with similar care needs together (you may need to move some plants around). Then add notes to every area, indicating how to care for each group.
- If you use cachepots, it's often easiest to remove plants from their decorative pots and place them in a sink/tub, as long as there's enough light for the plants there. This helps cut down on the risk of root rot, since excess water can freely drain out.
- Have a lot of hanging plants? If you have the right light in your bathroom, try hanging them all on the shower curtain rod- less trips for the plant sitter and everything can drip dry into the tub. If you don't have a window in your bathroom, you can set up a hanging clothes rack in another room with a tarp/towels underneath.
If you don't want to move your plants around, try making simple markers out of popsicle sticks, etc. Assign a color code to indicate how often the different types of plants should be watered and place the markers in the corresponding plants.
If your plant sitter is still nervous about the responsibility, consider a regular video call so you can see how the plants are doing and offer any guidance needed.
Don't allow worrying about your plants to keep you from enjoying the holidays. A little bit of preparation will keep your plants thriving, even while you're away from them!