How to keep your plants alive when you’re away

Photo by Vadim Kaipov from Unsplash

Taking care of plants is a joyful and continuous learning experience. And although gardeners love their plant babies, there will be some instances that they have to leave them behind—for a few days at least. 

Fortunately, there are some ways plant parents can keep their babies alive, even if they’re left alone. Here are some of them. 


Plant parents often worry if their babies have received the right amount of water that they need to thrive. But since they’re away, they have no way of making sure. 

One way to keep plants, especially larger ones, regularly watered is by using a wine bottle. Grab an empty twist-off wine bottle. Poke a hole in the metal cap before filling the bottle with water. Screw the pierced back on top and put the wine bottle cap-side down into the potted plant and position it deep enough into the soil so that the bottle will stand up on its own. The water will slowly release over time, keeping the plant watered even without supervision. 

Another approach suitable for several tropical plants is placing them in a makeshift water reservoir such as a bathtub, basin, or kiddie pool. Fill the reservoir with one to two inches of water. Remove any saucers from the bottom of the plants’ pots and place the plants together in the tub, basin, or pool. The plants will soak up the water through the drainage hole to quench their thirst. 

The third suggestion is to group plants by type before heading out. For instance, succulents and cacti should be together with other plants that won’t need any attention and watered before being left independent. On the other hand, keep tropical plants together so they can feed off of each other’s moisture and warmth. 

Oxygen and airflow

Water isn’t the sole concern for plant parents who are leaving their babies alone for some time. They also worry about oxygen and airflow since some plants have specific temperature requirements where they grow best. 

For plants that prefer humid conditions, plant parents can try making a temporary mini-greenhouse using a plastic container. This will allow the cycle of water humidity to be maintained. A plastic bag can also be used as a small terrarium.

Another way to help plants maintain good airflow and keep them in the right conditions is by keeping them away from variables that could immediately change the temperature. This includes air vents, sunny windows, and heaters. 

Loving gardeners will do anything in their power to keep their plants alive. And even if they’re not physically around to do it, they can always try different ways to make sure that they come home to happy, healthy plants. 

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