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How to Take Care of Indoor Plants When You're on Vacation

Returning from vacation means you’re refreshed, rested, maybe even a little tan…but your plants may tell a different story, one that’s parched, lifeless and drooping. When you get out of town for a three-day weekend (or longer), taking a few precautions means your plants will survive and thrive while you’re away. Here are our top tips.

Keep them cool.

During extra warm weather, regulate the indoor temperature by keeping the AC set to about 60 degrees. Or, move your plants to a cooler room, like the basement, so long as there’s a window that gets sunlight during the day.

Give them a little shade.

Instead of keeping your plants in direct sunlight, move them to a slightly more shady area, where they’ll still get enough sun but without getting scorched. They won’t dry out as quickly and they’ll retain more water than usual.

Feed them mulch.

Wood chips and bark mulch can help plants hold onto water for longer than normal. Add some to the container, on top of the soil.

Huddle them up.

By grouping your potted plants together, the air surrounding them will stay humid as the plants release moisture through transpiration.

Use a water wick.

Most garden centers sell water wicks, which are a great option if you’re going to be leaving on vacation for a while. A couple of weeks before you leave, test the water wick to see where you should place it to keep the soil as moist as possible. Note that water wicks don’t always work well with thick, clumpy soil.

Prep your plant babysitter.

If you’re lucky enough to have a trusted friend come over to water your plants while you’re away, make sure to give them instructions. Over-watering can kill a plant just like under-watering can! If you have several different plants, leave instructions by each one to make it foolproof for your pal.

Water the night before.

The night before you leave, give all of your plants a good watering, until the water begins to drain from the bottom of the pot. Make sure the water drains completely, then dump it – plants shouldn’t be left standing in water.

Don’t fertilize!

Fertilizing your plants before you leave means they’ll grow more quickly, but the goal is to have them grow slowly so they need less care.

Have you found any clever ways to keep plants healthy while you’re away? Tell us!

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