We all need a break from time to time. And being a plant owner certainly shouldn’t prevent you from enjoying some much-needed time away. Luckily, while you’re off relaxing, there are plenty of ways to keep your indoor plants happy and healthy.
Here are our top tips:
Move your plants out of the sun
If left in a warm, sunny spot, your houseplants will use up more water, through evaporation and faster drinking. So, make sure you move them far enough away from the window that they can still get light but aren’t exposed to too much heat.
Water your plants before you go
The best thing you can do for your indoor plants before leaving is to give them good watering. You should let the excess drain off fully – don’t leave them sitting in water – but a good watering means they should be fine for a few days. Remember not to overwater your plants as it can cause the roots to rot. Press your finger down into the top 1-2 inches. If the soil feels dry give it some water, if it’s moist leave it for a few days. If you’re just going away for a few days your plant will probably be fine, but if you’re going away for longer let a friend know (see below).
Invest in some mulch
Sprinkling mulch over watered soil helps to keep in all the moisture. This is ideal if you’re only going away for a few days as it will help keep your plants fed throughout your trip.
Huddle your plants together
If you group your plant together, they can create their own microclimate, which will help to keep the air around them moist. You could group them together in the bath with a layer of wet newspaper underneath to help them to absorb moisture while you are away. Don’t forget some of your plants love the light more than others, so for example keep your Aloe Vera and Pineapple plants closer to the light and your shade-loving plants such as Boston ferns, Monstera, Rubber plants, and peace lilies away from the light.
Ask a plant-loving friend to help out
If you’re going away for more than a week or two, ask a local friend to pop in and water your plants. We recommend that you ask a friend who loves plants as much as you do so they don’t cause more harm than good by overwatering or forgetting to water at all.
Water your plants when you get home
Don’t worry if your plants look a bit wilted when you arrive home. You’ll be amazed at how quickly they can recover with a gentle watering. Don’t be tempted to overwater them, just give them what they need and see them revive before your eyes! Plants that have started to turn a paler shade of green need more sunlight. If some of the leaves are turning brown, you’re giving your plant too much sun. Try somewhere without any direct sunlight. The earlier you notice these signs of distress, the easier it will be to revive your plant.
Orchids have become incredibly popular and as tropical/ subtropical plants they can be complicated to look after so we are giving them their own section of this article! If you are having a friend look after your plants while you’re away don’t forget to share this advice with them.
- Orchids, in their natural habitat they grow out of trees or rocks and therefore do not need soil and will always come in a well-drained pot with coarse wood chips. So these do not need repotting (even by a well-intentioned friend while you’re away!).
- Overwatering a Phalaenopsis is the best way to shorten its life so always check the moisture in the pot using your finger and even if it’s bone-dry, wait one more day until you water it.
- Orchids are flowering plants and after some time (it could be weeks or months) they will lose their flowers. The only way to help it re-flower is to cut off the flower stalk at the base of the plant and place it in a room that can recreate tropical climate conditions (good humidity and at least a month of 10-degree temperature change between night and day). Not easy to achieve but very rewarding if you persevere.
Echeverias are succulent plants native to the South American desert (so, they’re a bit more capable of looking after themselves when you’re on holiday!). They’re actually such a self-sustaining plant that once they’re planted they need very little attention. However, before you go away there are some things to consider to ensure your plant is still flourishing when you get home.
- Plant them in well-draining soil, such as cactus soil, or add perlite or coarse sand to the potting mix to improve drainage.
- Use an unglazed pot such as a terracotta pot with drainage holes that will help to absorb excess moisture and keep the roots safe from overwatering.
- Make sure that they receive plenty of sun. They need to be placed in an area that receives at least six hours of sunlight per day. The shape of your echeveria is a good indicator as to whether or not it is receiving appropriate sunlight, as it will elongate or stretch toward the closest light source if sunlight is inadequate. Don’t forget when you’re going away to leave your echeveria in a sunny spot!
- Avoid overwatering your echeveria. When watering, thoroughly soak the soil, then allow it to dry completely before watering again.
Gorgeous Flower Subscription
If you have an ongoing flower subscription, like the one available from The Gorgeous Flower Company, pause or cancel it while you’re away and restart it when you get back so you can continue to enjoy fresh flowers regularly.
Find out more about how you can enjoy fresh seasonal bouquets and regular flower delivery in Dubai with The Gorgeous Flower Club Subscription.