University of Florida

Caring for Houseplants While Away

When you travel for vacation or a business trip, it's nice to have someone check on your plants every few days. But even if you can't find a plant-sitter, you can still be worry-free when you leave town. There are self-watering wicks, which go into a container of water on one end, and into the soil of the plant on the other, drawing up as much water as your plant needs. There are also fully automated watering systems, although these may be expensive. You can create a greenhouse effect, by placing a plastic bag over the plant, helping it retain moisture. Just be sure the plastic doesn't touch the plant, and keep it out of direct light. If you're going to be gone for a while, you can put the plant, container and all, outside in the ground. Add mulch to help conserve water.

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