Vacation is always a joy for a people, what cannot be said about houseplants. They often dry up and die during the absence of their owners. So, if neighbors and relatives cannot help either, we’ll tell you how to take care of your plants in advance.
Preparing for vacation
Two weeks left before departure
Stop feeding plants with various additives completely. This will help your indoor flowers slow down their rapid growth, and, therefore, reduce appetite and the need for your presence.
7-10 days left before departure
Remove all diseased and diseased leaves, shoots, buds. If necessary, treat sick plants with medicinal preparations, and healthy ones for prevention - with herbal infusions.
Three days left before departure
Cut the buds and flowers without regret. You will not be able to admire them anyway, and this will significantly save the plant’s strength and resources.
On the eve of the trip.
Water and wash each plant, place all flower pots on the floor, away from the scorching sun. Place the pots as close to each other as possible to keep the humidity in the air longer. You can build a polyethylene cap on top, but be careful: plants with succulent leaves can rot and become moldy.
6 ways to water plants at a distance
Method number 1: for plants in clay pots (7-10 days)
If you keep indoor plants in clay pots, then each pot can be wrapped in moss - both the moss and the plant are abundantly moistened. If there is no moss nearby, place a clay pot in a large plastic pot, and place a dampened expanded clay in the space between the walls of the pots. This method is effective if the plants are left for 7-10 days.
Method number 2: for plants in plastic pots
In plastic pots, the soil is covered from above with moist moss or expanded clay. Watered plants can be placed on trays, deep trays, or wide basins of water so that the bottom of the pot is submerged. This method is effective for moisture-loving plants.
Method number 3: watering through the "wick"
A wick is twisted from a thick woolen thread, bandage, or strip of fabric. One end of the wick is placed on the surface of the ground in a pot, and the other is lowered into a container of water, while the container with water should be located above the flower pot. Thus, the wick will get wet on one side from one side and the moisture will pass to the end of the wick that is in the pot. Care should be taken to get the correct number of wicks for given pot size. So for a pot with a diameter of 10 cm, one wick is enough, and for a pot with a diameter of 25-30 cm, 3-4 wicks are needed for a sufficient supply of water. By the way, special synthetic wicks are also sold in flower shops.
Method number 4:moisturizing through the fabric
Lay a cloth soaked in water on the oilcloth (cloth, felt, an old baby blanket folded in several layers of batting). Place the pots with already watered plants on the cloth; dip the end of the cloth into a container of water. Moisture will pass through the fabric to the pots. The pots must have drainage holes; saucers are not needed. Wet plants will release water and plants will absorb water through the drainage holes. This method is suitable for a period of 10-20 days.
Method number 5: watering through the "wick" at the bottom of the pot.
All you need is your flower pot and another container that you can place under the pot. Make holes in the pot and thread the string as shown. Place the pot on the suck with water so that the rope sinks into the water. Water along the rope will rise up and moisten the ground.
Method number 6: automatic irrigation systems.
Remember that all these methods are designed for a maximum of three to four weeks of your absence. If you have to leave for a longer period, then you cannot do without complex store-based automatic irrigation systems. Now you can buy them in any flower shop in the city: they represent a container with water, a set of thin tubes and a control system that ensures that the water supply is turned on at regular intervals, for example, 2 times a day.
Drip irrigation system
Irrigation tray made of capillary mats. It consists of two parts - an inner and an outer pallet. Water is poured into the outer pallet and the inner pallet is placed into it, which is lined with a capillary mat (it must be made of hygroscopic material. Its edge is lowered into a container with water). Flower pots are placed on it. In this way, the plants are provided with moisture for two weeks of your absence. The disadvantage of this method may be an increased moisture zone, which can cause leaf decay in specimens that are especially sensitive to excess moisture. There is also a possibility of decay of plant roots.
Devices, made of capillary porous material. The cone fills with water and the tip sinks into the soil. Through it, water is dropped into the pot with the plant. Large pots require several of these devices. This watering is enough for 7-10 days. You can buy such devices in flower shops or order on Ali Express.
Ceramic irrigation cones. These cones are not connected to a water tank. One end of a thin hose is connected directly to the cone, the other end with a weighting agent is immersed in a container of water. The water should be just above the level of the pot. Together with the soil in the pot, the material of the cone also dries up and it, as it were, pulls the water, which is supplied from the reservoir with a hose.
Smart flower pot with auto watering. Such a device is a double bottom pot. A flower pot with a flower is inserted into a pot, which is filled with water through a special hole. Such a device provides the plant with water for a long time and is very suitable if you are going on vacation for a month. The disadvantage of this method is that the plant produces water when the roots have reached the bottom of the pot. If the root system is not sufficiently developed, then in this case it will not be provided with moisture.
Indoor plant hydrogel. Produced in the form of multi-colored granules. They are made of a special polymer, 2 grams of which absorb up to 500 ml of water, and then slowly give it to the plant. Two grams of the hydrogel is designed for 800-1000 grams of soil substrate. There are also granules with fertilizers for flowers. Ideally, the pellets should be initially mixed with the soil but can be added to the topsoil when needed. The granules are pre-soaked for 7 hours in water to swell. Additional moss can be placed on top of the soil. In this case, the moisture will be enough for the plant for a week in the summer and up to two weeks in the winter and autumn. This method will not work for a long time.
Do you know?
... that Tradescantia, begonia, dracaena easily tolerate a temporary lack of moisture (up to 7 days)
... that aloe, agave, euphorbia tolerate temporary "droughts" and love sunlight, so it is better to leave them in the room on the windowsill, after watering them well.
... that the palms and ficuses that live on the balcony should be brought into the room during the holidays. They are also unpretentious to moisture, but in three weeks of your absence, they can get sick.
Coming back home
Carefully examine each flower, remove dried or rotted elements, and saturate the potted soil with bottom watering. Do not expose plants directly to light; train them to brighter lighting gradually. Show your plants that you’ve been missing them, and they’ll show you as well.