Plant Care on Vacation

Plant Vacation Care- Guide for Gardening Beginners

You’re about to pack the last whatnots in your bag, and then, a moment of reality strikes you- who’s gonna take care of your beloved green friends while you’re away? Have no worries, I came up with a special plant vacation care guide which will give you all the necessary directions you need to follow.

First and foremost, you need to analyze your “plant family” and be completely sure of the watering demands and requirements of each species. There are plenty of useful gadgets which may help you take good care of your plants while you are traveling. If you want to find out how long can plants go without water and how to water houseplants while on vacation, this is the place for you.

Stay with me and enjoy!

How Long Can Plants Do without Watering?

Unless you plan a vacation which is a couple of months long, your plants won’t die for those 7 to 10 days while you are away. Or even two weeks.

The majority of them can do just fine without water for such a period of time. This rule works just fine in almost all seasons. Still, if we are talking about the summer holiday, then you probably know that during this period plants require more water than in some other seasons.

What about winter?

As I said, you won’t be dealing with the same issues on how to water indoor plants while on vacation during the colder season. The main reason is more than obvious- the outside temperature is not so high and days are shorter.

That significantly decreases the plant’s requirements for the precious liquid. All you have to do is make sure the inside temperature is higher than 60°F (15°C). If you adjust this, even the most sensitive species will be okay.

Pro-Tip: When making your “water plants when away” plan, you need to take a couple of aspects into consideration. How long are you going to be on vacation? What will the weather be like during your absence? Where are your plants accommodated?

Are You Familiar with Your Plants Watering Requirements?

As you know, flowering type species have different requirements than the foliage species. The former ones crave much more water. What’s even more, they mostly prefer moist soil. On the other hand, foliage types are not so needy, but still leaving them thirsty for too long would not be a smart idea.

For that reason, it would be wise to come up vacation plant watering schedule, infographic, plan, whatever you like, and see what are the options.

Who Waters the Plants while Your Are on Vacation?

If you are one of those who like to travel often, then you should adjust your indoor plant assortment based on that. This way you will have a home full of lovely indoor plants and you won’t feel guilty when you’re away, leaving plants for 2 weeks.

Dracaenas, aspidistras, and palms are one of those “vacation-friendly” species. That’s because they can withstand long periods without water. On average, three to four weeks at a time.

Pro-Tip: Did you know that some plants can survive without water for a couple of months? Yes, it’s cacti and succulents I’m aiming at, so if you travel frequently, they are the most ideal choice for your house.

Can Anyone Water Your Plants While You’re Away?

In the most ideal scenario, the best would be to ask someone to be in charge of watering plants while on vacation. This way, your green friends will not only get the precious liquid but a company as well.

To make sure everything goes well, the best would be to give some instructions to your “helper”.

Those hints include:

  • Does one need to water plants on vacation every day?
  • Are there any plants without water that don’t need the precious liquid while you’re away?
  • Should any plant be fertilized in the meantime?

This way, you will ensure your plants will receive just the necessary amount of the things they need. Not too much or too little of something- but some well-measured amount of it. Make sure you provide the RIGHT water- mention your “assistant” that tap water is a huge no-no.

Related: Overwatering Houseplants- 10 Signs and How to Fix

Bear in mind that not all people have a green thumb. As a matter of fact, most people who are not into gardening would assume that all plants like to be drenched and would water them generously. Just in case. But, such reasoning could harm a plant.

So, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with giving detailed instructions on watering house plants while away. Write a complete list of plants, clarify if need watering, or don’t. If yes- specify the amount of water and frequency.  

Use sticky notes to draw attention to a specific pot. Put numbers on plants. Draw a map of plants in your house. There are so many colorful solutions for this.

Pro-Tip: When it comes to fertilizing, take my advice, and skip it while you’re away. Perhaps the person you leave in charge has no idea of the role of fertilizer and harms caused by improper use. So, a plant will survive without one portion of food, but perhaps it won’t react well if over-fertilized.

Useful Watering Gadgets and Other Solutions

In case you really cannot find anyone to help you, don’t panic. I’ve got a solution for that as well. Not just one, a couple of them.

A bed of moist peat in trays

Relying on nature’s laws, what you should do is reduce the amount of light your plants receive. Of course, not by placing it in the darkest corner of your house.

When you arrange these trays, just relocate the containers in some shadier spot. This way, they will still receive a solid amount of light, but won’t need so much water.

This is probably one of the simplest “fixes” on watering house plants on vacation. However, this won’t work if you are away for longer than ten days or two weeks max. Light insufficiency could result in some issues.

Wick watering

For this method, you need a string (for example, shoelace), a nut/bolt to tie it at the end of each string, and reservoirs. Some of the reservoirs are placed underneath while others can stand next to the pot with plant.

Personally, this variant reminds me of some sort of “make your very own self-watering containers“. This way your plant will receive water in smaller amounts continuously, without any risk of overwatering. The plant itself will take the amount of water it needs. Just like the previous one, this is also one of the simplest, DIY solutions to water plants while on vacation.

You can also place the containers on a wet mat- capillary mating is particularly popular. The only thing to pay attention to here is the material of the pot.

It’s not advisable to use this if you have clay pots, because they are more porous. Also, they evaporate more quickly and soak up water.

Water spikes and water globes

I’m pretty aware that not all the gardeners are “in the mood” to experiment and they need some faster solution. If you are one of those then self-watering globes and watering spikes could be the right thing for you.

How do these work?

They have a reservoir with water, and it leaks gradually. The part of the device where that reservoir is located should be on the top of the soil.

Come to think of it- a plastic bottle or bag, that’s all you need to make one! (Sorry, I cannot resist!). Pierce a small hole and let it drip out slowly.


Now that you know all there is about keeping plants watered while on vacation, I’m pretty sure traveling will be less stressful. As you can see, there are tons of practical solutions so that both you and your plant can be satisfied.

Have you good any cool tips for watering house plants on vacation for me? Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below!