If you’re a plant parent, you might know that dreaded feeling of returning home only to find your beautiful pothos have become crisp around the edges and your once bright green monstera is now as limp as a noodle.
And while you might be wondering how that could have happened, Lora Pangborn, a gardening expert Online garden store and plant education center Bloomscape said that even during a short trip or absence, “plants can fall off quickly in certain circumstances.” Pangborn also said that doesn’t mean you have to write off the vacation forever. It just means that it’s important to maintain a controlled environment for your plants when you’re not there.
“One of the simplest things you can do to prepare for an extended absence is quite simple: make sure your plants experience the same conditions they’re used to when you’re home,” she said .
Erin Marino is a plant expert at The Sill, a plant shop that offers workshops and has storefronts in five major cities. She said that before creating a care plan for your plants, you should consider the year, the type of plants you have and the time you plan to be gone.
“In winter, houseplants can go into a state of dormancy or dormancy. And because plants only absorb water based on the amount of light they get, they need to water less often than they do in the summer,” Marion said.
Pangborn suggested grouping moisture-loving plants in a small space that would allow them to generate their own moisture while ensuring that the plants that enjoy the sun the most have unobstructed access to natural light.
“Plant health issues related to watering can occur quickly, so consistency is key here, too,” she added. “Plan your watering schedule to give your plants a good soak the day before you leave. Make sure there is no excess water in the saucers that could cause rot problems.”
Both Pangborn and Marino said that as difficult as plant care can be, especially when you leave your plants unattended, there are also tools and products that can help maintain a consistent environment and prevent you from burying your favorite fern. Read on for handy watering aids, timed lighting systems and more, and tips on how to use them.
A pouch of organic lava rocks that retain moisture
A way to keep the humidity high for your plants
A trio of hardy plants that easily adapt to absences
A clever way to increase moisture and humidity levels for your plant
A way to control the temperature in your home, no matter where you are
A grow light with a built-in timer
A wick that helps your plant water itself
A variety of succulents that can go weeks without water
One way to build a makeshift greenhouse
A set of mushroom-shaped watering pears