How water plants while on vacation. 6+3 DIY Methods

How to water plants while away? This post shares some tips on how to water plants while away.

Plants embellish your home by adding color and life to your household. They also freshen up the air and attract insects and birds to your compound. However, they require a lot of care during the dry season when you have to water them regularly.

It is also during the dry months that you want to go on vacation and enjoy the summer on a sunny beach.

How water plants while on vacation: indoor plants

How to water indoor plants while on vacation?

Method 1. Glass bottle solution

A used glass bottle can time release water for plants while on vacation. You can use a wine, sauce, soda, or vinegar bottle for this purpose.

Start by cleaning it with soapy water to remove residual chemicals and dirt. Then fill it with water, drill a hole in the center of the cap, and seal it.

Then poke a 2-inch hole in the soil near the plant and place the bottle facing upside down. Make sure it sticks firmly by pressing it and pressing the soil around it.

Method 2. Houseplant Bath

A houseplant bath is a system where you place your plants in a saucer or bathtub containing fresh water. Leave it to soak for several hours then drain the water.

This method works best for potted plants because the soil remains firm even after hours of soaking. Such plants can retain moisture for 2-3 weeks.

Method 3. Water Wicking Drip System

The wick watering system works like a kerosene stove where a wick transfers water from the source to the plants. The wick can be a custom-wick, shoelaces, or some other absorbent material. Bury one side of the wick in the soil near the plant and insert the other in a water source such as a bucket.

Water flows from the source through capillary action until the soil is very damp. The wick stops absorbing water when the soil is soggy and resumes when it starts to dry up.

The advantage of a wicking system is that the plant will always have sufficient water supply as long as there is water in the bucket or tray.

Method 4. Plant Saucer Setup

A plant saucer is a suitable device to water plants while away. The setup is similar to the Wicking Drip except that you place the plant pot on top of a grooved saucer. In this arrangement, you put one side of the wick in the pot and the other in the saucer.

Then add water to the saucer such that part of the wick is submerged in the water. Typically, the water is only 2-3 inches deep. The soil inside the pot absorbs water through capillary action, ensuring that the plant always has sufficient moisture.

Method 5. Tiny Plastic Bag Greenhouse

A plastic bag greenhouse is a cover you put on the plant so that it does not lose much moisture through transpiration. Start by watering the plant until the soil is moist.

Then place the entire plant, including the pot inside the plastic bag. The plant won’t suffocate because it produces oxygen and absorbs carbon dioxide.

After inserting, prick small holes all over the bag so that there is minimal air circulation. This prevents damping off, which is a form of rotting caused by fungus.

Method 6. Plastic Water Bottle Planter

A plastic bottle planter is a bottle in which you place the plant to be watered. Collect plastic bottles and cut them into two equal parts.

Put soil in the upper half then insert your plant in this soil. Seal it with a cloth to prevent the soil from falling out. Then add water to the lower half of each plastic bottle.

Insert the top half inside the lower half such that part of it is immersed in the water. Alternatively, you can use a wick to absorb water instead of inserting the top half in water.

How water plants while on vacation: outdoor plants

How to keep outdoor plants watered while on vacation?

Method 1. Apply water and Mulching

If you have access to plenty of organic matter, you can use it to keep plants watered while on vacation. Mulching is effective if your vacation lasts a few days as you will be back before the plants start to wilt. First, water the plants thoroughly using a hosepipe until it is soggy.

Then gather the mulch and place it around the plants such that the layer is 2-3 inches thick. The mulch prevents water from evaporating and will keep the soil moist for up to seven days, depending on the weather conditions. After applying the mulch, poke the ground with a shovel or screwdriver to aerate the soil.

Method 2. Rain Barrel and Soaker Hoses

If your trip will last several weeks, mulching may not work out as the moisture will be gone within a week. In this case, a rain barrel will suffice as it ensures a continuous supply of water even when you are away.

Check the amount of water in the rain barrel and fill it with tap water if it is half full. Then connect a soaker hose to the rain barrel and spread it around the garden.

The hose will douse a small garden slowly such that it will remain most for almost two weeks.

Method 3. Water your garden with plastic bottles

In case you don’t use rain barrels or other bulk water storage systems, you can use plastic bottles. Plastic bottles are abundant in most American households and neighborhoods, so it won’t be hard for you to gather a dozen or more.

After collecting the bottles, wash them of chemicals and will them with water. Then water your garden till it is all moist. Poke a hole on the cap of each bottle or use irrigation spikes and place them upside down next to each plant.

If you are going for more than a week, use 2-liter bottles so that they will still have some water by the time your return. You can hire extra hands if the garden is too big for you to complete in time for the vacation.

DIY or paid methods

The hacks we have discussed are not comprehensive but cover the most common DIY methods of watering plants while you are away. But if you are still wondering what to use to water plants while on vacation, paid plans are also an option.

The most common commercial systems are drip irrigation, sprinklers, pumps, and hydroponics. The options vary with region, as some methods are not viable in particular climates.

As another option, you can use self watering pots and self watering devices. We’ve made a list of the most useful types of self watering devices for indoor/outdoor usage:

  1. Pots, Planters Pots, Planters (especially pots for Arfican Violets, pots for Orhcids);
  2. Window Boxes Window Boxes;
  3. Bulbs Bulbs/Globes;
  4. Spikes Spikes;
  5. Containers for garden Containers for garden;
  6. Containers for tomatoes Containers for tomatoes;
  7. Hanging baskets Hanging baskets;
  8. Vertical gardens Vertical gardens;
  9. Wall Planters Wall Planters.

self watering devices are a way to save time and money while ensuring your plants get the right amount of water without you needing to tend them.

More about self watering planters in our article “How Do A self watering Pots Work?”

The advantage of paid systems is that they are very efficient because they place the drips or sprinklers in strategic locations where most of the water falls on the targeted plant. Some include smart controls with a digital monitor such that you can operate them remotely.

Use paid methods if your plants are too sensitive to dry conditions and feel that the cost is justified. However, you can still do DIY if you are confident that it will work on your plants.