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Tips & Tech

Keeping Houseplants Happy While You Travel

If you have indoor houseplants, they require care when you are away. Unlike cats and dogs, there is no kennel where you can take them and pay a set fee for someone to make sure they get the light and water they need. If you have good neighbors, you may be able to make arrangements for one of them to come in and do some watering once or twice while you are away. If you are going to be gone several weeks or a month or more, this may not be the best solution. Often, and we’re not sure why, neighbors seem to overwater our plants.

There are lots of gizmos on the market that claim they will keep your plants hydrated and some work and some do not. We’ve learned what works and what doesn’t the hard way over the years.  The best solution we’ve discovered is a self watering pot with a bottom reservoir. Manufacturers claim these pots will keep your plants watered for up to two weeks but, the truth is, they may not work that long if you have the air conditioner running (more evaporation) or the pot is too small.

A great solution we’ve found is to fill the reservoir and then stand the plant in a large plastic container. We use large plastic storage tubs and place them in the bathtub. Put enough water in the plastic container to go several inches above the top of the reservoir opening. This will keep the plant happy for a month or more and, if it is kept in a well lit environment, the plant will be alive and happy when you get home.

There are lots of self watering planters on the market but one of the better choices is Misco (available at Amazon, Walmart, Home Depot and other fine stores). They offer several different sizes and colors so you can mix and match for all your plant needs.