Who else is daydreaming about their next escape? We surely are. As it gets hotter in UAE, everyone is feeling that travel itch. There are many things to consider, like how to split the holiday days between family visits and unexplored exotic beaches.
But also, some of us have separation anxiety when having to leave all our plant babies unattended. How will they survive without us?
Surely nothing can compare to the love of a plant parent, but the good news is that your plants will be just fine if you apply a few simple care hacks before traveling.
Here are some basic things you can do before you go:
- Group your plants together, so that they create their own microclimate and humidity. Place them in a shaded area, but with access to some natural light. Direct sunlight will dry the soil quicker, nonetheless, most plants still need natural light to grow healthy.
- Water all your plants thoroughly before you leave. Unless it’s a cactus or a succulent, your plants will love a nice lukewarm shower, allowing the water to flow freely from the drainage hole. Wait for all the excess water to drain, before placing the pot back on the saucer, to avoid root rot. (This only applies to pots with drainage. If your pots don’t have drainage, water them well and mist them thoroughly).
- Remove the dead and yellow leaves, prune the flowers, buds and fruits to minimize the amount of water needed while you’re away.
- Cacti and succulents can go for months without water. Make sure to water them well before you leave, move them away from direct sun and they’ll be totally fine.
Long weekend getaways (1-4 days):
- Add a few layers of newspapers on top of the soil to keep the soil moist for a few days, as the amount of evaporated water will decrease.
- Fill a tray with water and pebbles, and place the pot on top, making sure that it sits on the pebbles and not soaking in water. As the water evaporates, the moisture will travel through the drainage hole straight to the roots. Pebble trays are also good to distribute humidity to the plants nearby. So win-win!
Seeing your family this summer? (1-2 weeks)
- Water container. Twine thread. All your plants. Fill a large container with water and add one end in the container and the other end in the soil (2-5 cm deep). The water will wick from the container to the plant and keep its soil moist.
Caution! Water the plant thoroughly and make sure your DIY system has no flaws before you leave. You might need to change the thread or reposition the water container.
If your bathroom has a window, then you can let your humidity loving plants enjoy a nice bath while you’re away. Lay a towel at the bottom of the bathtub and fill up the tub up to 5cm. Place the plant pots in the tub, making sure they all have good drainage holes and the water can get to the roots.
Backpacking through SE Asia? (2-4 weeks)
- Plant sitting is a thing and you should consider it. Ask a good friend or a neighbour to pop in and giving your plants some love. You can leave a schedule and some basic instructions.
- Another option is to create a DIY terrarium with a large clear plastic bag. Club the plants together and place them on a towel on the floor, away from direct sun. Insert 3-4 tall sticks on the edges of the pots, to create a structure on which you will dress the plastic bag. Seal the bag at the bottom with a rubber band. This will create a terrarium effect, where the plants will release water that will drip back onto the soil.
With all that in mind, have a great holiday! You got this!