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How to look after plants when you go on holiday

Best answer? Grab another plant person whose socials are as plant filled as yours and hand them your keys. 
In lieu of friend that good, you're going to need to do some prep work. While you can get away with a weekend here and there, anyone planning a longer trip (two weeks plus) should consider putting in the time to set your plant fam up so they can keep on thriving while you get some sweet vacay time. 

Water

For a week or so, don't stress. Give your plants a good drink (I'm talking, chuck them in the shower kinda drink). Let all the water drain out  before you move them back, that way you're making sure the potting media is moist, but not wet, and therefore minimising the chance of root rot or encouraging everybody's favourite plant pest, fungus gnats, to move in. Put them back in place and go enjoy yourself. They'll be fine. Don't even worry about your cacti and succulents they'll hold up just fine without a drink for a couple of weeks. Oh and make sure you're only watering dry (or nearly dry) potting mix when you do this. 
If you're going on a longer holiday, you've got a few options and what you go with will depend on the plant. Remember each plant is different and will require different levels of water and humidity depending on where you've got them in the house and what sort of plant they are. Don't treat your Calatheaslike your Sansevs
Think about grouping your humidity loving plants together or possibly creating their own personal terrariums by placing a couple of sticks on either side of the pot (chopsticks or skewers are perfect for smaller plants) and placing a plastic bag loosely on top. Make sure you cut a hole in the top of the bag though (or use cling wrap instead!)
Another great option is to place you plants on pebble trays. You might have read about these before (they're a great plant hack for your humidity hungry plants). Place your pot on the pebbles, and fill the tray with water so that it sits just below the pot. This will increase moisture around the plant and help to prevent it drying out. 

Light

Light = growth = thirsty plants. So while normally we encourage perfect light conditions for optimal growth, when you go on holiday you want to reduce how much water your plants need, and you can do this by slightly reducing how much light each plant receives. Think about moving each plant a little further away from the light they currently receive. Enough for them to survive, but not the optimal amount the plant needs for best growth. 
And remember, windows heat up quicker and dry plants out faster, so even if they're not in a bright spot but still by the window, consider shuffling them away to reduce the risk of them drying out. 

Dust

If you're going away for a while, you want to make sure you plants can still photosynthesize and produce their own food. Give your foliage a good clean before you head off using a neem spray, so that too much dust doesn't gather while you're away.

Fertiliser

While we are big advocates for a regular fertilisingregime, you want to hold off on fertilising your plants in the weeks leading up to your holiday. This will reduce the speed of their growth, and consequently make them less thirsty for the duration of your absence. 

Snip Snip

Take the time to use that pair of fancy secateursyou have give your plants a once over. Remove any dead or dying foliage, and snip off any flowers or buds that are developing . 
So now you can stress even less on your next holiday, knowing you've set your plants up for a smooth ride in your absence. But if you have that friend to call, get them on the line and let them take care of your plant fam for you. 

 

 

 

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