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With a little preparation, your house plants can survive a little separation. Photo / Unsplash
Before heading away for a trip, it’s almost too easy to give your house a final check for anything you’ve forgotten and miss what’s right in front of you.
The house plants.
Anyone who has tenderly watered, fed and cared for a family of flora knows the horror of returning home to find them withered beyond repair.
Luckily, with a little preparation, you can make sure your string of hearts or orchid thrives while you’re on holiday.
Get a plant-sitter
Since most plants can make it 8 to 10 days without water, a longer trip will likely require palming your plant onto a trusted friend or family member.
To avoid forcing someone to foster a forest, consider giving them your most needy plants, or ask them to come round and give your plants a quick water every few days. Just make sure you ask a fellow green-fingered friend who knows what they’re doing.
Keep it mild
Like people, most plants don’t like temperatures that are too hot or too cold. While it may be too expensive to keep the AC to a perfect temperature, consider what spots in your house will stay at a mild temperature while you’re away, especially if they’re going a few days without water.
Give them some shade
Whether you’re on vacation or not, your plants should never be in direct sunlight or total darkness. Instead, put them in places that will get filtered or diffused light, to ensure they don’t wilt while you’re away.
Automate your watering
You aren’t the first person faced with this conundrum, in fact, there’s a whole industry of automated watering devices that help travellers (or just plain forgetful folk) keep their plants hydrated. You could use an old-fashioned water globe or try a high tech self-watering pot.
Rethink being a plant parent
During weeks (and sometimes months) of lockdown, it was easy for many of us to steadily accumulate dozens of plants as a way to liven up our bubbles.
But, if you’re eagerly planning a spree of trips this year, it may be time to reconsider your plants. Or, at least the type you own.
Instead of fiddle-leaf fig trees or moth orchids, consider hardy, low-maintenance plants like snake plants, ZZs, pothos, peperomias or Chinese evergreens.