How To Water Outdoor Plants When Away

Watering and mulching might not be sufficient to keep your plants healthy on longer journeys. A rain bucket can deliver water continuously.

To a rain barrel, connect a soaker hose, then snake the tubing through your garden. The ground will become saturated as the held water slowly leaks out through the hose. While you still need to water thoroughly before you go, using this technique will allow you to take a longer vacation without worrying about your outdoor plants running out of water.

You can fill your water barrel from the faucet if it hasn’t rained enough to do so.

At this point, such kind of cheat is acceptable.

How can you maintain potted plants outside while you’re on vacation?

Simply place a wine bottle that is half full of water inside the terracotta stake, and the water will release evenly and gradually while you are away.

These can be used at home as well. They must be refilled roughly every seven to ten days and provide a constant trickle of water to your plants. You could need to employ two or three stakes per pot, depending on its size.

How long can I go without watering my outdoor plants?

Are you arranging a trip but will have to leave your plants at home? Do you frequently neglect to water your plants for a few days? If so, do you need to know how long they can go without water?

Plants can typically go up to seven days without water. How long your plants can survive without water, however, may depend on the type and maturity of your plants. Succulents and cacti can last up to three months without water, while fully developed tropical houseplants can go two to three weeks without it.

How can you maintain outside plants while traveling?

To maintain plants while on vacation, some planning is required.

  • Avoid standing in the sun. Place indoor and outdoor plants away from the sun’s direct rays.
  • Prune Fertilize Later, Now. Before you go, prune and deadhead the plant.
  • Water plants liberally.
  • Watch out for dry air.

How can plants be kept hydrated for four weeks?

It would be excellent if you have a plant-savvy friend who could visit you once or twice a week while you are away in exchange for you doing the same for them. If you do a little advance planning, even a cautious, non-plant-savvy person will function in an emergency. Keep track of the amount and frequency of watering each plant for a few weeks prior to departure, and then give detailed instructions: Every weekend, give this plant half a cup of water.

Assist your friend by placing plants that require similar amounts of water together on a water-resistant surface away from the sun. In the summer, keep in mind that your home may warm up while you are gone, so modify the care instructions to take faster water use into consideration.

How will I water my plants during a two-week vacation?

You can give pots with adequate drainage a bath while you’re gone. I guess, sort of.

Put a towel into your sink or bathtub and fill it with a few inches of water to prevent scratching. Leave your potted plants resting in the sink while you are away. The plant will remain hydrated for up to a week thanks to the soil’s ability to draw water to the roots.

Consider the lighting near your sink or bathtub; if your plants require a lot of light, don’t keep them there.

Wicking System

One of the easiest ways for creating a self-watering system is this one. A container that can carry enough water for your plant or plants is required, as well as a wicking material that can extend from the water vessel’s bottom to a few inches below the level of the soil in the plant’s pot.

Cotton or nylon rope, twine, a clothesline, yarn, or even a cut article of clothing like a T-shirt or jeans are suitable wicking materials. The length is what matters. Your wicks should be cut to the perfect length for each pot, and you should then gently press one end into the soil of the plant that needs watering and the other end into the water container so that it touches the bottom.

That’s it. The potting soil will stay moist while you are away since the water will flow from the source to the plant at a slow, steady rate.

Drip System

A drip irrigation system made from recycled plastic water bottles is another incredibly simple watering method. Simply use a drill or a hammer and nail to create a few holes in the cap of a plastic water bottle to use it. According to your evaluation, fill the bottle to the appropriate level with water, then invert it and bury the cap in the potting soil while being careful not to sever the roots. Water will now gradually seep into the soil as it dries up. Turn the water-filled wine bottle upside-down, cover the opening with your thumb, and bury it in the ground to do this. If you’re concerned that this will release a lot of water at once, continue reading to learn about ceramic spikes that can be bought and used with wine bottles.

Plastic bag greenhouse

This is the ideal option for hassle-free plant maintenance while away for plants in small pots or for long periods of time. Your plants should be placed on top of the largest clear plastic bag you can find after it has been filled with a towel to protect the bottom. You don’t want the leaves to touch the plastic, so gather the top of the bag and blow into it manually or with a vacuum in reverse. Use a zip tie to firmly fasten the bag.

In essence, you are building a greenhouse, which is more of a water-recycling system than a watering one. The fact that this bag is not in direct sunlight is of utmost importance. If so, you’ve created a solar cooker that will annihilate your environmental friends.

The long bath

The lengthy bath is the most traditional answer to the issue of watering plants while you’re away because it doesn’t call for any specialized tools or assembly. Simply place the pots on top of an old towel that has been laid in the tub to protect the surface. You can now proceed after adding a few inches of water to the tub. Note that this will only work if the pots you use have drainage holes and the bathroom has enough natural light to meet your plants’ demands.

How can I continue to water my plants while I’m away?

Drip irrigation systems are available at garden centers. Although they are rather pricey, they will water your plants gradually over a few weeks. With a few straightforward tools, you can build your own DIY drip system for an even better price. Take your used plastic bottle that you felt guilty about purchasing following David Attenborough’s whale documentary. Make several drainage holes in the top cap after cleaning it out.

Replace the cap after adding water to the bottle. In the soil of the plant, flip the bottle upside down. While you are away on vacation, the container will gradually leak water. Make sure the holes are filled with earth. If you choose not to purchase plastic bottles but do own wine bottles, you can fill the bottle to the top, turn it over (using your thumb to prevent excessive guzzling at first), and bury the top in the ground. Screw-top wine does not require a pierced cap because the bottle’s small neck naturally permits a steady release of water into the plant.


Put your indoor plants in a small bath or sink and allow them to absorb the liquid for 10 minutes.

Then, re-pot them so that your valued plants don’t spend a lot of time sitting in still water.

How can plants be kept alive while you’re away?

We’re giving our best advice for keeping your houseplants happy and healthy while you’re away, whether it’s a long weekend at the beach or a month abroad.

Preparing your plants just takes a short amount of time, freeing you up to concentrate on other important things like a nice book and an effective sunscreen.

Tips to Keep Plants Alive While You’re Away

1. Modify the lighting and climate

Your plant will eventually become more thirsty the more sunlight it receives. This is due to a number of factors, but the main one is that plants use the most water when they transpire, a process whose rate depends on and rises with the quantity of sunshine the plant receives.

Therefore, your plant will require more water the more natural light it receives. You can move your plants a little bit further away from their source of natural light to prevent them from wilting while you’re away due to a lack of water. Place them in the center of the room to prevent them from drying out as quickly as normal from the heat and light from the windows. You can relocate your plants back to their original location when you get home. Draw a sheer drape over the window as an alternative if you don’t want to move the plants.

You can choose to leave your plants in their current location if they weren’t getting enough light to begin with because of blocked windows or the time of year. Asking yourself how frequently you need to water a plant can help you decide whether to move it if you’ll be gone for an extended amount of time. If you need to water it once a week, for example. However, if it happens every other week, there might be no need to move them.

Additionally, never leave a heating or cooling system on or close to a houseplant, whether you’re at home or away. A/Cs and heaters, while a luxury for people, tend to deprive your interior environment of the humidity that most tropical plants require.

2. Preserve moisture

Watering your plants properly before leaving is sufficient if you’re only going to be gone for a week or less. Make sure you only water plants in potting soil that is dry or nearly dry. In order to keep the potting soil moist without letting your plants sit in a saucer of water, which could attract bugs or cause root rot, let any excess water drain from your potted plant before you leave the house.

Keep in mind that only plants that require weekly or more of watering require this. Succulents and cacti are examples of indoor plants that may survive without water for a week or two. Additionally, since plant development slows and some plants fall dormant in the winter, you can completely forgo watering them.

There are a few strategies to prepare your plants if you expect to be gone for longer than a week. Depending on the length of your trip, the type of plant, and the season, try one or more of the suggestions listed below.

Keep in mind: How frequently do I typically water this plant at this time of year? You don’t want to overwater your plants before you leave because you won’t be home to watch over them!

1. To assist hold moisture before or after giving dry soil a good soak, sprinkle lava rocks, mulch, or wood chips on top of the soil surrounding your plant. Newspaper that is damp will also work. Longer soil moisture retention will result from this.

2. To create a temporary greenhouse, thoroughly water your plant, and then cover with a clear plastic bag that hangs just below the lip of the planter. To ensure that there is enough airflow because plants also require oxygen, make sure to cut a few gaps in the plastic. Hold the bag up and away from the vegetation using sticks (or old chopsticks). Make sure that the bag is not in contact with any vegetation.

3. Place small rocks down the bottom of a shallow tray and add water to the tray, just below the top of the rocks. Placing your planter atop the rocks The planter’s base should be directly above the idle water rather than touching or resting directly in it. The levels of humidity and moisture will rise as a result, but neither overwatering nor root rot should result.

4. Move your humidity-loving plants, such as ferns and air plants, to your bathroom or another small room and arrange them in a group there (assuming you have a window that gets some natural light). Your plants will have an easier time maintaining humidity and moisture in a smaller space.

5. Construct a self-watering system yourself using empty bottles or capillary wicks:

Choose the size of the water container based on how long you’ll be away before placing one end of the capillary wick in a basin of water and the other end in the potting soil of your plant. While you’re away, your plant will get the water it requires through the wick. (Our staff prefers this approach for prolonged absences from our plants.)

By adding water and puncturing the bottle top, you can recycle used plastic or glass bottles. Ensure that the hole is small enough to permit a gradual release of water over time. Turn the filled bottle upside down and insert the perforated bottle top all the way into the potting soil of your plant.

6. Call on a friend. If a friend is willing to water your houseplants for you while you’re away for a long time (more than a month), please accept their offer! Give your friend written directions that are simple to follow, or guide them through your daily care routine a week or two in advance. If you want them to send you photo updates while you’re away, we won’t pass judgment. Just be sure to bring them something as a memento (or send them a new plant as a thank you when you return.)

3. Omit using fertilizer

If you fertilize your indoor plants sometimes, wait to fertilize them after your trip until you get back. In the weeks leading up to your trip, avoid fertilizing your plants. While you’re away, you want your plants to grow as slowly as possible to help them preserve water and energy.

4. Execute some little trimming

You can also cut off any buds or flowers since they typically need more frequent waterings to keep healthy in addition to any dead, decaying, or unappealing foliage.

Pro tip: Tropical plants are the main beneficiaries of the aforementioned tips, especially the techniques for “watering” while away. Drought-tolerant plants, such as some succulent kinds, ZZ plants, or snake plants, can survive for almost a month without water, especially if they are placed out of direct sunlight. Succulent plants are the perfect houseplant for frequent travelers.

Give yourself a big pat on the back when you come home to happy and healthy houseplants, no matter what precautions you take. They also missed you.