Holiday Plant Care – Looking After Plants When You Are On Vacation

It is distressing to return from your annual holidays and find that your plants have become casualties during your absence. A little forethought and planning can prevent it from happening.

Winter holidays

They do not present severe difficulties, so long as you give the plants protection against frost. Individual plants should be grouped on a table in the centre of a room. Troughs and other mobile displays should be moved away from windows and protected from draughts.

Before you go away, water the plants so that the soil is moist and then surround them with well-dampened peat. Alternatively, place each plant, still in its pot, in a polythene bag of adequate size and close the top with an elastic band.

Summer holidaysHoliday Plant Care - Looking After Plants When You Are On Vacation

Here, there is a real problem. The plants are in vigorous growth and need much more attention. The most satisfactory solution is to persuade a friend who is also an indoor plant enthusiast to act as ‘plant-sitter’ and tend the plants during your absence.

If this is not possible, place the plants in trays, water them thoroughly and surround them with well moistened peat. Place damp sphagnum moss over the tops of the pots to inhibit evaporation.

Finally, cut off all flowers and flower buds, and cut back slightly plants like Impatiens or Geraniums in order to reduce their water demands – such plants are vigorous and will quickly recover on your return.

The method described will not cope with very hot weather, or a prolonged absence. Slipping each plant into a polythene bag of adequate size, with as much as air as possible trapped inside, will also help, of course.

If you are going to be absent for a period of more than three weeks, then one of the automatic watering systems now available will become essential.

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