Most house plants will tolerate a week without water, while you’re on holiday. But, if you’re going away for two weeks, it’s well worth making arrangements to keep them watered in your absence.
Find out how to keep your house plants healthy during the summer holidays, below.
Ask neighbours for help
Friends or neighbours might be happy to water your house plants when you’re away. To make life easier for them, move house plants away from sunny window sills and out of hot conservatories to help prevent the soil drying out.
Capillary matting can work as an automatic watering system indoors. Cut a piece of matting so it covers the draining board and hangs down into the sink, then wet it thoroughly. Fill the sink with water, then stand your plants on the wet matting so they can absorb water through the bottom of their pots. Water the plants thoroughly first.
Choose drought-tolerant plants
If you’re likely to be away from home regularly, it’s worth choosing plants that tolerate neglect. Cacti and succulents are a good choice, as they’re adapted to dry conditions. Mother-in-law’s-tongue, cycads, palms and anthuriums will also cope without water for two or three weeks. In general, plants in small pots dry out more quickly, so buy larger specimens. Alternatively, grow several small plants in a large decorative bowl, as this will retain water for longer.
Move house plants outside
Leaving house plants outdoors will expose them to the regular rain showers, typical of British summers. Place the plants in a shady spot, so they don’t scorch, but leave orchids and other particularly tender plants inside.