To keep your houseplants well watered during your summer vacation, move them back from the window and water them thoroughly, for once leaving water in their saucer. With a surplus of water and less intense light, they can easily go two weeks without watering.
Leaving for 3 weeks or even a month? Water them sparingly, move them well back from the window … and seal them in a clear plastic bag. This eliminates water loss due to transpiration. You can even leave them sealed like this for 6 to 8 months without fear for their health!
Succulent plants (cacti, crassulas, snake plants, etc.), however, won’t be happy sealed in a transparent bag (they won’t tolerate very humid air), but they use little water for their survival anyway. In their case, water well and move the plant back from any sunny window, but this time, without covering them with a plastic bag. In the open like that, they’ll lose more moisture to evaporation, but very slowly. Even after more than a month, they will still be in very good condition.
Adapted from an article originally published on July 14, 2014.
I never got to leave my houseplants for more than two weeks at a time. Most of them got watered only every two weeks or so anyway. Only the bilbergias in the bathroom wanted more frequent watering, but were never bothered by an occasional dry spell. I am fortunate that I never needed to bag any. Some were from floor to ceiling!