Houseplants Watering

How to Water Houseplants Over Summer Vacation

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.

Larry Hodgson is one of Canada’s best-known garden communicators. He has notably been editor-in-chief of HousePlant Magazine, Fleurs, Plantes et Jardins, À Fleur de Pot and Houseplant Forum magazines and is currently the garden correspondent for Le Soleil and radio garden commentator for CKIA-FM Radio. He has written for many garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening and Organic Gardening. He also speaks frequently to horticultural groups throughout Canada and the U.S. His book credits include The Garden Lover’s Guide to Canada, Complete Guide to Houseplants, Making the Most of Shade, Perennials for Every Purpose, Annuals for Every Purpose, and Houseplants for Dummies, as well as nearly 60 other titles in English and French. He is a past president of the Garden Writers Association (now Garden Communicators International) and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. He resides in Quebec City, Quebec, Canada.

1 comment on “How to Water Houseplants Over Summer Vacation

  1. 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!

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