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. After studies at the University of Toronto and Laval University where he obtained his B.A. in modern languages in 1978, he succeeded in combining his language skills with his passion for gardening in a novel career as a garden writer and lecturer. 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 is a regular contributor to and horticultural consultant for Fleurs, Plantes, Jardins garden magazine and has written for many other garden publications in both the United States and Canada, including Canadian Gardening, Harrowsmith, Horticulture, Fine Gardening, Rebecca’s Garden 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 50 other titles in English and French. He can be seen in Quebec on French-language television and was notably a regular collaborator for 7 years on the TV shows Fleurs et Jardins and Salut Bonjour Weekend. He is the President of the Garden Writers Association Foundation and the winner of the prestigious 2006 Garden Media Promoter Award offered by the Perennial Plant Association. An avid proponent of garden tourism, he has lead garden tours throughout Canada and to the gardens of over 30 countries over the last 30 years. He presently resides in Quebec City, Quebec.

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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