It’s in the Bag

The holiday season is fast approaching. Are you going away to spend time with the family? Going down south? Maybe a little lover’s getaway? In any case, youwon’t be home! You can leave large bowls of food and water for the kitty, put your dog in a boarding house and ship the children to their grandparents, but who will take care of the most important, your houseplants? You can’t take them with you in this cold, they would freeze their buds off. And very few hotels accept pet plants (but I know at least one that will!) Well, I have the solution for you!

Plant in a plastic bag
Houseplants can easily be kept in a bag for 6 months, maybe even up to a year!

Plastic Bags!

Indeed, the simplest solution is often the best! Water your plants moderately, then place them gently in the bottom of a transparent plastic bag. Finally, seal the bag with a rubber band or tie. It’s best to keep it away from windows and direct sunlight so that they don’t overheat. You can even put several plants per bag. Make sure the bag is well sealed so that the water doesn’t evaporate. In this environment, the humidity is almost 100%. There is no evaporation. You can easily keep houseplants this way for 6 months, maybe even up to a year!

Two months ago, not having the time to take care of them, I put some plants in transparent bags. Now, they’re in full health. They even seem to be doing better than before. A transparent bag is like a spa for your houseplants, it’s so humid. Maybe, after all, your plants need a vacation more than you do, and the plastic bag is a good way to give them one!

Plant in a plastic bag
This plant spent 2 months in a bag and is all the better for it! Photo: Mathieu Hodgson

No Danger of Asphyxiation

And don’t worry, your plants aren’t like us: they don’t suffocate in a plastic bag. During the day, plants convert carbon dioxide into oxygen through photosynthesis. At night, it’s the other way around. Nothing is lost, nothing is created!

When I was a kid, I put small plants in a big bottle. My father kept that terrarium for over 30 years! (Maybe even 40 years, I’m not getting any younger!) I think he opened it 2 or 3 times over the years; otherwise those plants didn’t get any water, air or fertilizer. Well, some green goo (algae) has formed on the wet walls, but the plants are still alive and well.

One Exception

But be careful! Under no circumstances should succulents or cacti be kept in a plastic bag. They will hate it and probably die! They are desert plants that store water in their leaves and stems to survive the dry season. They can go without watering for 6 months. However, keep them away from windows. This way, the lack of sunlight will slow down their growth, and they will need even less water.

Go in peace! Your plants will survive just fine without you. Maybe even better than your children’s caregivers!

Mathieu manages the and websites. He is also a garden designer for a landscaping company in Montreal, Canada. Although he loves contributing to the blog, he prefers fishing.

7 comments on “It’s in the Bag

  1. mickthornton

    This works! I was on vacation for three weeks and bagged my plants. Just give them time to acclimate when you want to take them out. I opened the bag but gave them four days before taking the bag away. It’s because my house humidity is low.

  2. Super information – enjoyable writing – good work!

  3. Great article and advice. Thanks for your lighthearted approach. Merry Christmas!

  4. Granny Pat

    Great advice. And I love your quirky way of writing; it always brings a smile to my morning.

  5. Usha Menon

    Thank you for the very valuable information about how to take care of the plants when we are away.

  6. Thank you! This is a simple fix I never knew! And I love the terrarium! I heard a great mystery science story about a terrarium when I was a teenager and have never forgotten it. Sweet!

  7. Great post! I would have never thought that that you could put a plant in a plastic bag. We’ll be home for the holidays, but I still may do that to some of my plants, just because our house is so dry.
    Happy Holidays Mathieu!

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