If you are planning an extended vacation, you should take action to plan for the care of your house plants while you are gone. It would be nice to have someone left in charge of them while you are gone, but if not, you can still do some things to help your houseplants survive while you are away. Unless you take precautions, plants in pots may suffer serious harm during that owner’s absence if arrangements cannot be made to have them watered from time to time.
There are various ways of ensuring the safety of the plants. In summer if the pots containing the plants are plunged to the rims in the soil out of door, or in a bed of ashes in a a shady place, and the soil in the pots is watered thoroughly the day before the vacation begins, the plants are less likely to suffer for a few days. As a further precaution, the soil in the pots should be covered with peat or leaf mold which has been well moistened.
You may have a vast of array of house plants ranging from dracaena, to small peperomia plants, each of which will need to be cared for while you are gone. An alternative method, is to spot porous bricks over the bottom of the bathtub, run in water almost to the tops of the bricks and then stand a plant on each of them. If the plant is well watered before the vacation begins, its porous pot will absorb enough water from the moist brick to prevent it from drying for quite an extended period of time.
Ferns and palms, if well rooted, may be set in a vessel containing sufficient water to reach halfway up the flowerpots. In warm weather, you they can be placed in a shady place out of doors. When the weather is nice, it is better to put them outside than to leave them indoors, for then they will have the benefit of any rain that may fall. If left indoors, they must be in a cool room, one facing north preferably.
House plants may also be set in saucers filled with water. If the soil is moistened thoroughly the water in the saucers will provide a reserve supply on which the roots can draw as the soil becomes dry. Merely covering the pots with moss is helpful, provided the plants are well watered.
Still another method is to place the plants in a large vessel, pack moss or burlap between them and siphon the water from a pail by means of wide strips of flannel. The plants may be set out of doors in a shady place or in a cool room.
Yet another helpful device is to encase the plant and its pot in a bag or other covering made of plastic polyethylene film (the kind used to contain food in deep freezers). Before doing this the soil in the pot should be soaked with water. It is advisable, too, to punch a few holes in the bag to permit the escape of excessive atmospheric humidity that may accumulate inside. The plant, in its bag, should be placed in a light location but where the sun will not shine directly on it at any time.