Plant Care Tips for Traveling

Plant Care Tips for Traveling

by Jilana Thomas

The season for vacations, reunions, and time away from home + the office is here! Time away comes with other planning and rearranging around our everyday life. Be sure to include plant care on that list! 


We’ve already done some of the planning for you with our “While You’re Away” checklist. Whether prepping for a trip or a busy calendar, here are some tips + tools to manage plant care while you’re away.



Plan Out Your Watering Schedule


About a month out from your planned dates, you may need to slightly adjust the watering schedule leading up to your departure. For example, if a plant is currently being watered every 10 days, you may need to briefly withhold or expedite the water provided before your trip, to match an ideal schedule while you’re away. 


There are already tools that exist to make this easy for you - such as our Self-Watering Planter or Self-Watering Crystal! All you need to do is fill with water when the plant is thirsty and the soil will gradually drink as needed until the reservoir is empty. Depending on how bright the light is, the plant type, and the environment, the self-watering collection can cover about 1-3 weeks' worth of care. Check out our cheat sheet for watering frequency below!


Conditions

Less Frequent Watering

More Frequent Watering

Prefers dry soil or brief droughts

X

Prefers moist soil or a consistent schedule

X

Under Bright Light

X

Under Low Light

X

Warm Temps + Adequate airflow

X

Cool Temps + Less airflow

X

Spring / Summer

X

Fall / Winter

X



Nominate a Trusted Friend


If someone is physically looking after your plants while you’re away, it may be helpful to group + label plants based on when they’d need to be watered. For example, if you plan to be gone for 2+ weeks, blue post-it notes may designate plants that need to be watered the first + third week. Yellow post-it notes could instead mark your succulents that may not need to be watered at all. 


Keep in mind that we all have different plant care knowledge, so it may be helpful to consider additional instruction or tips for a temporary caretaker, such as: 



Pro Tip: Plan ahead by setting out your filled watering can or container so it’s room temperature and ready to go for your helpful friend! 



Adjustments For Access to Light


Are you in the habit of regularly rotating some plants or drawing shades/curtains to accommodate them? Consider how they’ll get access to light without your daily attention. Plants in close proximity to a window may need to be moved a few feet away to avoid intense heat and leaf burn.


On the other hand, plants tucked away in dimmer corners may need to come out temporarily to receive light from another area. This may especially be necessary if you plan to keep blinds shut while you’re gone. 



Reminders For Long-Term Trips:


HUMIDITY UPKEEP

Brief periods of dry air are something plants can usually tolerate without much damage. However, higher maintenance plants can quickly show changes in their appearance when humidity levels drop outside of their regular routine.  


Pebble trays make a great accommodation for long-term trips. The planter rests on top of the pebbles while the water below slowly evaporates, making humidity around the plant stretch for a longer period of time without much maintenance.


ROTATE BEFORE YOU GO

Plants grow towards light and thus, should be rotated regularly. Fast-growing plants or those in low light can be rotated as often as biweekly. Slow-growers or those exposed to plenty of bright light can be rotated less often. If you’re away more than a few weeks, rotate your plant 15º-45º or face its smallest side toward the light. 


REMOVE DUST

Plants absorb + convert sunlight into energy through their leaves. Dust that collects on the surface interferes with this. Another generous act in preparation for a long trip is to remove any built-up dust on the leaves before you head out. 


Using a mister, generously spray + wipe down the leaves with a soapy water mixture to remove dust and pests. Pro Tip: Do this regularly throughout the year!


TLC WHEN YOU RETURN

Upon your return home, some plants may need extra care, such as pruning damaged leaves, repotting, and other problem-solving. Be sure to assess them as soon as possible so they don’t endure any additional stress. 



Seasonal Adjustments

Year-round, plants prefer to be in comfortable temperatures between 65º-80º and away from drafts + air vents. Keep this in mind as you plan to be away from your home during various times of the year. While most plants are hardy enough to withstand brief exposures outside of their normal range, prolonged periods can cause serious damage to the plant’s tissues. 


Additionally, plants require circulation in the air to properly aerate and dry the soil. Stagnant air paired with moisture or wet soil can create issues such as root rot, powdery mildew, and other fungi. Central air, a ceiling fan, or a cracked window can help prevent these issues while you’re away.



Wellness Note

Even if you’re not traveling or able to take a vacation just yet, here are some offerings on wellness + rest. 

 

  • Create a list of places/activities that are easily accessible and bring you pleasure, joy, fun, or relaxation. Commit to taking a short amount of time for one. For example, spending time at a park, going to the movies, or painting. 

 

  • Don’t wait until burnout gets you to take a break. Being proactive with our mental, physical + emotional well-being provides sustainable care, so we don’t have to crash on empty before taking the time we need.

 

  • Move at your own pace + set boundaries when necessary. Sometimes this is all we have and we must make the most of it. Take the time to sleep in a few more minutes, pause to inhale + exhale, say no even if you feel guilt, and listen to your body as often as you can.

 

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Thank you for reading + taking this extra step to care for your plants! We’re rooting for you!

 

 

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