How do I keep my vessels hydrated during the holidays? Here’s a difficult question. Firstly because there is no single answer, and secondly because the relationship between climate, soil, and plants varies significantly from place to place.
So I start with the most straightforward answer: water your pots abundantly the week before the trip. Then cover the soil with stones, straw, sphagnum (moss species) or pine bark (pine trees). These materials will ensure soil moisture for longer. However, do not take more than two weeks to wet again.
But if the journey is more extended, consider asking someone to water them while you are away. If you don’t have any relatives or neighbors – friendly and helpful – who can help, try a temporary artificial irrigation system.
The idea is to create a water reservoir, which flows slowly as your plants need it. Then write down what you’ll need:
nail or piece of wire;
- crepe tape;
- cotton swab;
- PET bottle
With the help of pliers, hold the piece of wire or nail in the flame of the stove until it turns red. While incandescent, press the tip of the metal and drill two small holes, one in the cap and the other in the bottom of the bottle. The plastic will melt, and you will have a small hole at the bottom of the container, through which the air will pass, and another to cut cotton swab. Leave the cotton-lined part out.
Use a piece of crepe tape to cover the cotton swab shaft, adjusting it on the lid so that it is tight and secure, avoiding dripping at the junction between the two.
Fill the bottle with water and fix it on a rod, which in turn will be buried in the ground to hold the bottle in an upright position. With the cotton swab touching the ground, the drip should be slow and capillary.
If the drip is too fast, reduce the size of the hole in the bottom of the bottle with a toothpick — test before traveling to see how long the contents of the container will last.
Another way to avoid the death of your plants during the holidays, as long as they are light and not violet (because they do not like the leaves to get wet), is to put them inside the shower box and keep a directed drop on a cloth, which in turn will be supported on the ground, so the moisture will be transferred slowly during its absence. The disadvantage of this procedure can be that you carry the pots and that perhaps in the bathroom, the light conditions are not the same as where your plants are used to staying.
The last tip is to place a small brick between the ceramic pot and the water container. The block will transfer the moisture to the bowl. If it is plastic, make a step with folded fabric so that it is in contact with the soil, and moisture transfer by capillarity can occur, but make sure to put a tulle covering the water container to prevent the proliferation of mosquitoes (nobody wants to create a nursery for the Aedes Aegypti, right?).
If you have ferns, roses, and palm trees, don’t hesitate to spray them abundantly before leaving. And don’t forget to talk to your plants, praise and thank them for their presence and explain that you will be away. Don’t mind if other people think it’s funny, what matters is that your plants will feel the love and that motivates them to live.
When you return home after enjoying your vacation, water slowly and be sure to thank them for their resistance, if there are some dry leaves, cut them with scissors once they have dried completely.