Are you worried about how to water your plants while on vacation? Is there such a thing as self-watering plants? Fortunately, there are several methods that you can try to make sure that all your indoor and outdoor plants will have sufficient moisture while you are away. Don’t let your vacation become a death sentence to your plants.
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4 Ways to Water Your Plants While You’re Away on Vacation
1. The Wine Bottle Method
We normally throw out wine bottles the moment we are done with the content, but don’t! Wine bottles can be used as instant plant feeders, and it is also super easy to modify wine bottles for this purpose. To use a wine bottle as a plant watering mechanism, you need on with a cap instead of a cork.
You will need pliers, an empty wine bottle with a metal cap, a hammer, and a small nail. Remove the metal cap from the wine bottle and face it bottom side up.
Set a nail on the inside of the metal cap and grip it firmly with your pliers. With your hammer, drive a few small holes through the metal cap from within. Ensure that you do not damage the threading of the metal cap or deform it in any way.
Take your time in punching out the holes. The holes should be just enough to release a drop at a time. The slower the release, the better. Fill the wine bottle with some water and replace the cap. Set the wine bottle upside down in the pot. Drive the neck of the wine bottle a few inches into the soil.
If all goes well, this should give each plant enough water for a maximum of five days. The more holes you punch into the metal cap, the faster the flow of water, and the shorter the period covered by this DIY watering method.
2. Self-Watering Spike Devices
Self-water spikes or self-water stakes are all the rage in the gardening world for the past few years because they work so well.
What differentiates these spikes/stakes from other methods is they deliver a continuous line of dripped water to the deeper regions of the soil, where the plant’s root system is. The flow of water is precisely timed, and gravity takes care of the distribution of the water to all parts of the pot.
Many people say that self-watering spikes or stakes are better than conventional watering because the continuous flow of water doesn’t wash away the soil’s nutrients. This might be a good idea if you have just applied fertilizer and need to water your indoor plants. It’s a good idea to maintain a substantial level of nutrients in the soil. You can purchase several of these spikes and install them in all of the pots at home. Fill these with water, and you are good to go on your vacation.
Unlike the bottle method, which may not provide predictable results because we punch holes into metal caps differently, self-water spikes are designed to provide moisture to plants for up to fourteen days.
The main benefit of using these stakes is that you don’t risk overwatering your plants, which helps maintain a healthy root system. We highly recommend watering plants sparingly, especially if you have tropical indoor plants or plants that are normally found on the forest floor where there are little light and moisture.
3. The Potted Plant Bath Method
This method is safe only for plants that are heavy feeders and do not require as much sunlight. The items that you will need for this technique are a bathtub, an old towel, and your potted plants. The first step is to replace the tub’s drain cover, so it doesn’t drain away from the water. Fill your bathtub for a few seconds until you have a few inches of water. Place the towel on the bottom of the tub. The towel is here to protect the tub from damage or scratches.
Finally, place all of your indoor potted plants inside the tub. The drain holes on the bottom of the pots will allow water to enter the soil, providing much-needed water to the plants. The amazing thing about this method is that gravity will prevent too much water from entering the soil.
However, the soil itself has absorptive properties, so eventually, moisture is going to climb up to the plants’ root systems. This system works for about seven days. After seven days and there isn’t much sunlight your plants may begin taking damage.
4. The Water Wick Method
If you want a little more ornate method but will work for almost a month, try the water wick method. The more water that you make available to the system, the longer it will last – full stop. For this method, you will need a large bucket or tall vase (that is at least as big as a bucket), a chair or old stool, and some cotton rope.
We can’t recommend any other material apart from a cotton rope because this has the best type of absorbency and wicking action for what we are trying to do.
Fill the bucket or vase with water and place it on the stool. The water source has to be higher than the potted plants because this is going to be a gravity-fed watering system.
Cut a length of cotton rope. The cotton rope must be long enough to reach the bottom of the bucket or vase and the surface of the pot being fed. You need to cut a piece of cotton rope for each potted plant that wants to safeguard before you go on vacation. Take note that this method can be used for outdoor plants, too.
Place all the pieces of rope in the bucket or vase and extend each of the ends of the rope to the pots. If all goes well, the cotton ropes will absorb water and begin dripping toward the pots. Again, this method will keep working as long as there is water in the bucket or vase. So if you are leaving for a long time (longer than a month), use a bigger bucket or vase to maintain the supply of water for your plants.