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How to Keep House Plants Watered When You're Away

How to water plants when on holiday

I have been meaning to write this post for the last two years, but somehow time always escapes me! As you may (or may not) know, we tend to go away every Spring/Summer for almost three whole weeks - that's three weeks our plant babies have to live without us watering them daily. And yet, when we return - they've (so far) always still been alive! How do we do it? Well, keep reading...


In this post, I'm going to share 5 ways you can keep your house plants alive whilst away travelling, although I have to be honest and say I tend to just use the top 4 (you'll see what I mean!). Obviously, the amount of time you're away for does make a difference here and also the type of plants you have as some may need a lot less (or a lot more!) water than others. Basically, please don't hold me hostage if your plants die - just use this as a guide for what's worked for me.

1. Use Aqua Globes and Self-Watering Spikes

Aqua globes are essentially small plastic containers (with a globe shape on the end, hence the name) which you fill with water and insert into the soil of your plant pot. As the soil dries out, water is slowly released from the container into the soil and your plant drinks it up. Basically - your plant waters itself!

These clever little things have been around for years and I always remember my mum used to have some really nice decorative glass ones, similar to these. They're not just for when you leave your plants and jet off on holiday - they're also great if you're just typically forgetful at watering your plants! You can just fill them up and the water tends to last between 1-2weeks depending on the size of the plant and how much water it needs. All you need to do is remember to re-fill it!!

They're really simple and they really do work. You can also get self-watering spikes which have the exact same concept but allow you to use a plastic bottle to hold the water instead which has a slightly larger capacity and it's always good to recycle right? I also find turning wine bottles upside down into the soil does a similar job as well.

These are inexpensive, they work and I can definitely recommend them! 👌

aqua globes for watering plants

2. Mix Some Miracle-Gro Moisture Control Into Your Soil

This was recommended to me on Instagram a few years back and I have to say, I think it's my favourite out of this list! In the packet, this Miracle-Gro Moisture Control appears as little salt-like crystals. You mix it into the soil of your plant and when the crystals get wet, they swell up and retain water. Much like the aqua globes, they then slowly release that water to keep your plant hydrated for longer!

These are especially great for things like hanging planters and baskets, which can often drain water quicker than pots. They're ideal for indoors and also outdoors and they last for a whole season. One pack really does a long way - as you only need about a teaspoon of crystals per pot. Love it and again - can definitely recommend this one!!

miracle-go moisture control review

3. Set Up An Automatic Drip Watering System

Out of all of the options I'm listing, I think this one works for the longest amount of time. It is, however, a bit tricky to set up and if not done correctly, it doesn't work.

You can buy inexpensive automatic watering systems like this one or you can make your own. Essentially it consists of permeable stakes which go into the soil of your plant and a long skinny piece of plastic tube which you insert into a vase of water. The water slowly travels through the tube, drips into the stake and your plant drinks it up. The great thing about this option is that you can choose any size vase (so any amount of water) you need for your trip. Even if you're away for over month, you can ensure plenty of water will be fed your plants - water isn't likely to run out!

I'd definitely advise setting this up a couple of weeks before you go though, so you can check it's working correctly. On my first attempt, I found it was watering the plant too much - I think perhaps because I had my vase of water higher than the stakes, so I lowered the vase and that seemed to fix it. I've also seen some people have used string (as a DIY option) instead of buying a kit, so that may be something to try if you want to save a bit of money!

indoor automatic watering system for house plants

4. Fill Up the Bath

Fill around 2-3cm of water into your bath (more if you're away for longer or leaving lots of plants!) and place a towel down along the bottom, so that it soaks up the majority of the water. Stand your pots onto the towel (they'll need to have drainage holes in order for this to work!) and your plants will be in a constant supply of water. It's important to make sure your bath isn't too filled as you don't want your pots sat in the water itself (otherwise you may get root rot!), just enough to cover your towel! 

This option has worked really well for me other years, however, you will come back to slightly mucky bath!

keeping plants in the bath when going away

5. Find Free Housesitters

If you don't like my options above, then there is one last way you can keep house plants watered - free house sitters. Yep, it's a thing. And apparently very common it seems! People stay in your house, look after your garden, plants (even pets!) in return for a free stay. I was highly dubious at first, but I have to admit, after some research and hearing people on Instagram who have used it - I think I'm a lot more open to the idea. There are several websites and apps where you can list your home to find a free sitter, including Trusted Houstitters and Housesitters UK and hell - you could even become a house sitter yourself!

Getting a housesitter will definitely save you from buying all of the above gadgets and you can always keep in touch with your house sitters for real-time updates! 


So that's it - five ways to keep your plants alive when you're away! How do you keep house plants watered when you're away? If you have any tips to share, do let me know in the comments down below!

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How to keep plants watered when you're away

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