How to Prep Your Plants Before Vacation, According to Experts

Here are five ways to avoid coming home to wilting plants — or worse.

You've got your hotel booked, your flight ticket in hand, and your bags packed. Yes, you're ready to go on vacation, but there's just the matter of one teeny, tiny thing: your plants.

Our little green friends tend to be the last on the list of considerations when prepping for vacation, but even if you're leaving for just a few days it's important to make a plant plan.

Here are a few ways to help you prep your plants for your vacation time, according to the experts.

You may need to arrange for a plant-sitter.

Like your kids or your pets, your plants may need a sitter too, according to Val Talbert, owner of Tal & Bert, a company that sells both succulents and stunning planters, vessels, and home decor made from concrete and crystals.

"If you're going away on an extended vacation, look into having someone care for your plants," she said. If it's less than a week, you may be OK. However, Talbert added, "make sure your plants get a little love before you leave so they won't be thirsty when you're away."

Talbert explained, many plants can go up to eight to 10 days between waterings, meaning vacations lasting 10 days or longer require a sitter. "But it is important to know the soil requirements for each plant to truly determine when your plants would require a sitter," Talbert noted.

Set the right temperature.

We're sure you don't like to be too hot or too cold, and neither do your plants.

"One thing most people overlook when leaving their plants for vacation is making sure their home is at a comfortable temperature," Morgan Danielle, owner of Revive and Bloom, a super chic brand dedicated to quality plants, home decor, and design services, said. "Whether it's summer or winter, you need to make sure your home stays at a temperature that is not too hot or too cold as both are intolerable for plants."

Invest in self-watering devices.

One more way Danielle says you can help keep your plants healthy and hydrated while you're away is to invest in some self-watering tools.

"There are old-school water globes for plants that you can use if you will be worried about leaving your plant babies for more than a week," Danielle said. "These are helpful in providing a small amount of water to the plant for up to two weeks."

Want to go more high-tech? Talbert suggests investing in self-watering pots as well.

"Self-watering pots are huge right now with many stylish options," Talbert said. And, "if you are unable to get a sitter, there's an option to use peat moss as 'mulch' for your plants. This should be heavily watered, and it will help keep the soil hydrated for a couple of weeks. This method will also minimize the amount of water your plants would need."

Indoor plants in a bathtub from above
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Keep things shady.

As for sun exposure, both Danielle and Talbert agree to keep plants in at least filtered sunlight.

"I would move your plants to indirect sunlight or shade. Leaving in direct sunlight while unattended could cause harm to your plant," Talbert said.

"I would recommend providing filtered sunlight. Never leave plants in direct sunlight (whether on vacation or not)," Danielle said, adding, "It's important to note that if you water your plants before you leave, they still need sufficient light to process the watering. You don't want to come back to wilting plants."

If you're a frequent traveler, reconsider your plant choices.

If you're someone who finds yourself in an airport more often than your house, it may be time to reconsider your plant choices.

"If you travel a lot, I would suggest staying away from high maintenance plants as it will be hard for them to thrive," Talbert said. "Two of the hardiest plants I would recommend are your snake plants & ZZ plants. A ponytail palm and yucca are also great choices for house plants for those that travel often as these are easy-care level with little maintenance required."

Danielle echoed this advice with a few additions, noting, "If you travel often, I would suggest some low-maintenance plants such as ZZs, Chinese evergreens, pothos, sansevierias, and peperomias."

Looking for more plant advice? Here are all the best houseplants you can order online right now.

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