Traveling this holiday season and worried about your plants? Here are a few tips to help your plants thrive while you’re out of town.
Check each plant individually for pests. Look around and on the bottom leaves, at the base of the stem, and tap the pot a handful of times to ensure you do not see movement in the dirt. Treat any pests or quarantine plants that might have pest problems.
Water plants well a day or two before leaving for your trip, ensure they have good drainage. DO NOT leave any standing water in plants or drip trays when leaving for your trip.
Fertilize with an organic fertilizer like Flourish Plant Food- ensure you follow instructions closely to avoid any issues when you are gone.
Keep your plants away from drafts, cold window sills, or heating vents - Definitely move all tropical plants inside. Try to keep your plants in a spot that doesn't have any dramatic shifts in temperature - they can be very sensitive to this. With many folks turning on their heating, homes can get very dry in the winter. For your tropical houseplants or plants with thinner leaves, consider getting a small humidifier to keep their leaves happy and avoid crispy edges or dried leaves.
Leave window shades at least partially open. While it might be common or tempting to “close up” your home while you are away, your plants will suffer from a complete lack of sun. Ensure some sun is getting to them while you are gone - consider moving your plants to a sunnier room where you can leave shades open if necessary.
If you are changing your temperature to save on electric bills, avoid changing it more than 10 degrees in any direction. You don't want to shock your plants with a big change in temperature - either hotter or cooler. They can withstand small changes in temperature.
Avoid repotting in the winter and colder months and right before you leave. Many plants are in a slower part of their natural cycles, they will have a hard time acclimating to new pots or to dramatic changes in their environments. Re-pot only if necessary - or if you notice signs of root rot or pests.
When you return, don't freak out - growth will be slowing and leaf attrition at this time of year is normal. You might see leaves yellowing or dying upon return, which is very typical in the winter - this should happen slowly to older leaves. Avoid reacting and get your plants back on a regular schedule. Water them a normal amount (avoid overwatering even if you feel they are dry), put them back in their place if you moved them, and let them reacclimate to your care. Slow and steady wins the race here!
Enjoy your travels knowing you’ve taken care of your plants and can enjoy returning home to them Flourishing!