This Clever Trick Will Help You Keep Your Plants Watered And Alive While Your On Vacation

Are you planning to go on vacation but don't have anyone to take care of your houseplant collection while you're gone? If you're gone for longer than a week, you may come home to wilted and dead plants. Luckily, there's a clever trick you can use to make your own self-watering system with items you already own. Before you build it, though, there are other steps you can take to minimize your plants' water intake.

Multiple factors contribute to the amount of water your plants use. Changing the location and temperature of your home can prevent the soil from drying out quickly. recommends moving your plants away from direct sunlight, air vents, and drafty windows. Then you should set your thermostat to between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Anything hotter will dry the soil faster; anything below 55 degrees Fahrenheit can kill your plants. After moving your collection to the ideal spot, you can use the wick method to keep them appropriately hydrated.

The wick method

The wick method keeps the soil moist without overwatering your plants. You will need a large pot or bucket and string. You can use a cotton macramé chord or a cotton shirt cut into long, thin strips. The purpose of the string is to draw the water out of the pot and into the soil. TikToker Justine Shannon explains how to set this self-watering system up on her account @selfcareplants. She gathered her plants onto one table and placed the pot of water nearby. The water needs to sit higher than your plants for this trick to work. A stack of books or another upside-down bucket will do the trick.

Scissors and Sage recommends tying paper clips to the end of your string, so they are weighted at the bottom of the water bucket. Then bury the other end of the chord in your plant's soil until it reaches the bottom of the pot. Doing this will ensure that even the deep roots are hydrated. Before leaving for vacation, check for any folds in the string. It should look like a straight downward slope from the plants to the water bucket. If it were to fold or dip below the planter, the water wouldn't be able to reach the soil.

Use multiple strings for large plants

In TikToker Justine Shannon's follow-up video, when she arrived home 14 days later, she explained how well the self-draining system worked. She had many small to medium-sized plants and one large plant drinking from the same pot. All the small plants, including her fickle nerve plant, survived and thrived while she was away. However, her large basil plant did not make it. Alfie & Gem explains that with this method, large plants should have multiple pieces of string to drink from.

The wick method works by sucking water through the string like a straw as the soil dries. That way, the plants aren't left sitting in a pool of water. One string can only transfer so much water, so using multiple will only help keep your large plants alive. Once their soil is moist, the roots will stop absorbing extra water from the bucket. This method isn't exclusive to when you're on vacation. You can use it even when you're home if you often forget about watering your plants or aren't sure how much to give them.