The Q&A Archives: long absence and watering potted plants

Question: I will be away from one large jade plant and one avocado tree for a month this summer. I normally have to water the avocado tree each day and the jade every few days -- it is so warm in the summer in the city. Is there a way for me to keep them both moist while I am away?

Thank you.

Answer: In my experience it is possible to keep plants for a week or so in a dimly lit bathtub or shower with the shower door/curtain closed to keep the immediate area very humid (water the plants well right before you leave), but longer than that is problematic. There are self watering containers that wick water up from a reservoir, but the tank needs to be refilled periodically. My first suggestion would be to swap vacation plant care with a gardening friend or temporarily "board" them with a gardening neighbor. The second suggestion would be to ask a neighbor to check on them and water them in the above situation about once a week. You could also look into an automatic watering system on a timer. Next thought is there are professional plant watering services just as there are daily dog walkers and vacation pet sitters. Good luck with your plants!

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