Houseplants forum: Is keeping houseplant soil moist constantly safe to do over the holidays?

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Aug 14, 2017 5:53 AM CST
I'm going on holiday for 3 weeks and have six tropical-type houseplants that need to be watered during that time. A peace lily, laceleaf (Anthurium), areca palm, two dragon trees (Dracaena marginata), and a big Dracaena fragrans tree.

There are a lot of tricks online on using large bottles and string to keep soil moist. However, I usually let soil dry out before watering. Is it alright to keep the soil moist constantly with these plants? And how can I even be sure it'll work?

Alternatively I could try programming an automatic indoor watering system that pumps water into the pots when I want it to. However this could lead to accumulation of water at the bottom of the tray I'd place under the plants if I'm not there.

[Last edited by dryrot - Aug 14, 2017 5:57 AM (+)]
Give a thumbs up | Quote | Post #1527745 (1)
Name: Will Creed
Professional indoor plant consultan
Aug 18, 2017 12:53 PM CST
Your best bet is to use a polyester wicking material. Cut strips a half-inch wide and insert the strip through the bottom drain hole several inches into the rootball. Then set the pot and the dangling wick on a platform that keeps the bottom of the pot above a reservoir of water below. The dangling fabric will wick up the water as needed. Using drip systems from above may keep the soil too moist for too long.

Happy holiday! Hurray!
Will Creed
Horticultural Help, NYC
I now have a book available on indoor plant care

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