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How to Water Plants While Away on Vacation: 2 Easy Methods to Try

Learn how to water plants while away so you don't return home from vacation to discover dead plants. Here are two methods that work.

Written by
Tehrene Firman

There's nothing worse than coming back from a great vacation, only to find your beloved plants dead or barely hanging on. While there are plenty of easy houseplants to take care of that aren't high-maintenance, others will throw a temper tantrum if their watering schedule is even slightly changed.

That's why learning how to water plants while away is crucial. You can go on your vacation worry-free knowing that your plant babies will still be happy and healthy once you return back home. Reagan Kastner, a plant expert, has two methods that work for trips up to two weeks long: one for small plants, and one for large plants.

"People always ask me what I do when I go on vacation," she says. 'Well, I just got back from a two-week trip and I know what works... and what doesn't work."


Kastner found deeply watering her small plants the night before the trip kept them happy over the two-week period. "The key is soaking all of the soil," she says. "You need the whole root ball to be completely wet." Big plants, however, need some extra TLC while you're away or they'll look a little dry and crispy.

"Because I watered so deeply, the majority of my plants were completely fine for two weeks. The only plant that didn't do well was my six-foot Bird of Paradise," she says. "For large plants, take an empty wine bottle, fill it up, and stick it upside-down in the soil."

The wine bottle trick essentially waters the plant for you: The water will drip from the bottle into the soil as needed. This gives extra-thirsty plants additional water while you're gone and unable to do so yourself. Here's how to water plants while away, step by step.

How to Water Plants While Away

Small Plants:

1. The night before you leave for your trip, deeply water your plants in the sink or bathtub.

2. Water the plant, letting the water completely soak in.

3. Water for a second time, ensuring there are no dry spots. The whole rootball should be completely wet.

4. Return your plants to their normal spots.

Large Plants:

1. Water the plant as usual, making sure to completely saturate the soil.

2. Fill up an empty wine bottle and stick it upside-down in the soil.

3. The water will drip into the soil as needed, continuing to water the plant when you're away.

Watch the video below to see the wine bottle trick in action: