How to Keep House Plants Alive When Traveling

by Elke Erschfeld

As a nature lover, I try to bring the outdoors in as much as I can by keeping a nice selection of houseplants. These include two Peace Lilies, a tall Ficus Winter Green, a rapidly growing Lucky Bamboo, as well as a small Bamboo Palm, Dragon Tree and Schefflera. But how do you fit watering your plants into a busy life-style that includes traveling?

In the past, I would always pull out my pots and pans from the kitchen and use them as plant saucers to add extra water. Usually, this worked for about a week, and unfortunately, it also resulted in rotten roots. And at least one of my plants, like the Peace Lily, would always look wilted when I returned.

Before the last holiday break, I finally took the plunge and purchased one of those bottle stake sets that function as a watering system. I purchased Plant-A-Bottle by HomEco but there are many other great brands out there, such as Plant Nanny. The set-up is very easy. Simply fill up a recycled glass or plastic bottle with water and insert the terracotta plant spike into the soil. It worked best when I filled up the bottle first, then added the stake on top of the bottle and turned it around quickly. The use of a smaller plastic bottle seemed more appropriate since it was my first attempt. My fear was that the bottle might fall and shatter. You can easily use the same system at your office, garden, or patio. It works great for planters with herbs as well.

After my return, my plants looked healthy and the soil was still moist. I was amazed how well Plant-A-Bottle by HomEco worked during my two-week break. According to a study by NASA and the Associated Landscape Contractors of America several indoor plants can filter out common volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The complete list of plants can be found here.

Luckily, my Peace Lily is on there and now I have a plant sitter to keep it happy.

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