You won’t be able to take care of your indoor plants while you’re going away on vacation. With so many options available on the market, it’s difficult to know what is best for you.
We show you everything you need to know. Watering your indoor plants won’t be such a hard task anymore.
Making the right choice
Before you buy everything needed to supply water to your plants, take the time to analyze your needs.
The choice of a watering system will depend on the duration of your absence, the season, the type of plants to water, the environment, home configuration, budget, etc.
Here’s how to do it simply:
- Count the number of plants that will need to be watered while you’re gone.
- Learn about the water needs for each of them.
- Assess the size of each flower pot.
- Check where your water will come from (tap, tank, etc.).
Avoid bringing your plants into darkness.
If possible, place them near a light source, even if it’s a small one.
A bathroom window will be particularly appreciated by your plants for its freshness.
You can also put them on a balcony, or a veranda, provided they are shaded from the sun.
Water source: Water bottle
How to install: Plant probe in soil. Twist in water bottle.
This inexpensive solution gets its water from plastic bottles screwed on top of it.
They’re cheap and easy to install. Micro-porous ceramic or plastic probes allow a continued stream of water for potted plants that will last several weeks, up to 70 days (depending on the size of pot, probe and bottle). You don’t even need them to be connected to a power source (no batteries needed).
To use them, nothing could be easier:
- Plant the probe into the soil.
- Screw a plastic bottle filled with water (enough for the duration of your vacation).
Since the flow is not adjustable, you’ll need to pick beforehand the appropriate cone that fits the size of your container, the average consumption of each plant, and the duration of your absence.
If you’re not a fan of water bottles coming out of your power plots, you can also try an alternative: Aqua Globes.
They’re available in two sizes, and the planter needs to be saturated with water before your insert the globe in it.
Water source: Water tank/container
How to install: Plant the various probes in soil. Connect them to each other and water source with provided tubes.
A little bit more expensive, these autonomous and scalable watering kits are used to supply water for up to 40 pots, without having to connect them to a faucet system, or a pump.
How does it work? The probes are connected via a hose. The water is provided through a siphon immersed in a tank, and installed a few feet above the plants to be watered.
To facilitate the implementation, consider grouping your pots in one place.
Water source: Water tank/container
How to install: Drippers have to be placed in soil. Plants need to be in proximity to one another.
You don’t have a water supply where you’ve placed your houseplants? Don’t worry. There are now automated dripper systems with pumps than can collect water directly from a container.
Usually equipped with a timer, a long hose, and a few drippers. They can also be bought with or without a water container.
Water source: Tap or faucet
How to install: Dripper system placed around planters. Small sprinkler systems will be connected to the tubes and placed in planters.
These are the drippers and watering kits you’ll be connecting directly to your faucet. Programmable and adaptable to suit your needs, they offer the ability to create networks of pipes of varying complexity. You can also connect different types of watering systems (self-regulating, adjustable, fixed rate).
They are usually sold with all the necessary equipment (central irrigation pipes, fittings, etc.) to supply water to about a dozen planters.
Water source: Planter
How to install: Make sure to pot the plants at least three weeks before departure.
Particularly suitable for plants that enjoy moisture, these containers are provided with an added layer for a water reserve. They can last up to 12 weeks.
The water introduced during the usual watering process is returned to the plant by capillarity. Separation from the soil is done by means of a grid, or perforated plate. A gauge is sometimes used to estimate the level of water in the planter.
In case of rain, the excess water is removed via an overflow system. In some cases, it may be necessary to put a drainage layer at the bottom of the planter.
If, despite all precautions, you find your plants dehydrated when you get back:
- Immerse them in a large container of water for a few minutes, until there is no more air bubbles.
- Before replacing the pots in place, let the excess water drain
Whatever system you end up choosing, remember to install and test it at least one week before your departure. You’ll want to adjust the settings and check that it works correctly.