Keep Your Plants Happy While You’re Away

Keep Your Plants Happy While You’re Away

lawn sprinkler

You definitely deserve a vacation.

If you’re planning a trip this summer be sure not to forget your plants! Houseplants and flowerpots need regular watering especially in hot weather, and if you’ve planted anything new in your yard this Spring those plants need extra TLC. Help your plants stay hydrated while you’re away with these helpful products and ideas. Nobody likes coming home to wilted flowers and crispy leaves!

The Plant Nanny

The Plant Nanny works great for houseplants, hanging baskets, and smaller patio pots. It basically works by providing a reservoir of fresh water that gradually seeps through the terra cotta stake directly into the soil, right to the roots of your plant. There are decorative versions with a blown glass globe (makes a great gift!), as well as versions that allow you to twist a recycled bottle into the stake.

Drip Hose (and Timer)

A drip hose (or soaker hose) is a good idea even if your’re not going anywhere, since it conserves water by slowly seeping moisture right into the soil where your plants need it the most. Keep your flowerbeds, veggie garden, and newly planted trees and shrubs flourishing while you’re gone by setting up a drip irrigation system with a timer right at the spigot. Set up your watering times in advance (early morning is best) and your garden will practically take care of itself.


Hydretain is really helpful for keeping your lawn and garden green all summer, and can save a huge amount of water. It’s what we call a “humectant”; it basically works by soaking into the soil, where it pulls all the moisture towards the roots of the plants. It comes in a liquid concentrate and granular form, and is non-toxic, biodegradable, and safe for kids and pets. You’ll need to plan ahead a little bit to make the most of Hydretain, since it takes a while for it to effectively distribute into the soil.  But you can use it in a pinch on your hanging baskets, flowerpots, and houseplants to help them stay lush while you’re away.

Treegator Watering Bag

Trees and shrubs are a big investment, and in order for them to get established and thrive for years to come, you will need to make sure they stay watered all summer. A Gator Bag is basically a water reservoir that slowly drips into the soil at the foot of the plant. They’re essential for new plantings, and great for temporarily providing surplus water where a hose can’t reach.

Make an Olla

Inspiration for this solution comes from Tanya’s blog “Lovely Greens”.  An Olla is a terracotta pot filled with water that you bury in your garden near your plants. The water gradually seeps out, soaks the surrounding soil, and provides moisture to the roots of plants nearby.

Traditional ollas look like jugs and have been used for thousands of years to help farmers care for their crops. You can easily make your own Olla for your veggie garden or your flowerbeds – simply plug up the hole in the bottom of an unglazed terracotta pot and bury it up to the rim in the soil near your plants. Fill it with water, and set a large saucer on top to keep bugs and debris out. Depending on the soil quality and the size of your Olla it will water up to a 2′ radius, so you might need to plan out a few Ollas to cover the space.

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