How To Water Plants While On Vacation

Everyone needs a vacation from time to time, including plant parents. Sadly you have to leave your plants behind while you take your much-needed break. Some plants can last a long time without water, but other plants need weekly or even daily care.

I’m sure that in all the excitement at the back of your head and you’re worried about how to water plants while you are on vacation. I have gathered all the tips and tricks that work the best for me with my houseplants through trial and error.



7 Tips to Water Plants While Absent


#1 Find a Plant-Sitter

woman watering plants and plant sitting as a friend on vacation

A plant sitter is someone who is in charge of looking after your plants in your absence. Unfortunately, it is not as easy as it may seem. It would be best to keep in mind a few things when you assign a plant sitter to look after your plant. Make sure to find someone you trust, such as a friend, a relative, or a neighbor,  but ultimately someone willing to help you.

Now, ensure that that person is sensible when it comes to caring for plants, because if they are not, he or she may do more damage to your plants than if you were to leave the plants to fend for themselves. If you find an enthusiastic person and a plant lover like you, great for you, and you don’t need to worry much about your plants.

Help the person by giving them specific instructions about your plant needs. Write everything down if possible; it will always be extra helpful to include the precise details. Try not to assume that he or she knows everything about your plants. However, on the other side, don’t give them too much unnecessary information as it may not help, and it may only end up annoying and irritating. Find a happy medium where you are clear and concise in your directions.


#2  Group Your Plants Together

grouping together all plants on vacation The next thing you can do is group your plants together. Besides the support the plants give to each other, grouping your plants together also helps raise the humidity around them and therefore reduces the water loss for each plant.

It does not matter the types of plants you group together; for example, you don’t need to put all the philodendrons or pothos together. However, I recommend putting all the fussy plants in a separate group so that if you choose to have a plant sitter, they can focus more on getting the plants that are harder to care for the care they need.


#3 Move Plants Away From Direct Sunlight

snake plant moved away from window for sun during vacationThe next thing that you can do is move your plants away from spots where they receive direct sunlight into shady areas. What will happen is, the plant won’t consume as much energy from the sun and therefore won’t require as much water. This helps in dramatically reducing the maintenance your plant needs while you are on vacation.

Suppose you do end up having a plant sitter take this reduced maintenance need into account. Due to your plants not needing as much water, they have a higher potential to get over watered.


#4 Keep Watering Equipment Ready

white watering can for vacationMake sure to keep your houseplant tools handy such as a watering can.  This is important so your plant sitter won’t have to search to find the basic care tools your plants need while you aren’t there. You may also want to have a moisture meter ready for those caring for your plants, which may be a little heavy-handed with their watering. Be sure to tell your plant sitter how to use each tool.


#5 Ask Them to Take Pictures to Send You

taking picture of plant on vacation If you are an anxious person and worry a lot about your plants, you can ask your plant sitter to send a few pictures every time to show you how your plants are doing.

They can also take pictures if they have questions about specific plants. You can also do something better; you can ask them to do a video call and show you all the plants to spot any drying plants or sick plants that are suffering and give them tips on how to handle the situation appropriately.


#6 Self-Watering Systems

water self watering pots on vacationSelf-watering pots are great for anyone who doesn’t want to have a plant sitter while on vacation. All you have to do is fill the reservoir at the bottom of the pot. While you enjoy your vacation, the plants will suck up the water they need from the tray under them.

This method will also help prevent over-watering because the plants are not just sitting in a constant water supply.


#7 Water Spikes

terra cotta water spikes for watering plants on vacationThese terra-cotta water spikes are also great for someone who can’t have someone manually tend to their plants while they are on vacation. Place a jug of water in the wide opening of the spike. Bury the narrow part deep in the soil as close to the roots as you can. When the soil moisture reduces, the terra cotta will release the water from the jug. The water will seep out of the terra-cotta as it is a porous material.

Remember to have a good water jug to pot size ratio as not to have the pot tip over due to it being top-heavy. The bigger the pot size, the larger the jug of water needs to be as bigger plants require more water.



There are many ways to keep your plants happy and healthy while you are away from them on vacation. Combining the methods above is best, but we ultimately recommend doing what you feel is best for your plants as every situation differs. For example, the longer your vacation is you may want to have someone you trust to check in on your plants, so they don’t go too long without care, especially if they are needy plants.

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