Vacations, while relaxing for you and your family are often stressful, even deadly for indoor and outdoor plants. I believe this is because well meaning vacationers, while trying to account for higher temperatures, over-compensate and thereby escort in trouble. Friends who stop in to check and water containers, unfamiliar with each plant’s needs may contribute to the trouble. Let’s look at the problems and solutions.

Container plants indoors are not subject to the extremes of outdoor temperatures. Curtains drawn and consistent temperatures provided by central air may actually cause the plants to use less water than when you are home. Frequently, upon departure, plants are over-watered intentionally, allowing the runoff to sit in a saucer—just in case the plant needs it. Bad idea! In many cases this standing water is the beginning of water-borne disease or rot in the roots.

The best solution for watering houseplants or outdoor container plants in your absence is to utilize one of the seeping reservoir systems. You may recognize them as…