Have you caught the houseplant bug but find yourself constantly on the road for work? Don’t despair, your leafy friends can thrive even when you’re living out of a suitcase. As a traveling pro yourself, you know that the key to success is efficiency and planning. Apply that same mindset to caring for your indoor jungle and you’ll return home to happy, healthy plants every time. With the right plant picks, smart pot and watering choices, and a few hacks for when you’re away, you’ll have the jet-setting green thumb in no time. Keep reading to learn all the tricks of the trade to keep your houseplant herd happy despite your hectic schedule. The plants you love don’t have to suffer because you chose a career that feeds your wanderlust!
Choosing the Right Plants for Busy Travelers
Choosing plants that can thrive with minimal care is key for busy travelers. Some excellent options:
- Succulents like echeverias and snake plants are perfect. They only need watering once a week or less and do well in low light.
- Philodendrons and pothos are almost indestructible. They tolerate low light and inconsistent watering. Just place them in a spot out of direct sun and water when the top inch of soil is dry.
- ZZ plant has waxy leaves that store water, so it only needs moderate light and watering every 1-2 weeks. It does well in a range of indoor temperatures too.
- Chinese evergreen can do nicely with medium to low light. Water when the top of the soil feels dry and fertilize during the growing season. Its colorful foliage will brighten your space.
- Air plants (tillandsia) don’t even need soil. Just soak them in water for 30 minutes once a week and place them in a spot with bright, indirect light. Mist them in between waterings.
With the right choice of plants and a quality self-watering system, you’ll come home to happy, healthy houseplants even after extended trips. Don’t forget to ask a friend to stop by for a quick check every couple of weeks in case your plants need a drink or the self-watering system needs refilling. Your leafy companions will surely appreciate your thoughtfulness!
Watering and Feeding Hacks to Keep Plants Alive
As a traveling professional, keeping your houseplants alive while you’re away can be tricky. But with a few clever hacks, your leafy friends will thrive even when you can’t be there.
Use self-watering systems
Self-watering systems are a houseplant owner’s best friend. Products like wicks, reservoirs and automatic watering bulbs can keep your plants hydrated for up to 2 weeks. They slowly release water into the soil as the plant needs it.
Choose drought-tolerant plants
Opt for houseplants that can tolerate some neglect, like succulents, snake plants, peace lilies and Chinese evergreen. These hardy plants only need watering every 7-14 days and can survive longer stretches without issue.
Cluster plants together
Grouping plants together makes them easier to care for. Place them on a waterproof tray and water the tray instead of each pot. The roots will absorb what they need. This also creates a humid microclimate that most houseplants love.
Use time-release fertilizer
Slow-release fertilizer pellets provide nutrients to your plants for 6-12 months. Add some to the soil before leaving town and your plants will stay fed the whole time you’re gone.
Ask a friend for help
If your trip is longer than 2 weeks, don’t risk your plant’s health. Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by, water, mist and feed your green companions. Offer to return the favor when they go out of town!
With some planning and the right products, you can keep your houseplant collection alive and thriving, even when you’re not there to tend to them yourself. Safe travels!
Smart Lighting Setups for Plant Health
For many plant owners with busy schedules, keeping your houseplants well-lit can be a challenge. When you’re away for long hours or traveling frequently, smart lighting setups are key. Here are a few hacks to keep your plants healthy even when you’re not home.
Use timer switches or smart plugs to automatically turn grow lights or regular lamps on and off. Set the timer to turn the lights on in the morning and off at night to mimic the natural day-night cycle. For most houseplants, 12-16 hours of light per day is ideal. Timer switches are very affordable and easy to use.
LED Grow Lights
LED grow lights produce a bright light that plants thrive on without producing much heat. This makes them safe to use for long periods when you’re away. You can find small LED grow light strips or bulbs that provide targeted light for your plants. Place the lights close to your plants, about 2 to 3 feet above the tops of the plants.
Group Plants Together
If you have a few houseplants with similar light needs, group them together in one area. This makes it easier to set up an effective lighting system for them when you’re not home. You may be able to get by with using just one or two lamps, timer switches or grow lights to illuminate a group of plants. Make sure to place the plants close enough together that the light reaches all of them adequately.
Using smart lighting hacks will give you peace of mind that your houseplants are getting the light they need to stay green and growing, even when your busy schedule keeps you away. With the right system set up, you’ll come home to happy, healthy plants. By making their care efficient, you’ll have more time to simply enjoy your houseplant oasis.
Automating Your Indoor Garden While Away
While traveling for work can be exciting, it often means being away from your houseplants for extended periods. Don’t dismay—with a little planning, you can have an automated indoor garden that will thrive even when you’re on the road.
Use Self-Watering Pots
Invest in self-watering planters or pots before your trip. These have built-in reservoirs that slowly release water to the roots as the soil dries out. For smaller plants, a basic wick system where a cord draws water from a reservoir to the soil works well. For larger plants, you can find self-watering planters, like ceramic cachepots, that hold several gallons of water. These are ideal for keeping thirsty tropicals like Chinese evergreen, pothos and peace lilies hydrated.
Install a Drip Irrigation or Micro-Sprinkler System
For a fully automated watering system, set up drip irrigation or micro-sprinklers on a timer. Drip irrigation uses a network of tubes with tiny holes to water plants drop by drop at the root level. Micro-sprinklers spray water over a small area. Connect the system to an electronic timer so it will turn on for a few minutes each day to water your plants while you’re gone. Make sure to test the system before leaving to ensure proper coverage and timer settings.
Group Plants Together
Cluster plants with similar light and water needs together on the same watering system or timer. This way, you can cater conditions to specific groups. For example, group succulents, snake plants and ZZ plants which require little water and place them on an infrequent watering schedule. Tropical plants that need consistently moist soil should be grouped and watered more often.
Ask a Friend to Help
As a last resort, don’t hesitate to ask a trusted friend or neighbor to stop by and check on your indoor garden. Give them a key and provide instructions for properly caring for each plant. Offer to return the favor when they go out of town! Coming home to thriving, healthy houseplants will make your time away worthwhile.
Keeping Plants Happy With Friends and Family Help
When you have to travel for work, it can be hard to properly care for your houseplants. Rather than letting them suffer from neglect, ask a friend or family member to houseplant sit. With some preparation, your leafy roommates will stay happy and healthy until your return.
Provide Care Instructions
Write out details for each plant including:
- Watering schedule (how often and how much)
- Light requirements
- Fertilizing routine
- Ideal temperature range
- Any pest control sprays that need to be applied
Be as specific as possible. It’s also helpful to group plants with similar needs together to make care easier.
Set Up Supplies
Provide everything your plant sitter will need:
- Plant food, fertilizer, and pest sprays
- Watering can or pitcher
- Moisture meter to check soil
- Pruning shears for trimming
- Pebbles for humidity
- Plant lights or heat pads (if needed)
Don’t assume they have gardening tools and equipment. Make it simple by giving them everything required for each plant.
Call or message your friend or family member regularly to see how the plants are doing and if they have any questions or concerns. Send photos of how the plants should look to help them spot any issues early on. Offer to video chat so you can physically see the plants for yourself. Provide encouragement and express appreciation for their help.
With some preparation and by maintaining communication, your houseplants will stay perky until your return. Coming home to happy, healthy plants will help reduce stress from being away. And don’t forget to properly thank your plant sitter—their assistance deserves more than just a thank you card!
So there you have it, some handy houseplant hacks to keep your leafy friends happy while you’re on the go. With the right plant selections, preparation, and tools, you can avoid coming home to a jungle of drooping, dried up disasters. By following these tips your houseplants will stay perky and greet you with vibrant green leaves and maybe even some blooms when you return. You’ll feel better knowing your little oasis at home is thriving, even when you can’t be there to tend to it yourself. The extra effort is worth it for the peace of mind and joy your houseplant oasis will bring you each time you unlock the door. Happy traveling and remember, your houseplant friends will be cheering you on in spirit from their spot by the window!