How to Keep Your Outdoor Plants Alive While on Vacation

As summer approaches, many of us look forward to taking a break and going on a vacation. However, for those who love gardening and have outdoor plants, it can be a bit worrisome to leave them unattended for a long period of time. How can you ensure that your beloved plants stay alive and healthy while you’re away? In this article, we’ll explore some tips and tricks to keep your outdoor plants thriving while you enjoy your time off.

Understanding Your Plants’ Needs

Before you go on vacation, it’s crucial to understand what your plants require to survive. Different plants have different needs, so it’s essential to research and understand the specific requirements of each plant you have.

Water Requirements

Water is essential for plants to survive, but different plants require different amounts of water. Some plants require more water, while others require less. It’s crucial to research the water requirements of each plant to ensure that you don’t over or under-water them.

Sunlight Requirements

Plants require sunlight to produce energy through photosynthesis. However, different plants have different sunlight requirements, so it’s essential to research the specific needs of each plant. Some plants require full sun, while others require partial shade.

Soil Requirements

The type of soil your plants are planted in can have a significant impact on their growth and survival. Different plants require different types of soil, so it’s crucial to research the specific soil requirements of each plant.

Preparing Your Plants for Your Vacation

Now that you understand your plants’ needs, there are several steps you can take to prepare them for your vacation.

Key takeaway: Before going on vacation, it’s important to understand the different needs of your outdoor plants, including water, sunlight, and soil requirements. Take steps to prepare your plants for your absence, such as watering them thoroughly, moving them to a shady area if needed, adding mulch to retain moisture in the soil, pruning to reduce water requirements, and potentially investing in an automated watering system. Consider asking friends or family members for help or hiring a professional plant-sitter if necessary.


Water your plants thoroughly before you leave for your vacation. This will ensure that the plants have enough water to last until you return. It’s also a good idea to water them a day or two before you leave to ensure that the soil is adequately hydrated.

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If your plants require partial shade, move them to a shady area to protect them from the sun. This will help prevent them from drying out and will also help reduce their water requirements.


Adding a layer of mulch to your plants can help retain moisture in the soil and reduce water loss through evaporation. This can be especially helpful if you’re going to be gone for an extended period.


Pruning your plants before you leave can help reduce their water requirements. By removing any dead or damaged leaves or stems, the plant will be able to focus its energy on the healthy leaves and stems, which require less water.

Automated Watering Systems

If you’re going to be gone for an extended period, you may want to consider investing in an automated watering system. These systems can be set up to automatically water your plants at specific times, ensuring that they receive enough water to survive.

Drip Irrigation

Drip irrigation is a popular automated watering system that can be used to water plants while you’re away. This system uses a series of tubes and emitters to deliver water directly to the plant’s roots, reducing water loss through evaporation.

Self-Watering Planters

Self-watering planters are another option for automated watering. These planters have a reservoir that holds water, which is then absorbed by the plant’s roots as needed. This can be an excellent option for smaller plants or plants that require less water.

Asking for Help

If you have friends or family members who are knowledgeable about plants, consider asking them to take care of your plants while you’re away. Alternatively, you could hire a professional plant sitter to take care of your plants for you.

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FAQs: How can I keep my outdoor plants alive while on vacation?

How long can outdoor plants survive without water?

The duration for which outdoor plants can survive without water depends on various factors such as the plant species, the temperature, and humidity. Typically, most outdoor plants can survive for a few days to a week without water. However, the situation may differ if the plant is in direct sunlight or windy conditions. In general, it is recommended to water the plants thoroughly before leaving for vacation.

What are some ways to control moisture for outdoor plants during a vacation?

Several options are available to manage the moisture level of outdoor plants when you are away. One option is to use self-watering systems that automatically water plants when the soil becomes dry. Another option is to use saucers filled with water near the plants’ root systems. It allows the plants to absorb the water gradually. Additionally, you could group the plants together to create a humid environment around them. This method can help to prevent the moisture from evaporating too quickly.

What should I consider before selecting a watering solution for my outdoor plants?

Before selecting any watering solution for your outdoor plants, you should consider various factors such as the size and type of plants, the climate of your region, and the duration of your vacation. If you are planning a long vacation, then it’s best to choose a self-watering system that can maintain a consistent level of moisture for your plants during your absence. Ensure that the watering system is appropriate for the type of plants you are growing, as some plants require more moisture than others.

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Are there any precautions I should take before leaving my outdoor plants unattended?

Yes, there are some precautions you should consider before leaving your outdoor plants unattended. One important step is to prune your plants by removing any ageing leaves, flowers, or branches. This will prevent any unnecessary stress and conserve their energy. Additionally, you can cover the plant with a plastic bag to retain humidity. Lastly, you could ask a trusted neighbor to check on your plants while you are away. Provide them with instructions on how to care for the plants, including when and how much to water them.

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