How to Water Indoor Plants While on Vacation

You’ve been saving up for a vacation. You’ve intricately planned out each detail for when you get there. But to get fully into vacation mode, you have to make sure the plant babies you have been lovingly taking care of don’t wither and die upon your return.

How to water indoor plants while on vacation? There are different ways we can water houseplants while away, use low budget DIY ideas like wine bottle solution, water-wicking drip system, plant saucer setup, use plastic bags or water bottle to water your indoor plant. Also, you can use a few tools for watering indoor plants while on vacation like Aeroponic system, Aquaponic System, Drip Growing Systems.


Indoor plants are aesthetically pleasing to keep, and even more, they clear the air inside your house. They are replacing toxic fumes from outside with fresh oxygen all day. So, in all honesty, your plants have been great companions. Not just beautifying your house but also for improving its air quality. Parting with them without ensuring they are cared for would be a great disservice.  

watering indoor plants while on vacation
Potted plants in a room

Due to safety reasons, you might also not want to entrust someone with coming and watering them according to your needs, and if you have a lot of plants, someone who isn’t qualified will likely mix up their watering schedules. There is a very fine line you have to tread when watering indoor plants because overwatering can kill them too.

All around, there is a lot of risk with leaving plants to someone’s care or hiring a stranger for their upkeep. To help you out, we have created a well-rounded list of DIY ideas and tools to invest in when watering your indoor plants while on vacation.

To add to that, we included a guide to help you keep your indoor plants healthy, qualities for good indoor plants, and a loss of ones that are easiest to take care of.

Guide to keeping indoor plants

While indoor plants are famous for their relatively easy upkeep, providing health benefits, and décor themes, many need careful monitoring. If you’re a plant enthusiast collecting rare and expensive indoor plants, you’d be sure to know that these will require more time and effort.

However, you can find basic indoor plants at places like HomeGoods, Home Depot, Target, or your local nursery that do not need careful consideration. They are an excellent option for those who have little yard space for an outdoor garden or those living in climates with severely cold winters.

This guide on how to keep indoor plants will familiarize you with how to plant, care for, and choose indoor plants according to their needs and yours. Moreover, help you get enough information to know how to care for your indoor plants while on vacation.

How do you plant indoor plants?

When you first buy indoor plants, they’re most likely already in containers, so there is no need to plant them. But if you’ve had your plant for a while and it’s outgrowing the container, you’re going to need a larger planter.

Another reason for repotting a plant can be to look to grow bulbs indoors or match the planter according to your house’s décor. Here are some quick steps to help you successfully repot your plants:

  1. Choose a new pot that is not too big and place it in a larger corner.
  2. Add soil to the bottom of your planter. You want to maintain the soil level of the previous pot and make sure the pot has a drainage hole.
  3. Pull the plant out from the previous pot.
  4. Slash the plant’s roots slightly. Plants like it when their roots become pruned due to slashing as it stimulates new growth. It also stops the roots from growing in circles and choking the plant.
  5. As you put the plant in the new pot, you should fill in the plant’s sides with soil.
  6. Add water to it after the new soil is added because it is likely to be dry. Because it is a new pot, you may need to water it more than normal as the soil needs to be fully hydrated over time.

What qualities make for a good indoor plant?

To select an indoor plant that does not cause too many problems, you should look for qualities that make a good indoor plant. That can improve your care for indoor plants while on vacation, especially if you’re sure they are strong and healthy.

You should look for a good root system when you choose a plant, especially for a smaller plant. Healthy roots are usually thick and light in color.

A rule of thumb when it comes to foliage is, if you can’t see through it, the foliage is thick enough, and your plant is healthy.

Always remember to check for pests or diseases on plants, which can affect your other plants too. Some indications can be white dots on the leaves, sticky residue on the leaves, and a bad odor.

Indoor plants that are easiest to take care of

If you want to spruce up your home with a little greenery but are either low-maintenance yourself or a new plant buyer, you should stick to plants that are more forgiving and easy on the upkeep. Here are some that you can choose from and know how to keep them alive and happy.

How to water houseplants while away
Pothos plant
  1. Pothos: This is one of the most forgiving houseplants you will encounter. It can tolerate both low and bright light, so you will have to worry less about where to keep it and more about how it can enhance your room’s general appeal. You only need to water it when the top 1 inch of the soil dries out. Check out the best Pothos in Amazon.
How to Water Indoor Plants While on Vacation
Coffee Arabica
  • Coffee Arabica: These are indeed coffee plants, but they, unfortunately, won’t grow enough to give you your daily coffee fix. However, you can keep these easily alive. Just make sure it stays in a warm spot and gets medium light. Their soil dries up a lot, so water it when the leaves are droopy. Buy Best Coffee Arabica plant from Amazon.
best ways to water indoor plants while on vacation
Monstera Plant
  • Monstera: On the pricier side Monsteras are loved for their tropical look. It is a misconception that they are harder to care for. Instead, they just need a medium to bright light in a humid environment. Water them when the top inch of the soil is dry. Buy from Amazon
care for indoor plants while on vacation
Bamboo Plants

How to care for indoor plants?

Of course, the most important question when you start as a plant buyer, how to take care of indoor plants? Here are some tips that will have you know the basics on the tip of your fingers.

  • Keep the potting soil moist i.e., it’s essential to make sure the soil is not too wet nor too dry. The one in rule works very well for most indoor plants.
  • Make sure the pot has a drainage hole so excess water can drain instead of waterlogging your plant.
  • The rule of thumb would be to keep your plant near a light source, artificial or natural.
  • When you’re purchasing a plant, make sure to ask enough details like the plant species so you can accurately take care of it.

How to water plants while away

When you’ve worked to grow beautiful houseplants and a healthy vegetable garden with a consistent watering schedule, you don’t want it all to suffer. Here are some of the best ways to water indoor plants while on vacation.

How to water houseplants while away
Plant with water bottles on the table

Low-budget DIY ideas

If you’re not ready to spend a lot of money on self-watering systems, DIY methods will be your best friend.

Below are five ways you can keep watering your indoor plants while on vacation

1- Wine bottle solution

After a nice dinner and delicious wine that follows the natural course of action would be to throw out your wine bottle once it’s empty. Don’t do that. Instead, we will be using this to take care of your plants that need watering every day while you’re away.

Tools you will need:

  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • A bottle with an aluminum cap
  • Pliers

Step 1 would be to remove the plastic fil inside the cap. Then take the nail and hammer it through the aluminum cap to create five mini holes. Start by nailing the hole from the inside of the cap, so you don’t end up warping it. 

Step 2: Take the bottle off the cap and fill it to the brim with water, and put the lid back on.

Step 3: Dig a small hole the size of the bottle cap in the soil of the plant you will be watering.

Put the bottle into the hole dug. This will require some practice, so the water doesn’t spill over. And you can recheck it after a long weekend.

2- Water Wicking (Drip System)

A fairly simple method that will link your plants to a water system using a cotton string. This drip system through wick watering works great for more extended periods. The larger the bucket that supplies water, the better chances of your plants being taken care of for a long time.

You can even water multiple plants with the same bucket or bowl.

Tools you will need:

  • Wick/cotton rope
  • A vase or bucket according to your needs

Step 1: cotton ropes are the best option if you’re going to use the drip method to water plants, as it is the most absorbent material. You’ll want the rope to have slack on the end inside the vase of water and also be able to reach several inches under the soil.  

Step 2: you will push one end of the rope several inches under each of the plants’ soil and then cover each rope with soil to secure it. You can use any pointed non-sharp object to stuff each rope into the soil. Have the other end of the rope placed in the vase or bucket filled with water. Again, make sure there is extra slack on this end.

Step 3: Fill the bucket with water and then water the plants to start the process. This is great if you have multiple plants and want a single watering system.

3- Plant Saucer Setup

Disclaimer: Don’t use this for plants that require special care. These saucers help retain water for your plants and make it so that the water doesn’t leak out of the soil from the bottom of your pot.

Tools Needed:

  • Sauces
  • Drainage Pot

Step 1: Get a saucer as close to the size of your pot as possible so that it has room to hold water and still touch the full bottom of the pot.  

Step 2: It is important to use a drainage pot so that the plant can reach the water that is going to be in the saucer.

Step 3: Soak the saucer or place water in the saucer to have extra water for the plant to consume while you’re away.

4- Plastic Bag Greenhouse

This is a great, long-lasting solution to watering indoor plants while on vacation. You just have to be careful to follow the instructions on this to avoid ruining your plant’s foliage.

Do NOT use this method in direct sunlight or with succulents as that can result in overheating or shriveling.

Tools Needed:

  • Four wood stakes
  • Clear Plastic bag

Step 1: Take all four of the wood stakes and put them in each corner of the pot. This will create a boundary line and will be a base for the greenhouse bag tent. It also prevents plastic from being wrapped around the leaves.

Step 2: water your plants as you would usually and leave them in indirect sunlight because direct sunlight can heat the bag. Too much heat can kill your plant.

Step 3: Get ahold of a large plastic bag, larger than you plant, to cover it and a bit of the pot. Wrap the plant inside the plastic bag and make sure the stakes are placed well enough for support.

5- Water Bottle Solution

Another rather simple DIY solution to your watering problem can be putting a water bottle into the plant’s soil. Although this system does not last too long, it is still one of the easiest to set up and reuse.

Tools Needed:

  • Plastic water bottle
  • Nails
  • Hammer

Step 1: puncture tiny holes, around six, on the sides of the water bottle. And three holes on the bottom of the water bottle.

Step 2: Place the plastic bottle into the soil, but before you do that, water the soil enough, so it doesn’t consume all the water from the bottle. Make a hole, place the bottle inside

Step 3: Fill the bottle with water and put a cap on it, so the water does not evaporate. Put it in the soil, and enjoy a weekend away from home!

Tools you can invest in

If you’re willing to spend a bit of money, so the watering system works on its own, you can buy a few gadgets available in the market, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of a DIY experiment.

1- Aeroponic system

In an aeroponic system, roots are not suspended in water; rather, they hang in the air where they receive nutrient-rich growing medium via misting.

This is a type of a planter that you can also use for your mini vegetable garden inside your house to grow tomatoes, chili peppers, basil, etc. A company Clicks and Grow planters that you can order from Amazon.

2- Aquaponic System

This system is a form of water culture where the waste produced by farmed fish or other sea creatures delivers the nutrients plants need. They then purify the water, and the cycle continues. It is a zero-waste method of watering indoor plants while away on vacation.

You can order an aquaponic system from Amazon.

3- Drip Growing Systems

This is a relatively simple form of a hydroponic system. It uses a pump to feed nutrients and water to your plant regularly. A kind of micro-irrigation system, this method was developed to improve water efficiency.

The system uses two individual pots for plants and a water reservoir connected to the plants by a tubing network. You can buy a simple drip growing system for your home from Amazon.

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The Takeaway

The above-mentioned methods are all tried and tested to work well for many plants. However, you need to do your research when you’re looking to keep indoor plants. Much like anything other living thing, plants are to be kept responsibly as well. Of course, watering plants while on vacation might leave you with some surprises when you come back. Some of your plants might look droopy, but don’t worry too much! Your plants are fine. You can easily revive houseplants even if they don’t look very healthy. Now enjoy your vacation and leave the worry of your plants at home.