Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Holiday Homes for Plants

If I make it through this week and the next without both my arms overtyped into disllocation, Mr Zeus and I are heading off to Crete for this year's holiday. My only categories for choosing a holiday destination this summer were that it should have ample facilities for doing nothing, have nice waters to swim in and not have any drunk British tourists near us.

Summer holidays are great but they have the unfortunate side effect of being the kiss of death for our plants. Every year without fail things go well until we go on holiday and then everything dies because no one waters them. This year I have managed to grow a flourishing Thai chilli plant, three plumerias and two lemongrass plants entirely from seed.

The lemongrass was a real headache to grow and only yielded two viable plants out of a packet of 50 seeds - the rest were far too delicate and gave up the ghost each time I transplanted them. Maybe they missed Asia. I know the feeling.

Anyway, if anything should happen to these particular plants that I have nourished from birth, I would be extremely upset. So I have to recruit someone to take charge of my most precious babies and ensure their survival for 8 days. Failing that, I wonder if I can take them with me to Crete?


betabug said...

As we don't have anybody to water our plants this year, we found a different strategy, see this pic.

We fill 1.5 liter water bottles, punch a few little holes in the caps, and stick them upside down in the earth. As the earth dries, the water is slowly released from the bottles.

It has worked for the first 10 day leg of our vacation, then (after some "normal" watering and a refill) for another week - and now - after the last refill - we'll see if it has worked for the last week or so. As you see in the pic, we also moved the plants into the kitchen, where they are protected from the direct sun. That might have done as much or more good as the watering system.

Maybe you wouldn't try it on your most precious plants first.

AL said...

I was just about to send you a link, but betabug beat me to it i see!
:) I've not tried it though but hear is an article that illustrates the 'automatic DIY watering system'

Anne said...


It's probably a bit too late for your holidays but I recommend a watering system that we bought at Leroy Merlin (next to IKEA at the airport area). It's actually very simple, a vessel that you fill with water and from which a tube leads to your plants (max 20 pots). You can set the amount of water you want to go to the plants. We bought it for 69 euro if I remenber correctly.

We had the same problem like you but we have just returned from a 14 day vacation and our plants are fresh and healthy, a big relief :-)

betabug said...

After coming back from vacation, I can say that the system worked. The plants even liked it, our roses put on new flowers while we were away! Alltogether they look healthy and happy.

In difference to the post mentioned by al, I didn't cut open the "top" part of the bottles. Seemed to have worked fine like that.

A funny moment happened in Paris: All the residents there were on vacation too, so I walked by a closed store with a big window and in there I saw a plant with a plastic bottle stuck in, same system. :-)