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Gardening

Keeping Plants Alive When You’re on Holiday

Turn the bottle upside down, while plugging the
Turn the bottle upside down, while plugging the opening with your finger. Plunge the bottle into the soil. PHOTO | FILE 

For dedicated gardeners, going on holiday causes worry. What if it does not rain? Will the plants, especially the potted ones die?

There are however some flower lovers with interesting ideas on how to keep the plants alive and beautiful during this holiday season if one is travelling, leaving their little 'green friends all alone.

Soni Nancy says that one of the trick she has adopted is to water the plants well so that the soil is saturated. She then fills plastic bottles with water and sticks them upside-down into the soil next to the plant.

The water will be sucked out of the bottle as the soil begins to dry out, automatically watering the plant. The trick however is to use a big bottle for a large plant and a small bottle for a small plant.

“The water will keep the soil moist without drowning the plant,” she says.

Rachel Mbuthia says she moves them from direct sunlight and places them close together because this will provide shade and retain moisture.

“I always water them before travelling and make sure they are away from direct sun. Also, rice water is good for flowers and plants. They provide extra nutrients and keep them glowing,” she says.

There are other useful tips to look into when you will be away from home with no one to water the plants such as putting a damp newspaper or a wet oasis in the bottom of the flowerpots so that the plant can suck up the water when it needs it.

However, if you are travelling for more than two weeks you may consider getting a plant sitter who will come in to water the flowers.

After denying them adequate water for some days or weeks, you may notice that the plants look a bit 'sad'. Try feeding them with some leftover tea leaves which are rich in nitrogen. Throw the tea leaves inside the watering can.

Living in a rented house is no reason why you should be left behind when it comes to owning plants and giving your home a personal touch.

Many people get frustrated when caring for potted plants because they do not understand the particular requirements of growing in a space-restricted environment.

Since house plants are very receptive to light and moisture levels, increased and prolonged exposure to sunlight threatens them, as well as things like air-conditioning or homes that are hotter than usual.

Many people get frustrated when caring for potted plants because they do not understand the particular requirements of growing in a space-restricted environment.

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