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How do you pour your plants while you are gone?



  Plants on a coffee table

Josh Miller / CNET

They have worked hard to breed beautiful indoor plants and a healthy vegetable garden with a uniform irrigation plan. When you go on vacation, you do not want your plants to suffer.

Here are four ways to keep your plants watered during your absence. They also work well for the forgetful gardener.

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4 ways to water your plants yourself


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Just one note: Use them only for plants that need to be watered daily, such as herbs, vegetables and some indoor plants. Your succulents would prefer you when you're not in town.

Read more: Our Ultimate Guide to Cultivating a Healthy Garden .

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Chris Parker / CNET

Old-school water wicking

For this you need a big water tank (like a vase or bucket) and some cotton rope. Cotton clothesline, available at most hardware stores, works great.

Cut a piece of cotton rope that is long enough to fit between the bottom of your water tank and the bottom of your plant.

Take one end of the rope and push it a few inches below the surface of the ground, near the plant. Be careful not to disturb the roots of the plant.

Place the other end of the rope in the bottom of your water tank and fill it with water. Make sure the rope touches the bottom of your container.

The cotton rope slowly draws water from the container into the pot, maintaining a constant moisture content in the soil.

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Chris Parker / CNET

DIY Drip System

You've probably seen those glass jars of water that you put in a pot to water your plant. There is no need to buy them because you can easily make your own version.

Start with a clean and empty plastic bottle. For a small to medium container, a water bottle works well. Drill several drainage holes in the bottle near the top.

Before you go on vacation, water your plant as usual. Fill the plastic bottle with water, and then turn it over quickly and immerse it in the first few inches of soil in the pot. Make sure the bottle is not too close to your plant and that the bottle is deep enough so that the bottom covers the holes.

The water will slowly leak out of the bottle when the soil dries up.

For larger pots, you can use an empty wine bottle. Simply fill up, place your thumb on the opening, turn it over and immerse it in the ground.

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Chris Parker / CNET

Give your plants a bath

For pots with good drainage you can give them a bath while you are away. Well, that's about it.

Fill your sink or tub with a few inches of water and put a towel in to protect it from scratches. Put your potted plants in the sink and let them stand while you are away. The soil pulls water to the roots and keeps the plant moisturized for up to a week.

Estimate the lighting conditions near your sink or tub – if your plants need lots of sunlight, do not keep them in a dark bathroom.

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Chris Parker / CNET

Plastic bag greenhouse

This method seems unconventional, but also works for longer holidays.

Get a clear plastic bag big enough to cover your plant and pot. Add inserts to the pot to prevent the sack from sticking to the plants. Some say the bag should not touch the leaves, but a bit of contact is fine.

Water your plants as usual and be careful not to over-saturate them.

Place the plant in the bag and pull the bag around your plant. Blow some air into the bag before sealing to support the bag balloon around your plant. It's just more insurance that the bag does not press against the leaves.

Leave your plant in an area with indirect light (direct sunlight will heat the bag and likely kill your plant). This miniature greenhouse catches water as it evaporates and drips back into the plant.

Learn with CNET's Gardening Guide everything you need for a beautiful, healthy garden.

Can technology make a better garden grow? We test the latest horticultural technology in the Smart Home .


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