Houseplant-Sitting 101: A guide to keeping greenery alive

The ultimate guide to make sure your plants are in safe hands while you're away

The ‘summer holidays’. A joyful time when hot weather is in full swing and many of us take the opportunity to pack our suitcases and leave our homes and houseplants behind for a much-needed holiday. Warmer temperatures also mean that our houseplants require a little more love and attention and since taking them away with us isn’t an option, we leave them behind feeling a little nervous that we’ll return to find them brown and shriveled.
 

Do we trust our nearest and dearest to tend for our houseplants whilst we’re on holiday? Probably not 100%, but to remedy this, We have created the below 101 guide to houseplant-sitting for some of the most popular houseplants. These top tips can be shared with your chosen plant-sitter to give them the confidence – and you the reassurance – that you will return home to happy and healthy greenery. This way, your kind plant-sitter can also work out a weekly visiting routine to suit your favourite fronds.

Monstera

 

Watering: Once a week

Big, bold and beautiful, monsteras are a statement feature in any home and placed in a bright spot, out of indirect sunlight, this houseplant will thrive while you’re on holiday. Make sure it’s only watered moderately so the soil is slightly damp but not oversaturated and you’ll never have to worry again about leaving this one in another’s hands. If you’re lucky enough to be on holiday longer than two weeks, leave plant food to be given once during the fortnight and you’ll certainly return to a magnificent monstera.

 

Philodendron

 

Watering: Once or twice a week and a good misting throughout the week

Symbolising health, philodendron’s have thick, leathery leaves and are easy, green companions for you and your houseplant-sitter to care for. Since they barely evaporate any moisture, they only need a moderate amount of water, so the soil is slightly damp but never oversaturated. Philodendrons may love a light position but it’s important they are moved away from full, direct sunlight, and if you ask your sitter to treat it to plant food once a fortnight to enhance growth, you may be treated to a nice surprise on your return.

Ficus elastica

 

Watering: Once a week

A versatile houseplant suiting a variety of interior styles, rubber plants are sturdy and low-maintenance and therefore another fantastic choice of houseplant if you’re an avid traveler without a trusty houseplant-sitter on hand. While you’re away, leave the rubber plant in a light but shadowed position with an ideal temperature between 16-27°C. However, these houseplants can’t tolerate light or temperature changes so make sure it’s not moved from this place in your home, and requiring little moisture, don’t be afraid to tell your sitter to let the soil dry between watering.

Peace lily

 

Watering: Once a week

Stylish, dark green leaves with radiant white flowers, the peace lily is an elegant beauty which adores bright spots in the home but shies away from direct sunlight, and dislikes the cold, thriving in room temperatures of 18-22°C. To really watch it flourish advise your houseplant-sitter to leave the soil slightly damp between watering and occasionally treat it to misting. Removing wilted flowers will encourage the peace lily bloom for longer, so be sure that they keep an eye on it while you’re away and prune when needed.

Spider plant

 

Watering: Once a week and misting between watering

Spider plants. A clean, green houseplant machine that purifies air and as one of the easiest houseplants to keep alive, it’s a great option for your home if you travel regularly. Flourishing in both sun and shade, the choice is yours as to where you place your spider plant for the duration of your holiday. Make sure it’s only watered a maximum of twice a week as their thick roots retain moisture and soggy soil can cause rotting. To keep this houseplant happy, leave a note to your sitter to mist its leaves with water once a week.

If a houseplant-sitter isn’t on hand for your holiday this summer, you can learn all about the DIY hacks to keep your houseplants hydrated whilst you’re on holiday here.

Better still, if you love a holiday but are yet to own your own houseplant, why not give it a go with a low-maintenance choice such as aloe vera, succulents  or cacti to add a splash of green to your home.
To find our which are rated as easy-care plants, read our article here.