keeping house plants alive

Keeping House Plants Alive Whilst You’re Away

Friday 12th Jan 2024 |

To mark UK Houseplant Week, online travel agent loveholidays has partnered with plant expert and ‘hortpreneur’ Michael Perry to help green-fingered Brits escaping the January chill to keep their leafy friends alive.

Perry, also known as Mr Plant Geek, shared a range of tips to ensure houseplants thrive in their owners’ absence, including huddling them together for warmth, only lightly watering them before their departure, and even employing a plant sitter to keep a watchful eye on any specialist specimens while they’re abroad.

And he has good news for those looking to trade the winter blues for a sunny getaway, revealing now is the opportune time to up and leave your plants.

Winter is actually one of the best times of year to jet off, as most houseplants won’t be growing very quickly right now, so constant watering is the last thing they need. Too much water when plants are not actively growing is a recipe for disaster,” Perry assures.

Perry has amassed over 150k followers on social media, is the author of Hortus Curious and regularly features as a guest on shows including BBC’s Great British Garden Revival and ITV This Morning.

Plant enthusiasts looking to book a last minute winter sun getaway can take advantage of loveholidays’ sale, with the online travel agent offering up to 25% off selected hotels*. To book a holiday, visit:

Michael Perry’s five top tips to ensuring your houseplants survive your winter getaway:

1. Give your plants a light watering ahead of your departure

For a week’s holiday, I would give plants a light watering before you leave. Avoid leaving them sitting in pools of chilly water at this time of year, and I certainly wouldn’t use ‘the ice cube trick’ that many might encourage you to try! A lot of people find that larger plant specimens are a good choice as they need less care and the soil doesn’t dry out as quickly during the months of active growth. 

2. Pack your fertiliser away; some plants might be dormant

In terms of fertilising, plants only need feeding when in active growth – usually from late April onwards. Remember that some of your more tropical houseplants might actually be dormant right now, so let them sleep, this is not the time for a four-course meal!

3. Call on a plant sitter for more specialist plants

If you’re a bit more of a ‘plant geek’ and have a few specialist specimens which need grow lights and heat, then it might be advisable to find a houseplant-sitter for the duration of your holiday. Your plantsitter might even be able to update by video, as you’ll probably be missing your cherished plants whilst you’re soaking up the rays.

4. Huddle your plants together for heat

If you choose to go away, the likelihood is you won’t have your heating on much, so your houseplants might appreciate being huddled together to give them a little bit of extra warmth. 

5. Use your holiday for houseplant inspiration

Finally, make sure you enjoy your holiday, and use the opportunity to explore more houseplants in their natural habitat. You might even get some inspiration for a few new plant purchases once you get home!

Commenting on the tips, Al Murray, Chief Marketing Officer at loveholidays, adds: 

“As the winter chill sets in across the UK, many Brits are considering jetting off on a last minute sunny escape. While the plant-lovers among us may be worried about their leafy friends surviving the cold while they’re away, Michael has revealed now is in fact the perfect time to head abroad. Armed with these valuable tips, green-fingered holidaymakers can make smarter decisions for their sunshine-filled breaks while ensuring the rhythm of life back home continues to run smoothly.”

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