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Thursday, April 28, 2011


Ever go on a trip and come home to dead houseplants? Serena is here today with an easy tip to prevent this from happening. -- AP

I learned this one the hard way, Anastasia. I was gone for two weeks and came home to the dried out carcass of what used to be a healthy philodendron.

You’re about to leave on a trip. You’ve stopped the mail and newspaper delivery and boarded the pets. Have you thought about your houseplants? Some of them can go without watering for a week or two, but what about the ones that drink up water on an almost daily basis? Sometimes leaving them outside is an option, but often it’s not. Either the weather is too hot or too cold, or the neighborhood alley cat will use your planters as a litter box.

If you don’t want to come home to dead houseplants, try this trick: Braid some strips of cotton fabric. Make sure you’re using cotton, not blends or synthetics and that the fabric is free of sizing or starch. Put one end of the braid in a container of water and the other end into your planter. The water from the container will “climb” up the braid and into your plant.

If you have many plants, use a large container or bucket for the water and arrange the plants around the water bucket.

Great tip, Serena! Readers, do you have other houseplant tips you’d like to share? Let’s hear from you. Post a comment to be entered in the drawing for a free book from our Book Club Friday guest author. -- AP


Liz V. said...

Alas, my plants look like that when I'm here to take care of them. My Mom said no one could kill a philodendron. Have just joined garden club, so perhaps the plants will have a prayer now.


Liz, I can kill plants just by looking at them -- with one exception. I grow a bumper crop of zucchini from one plant each year. Houseplants? I've given up on them.

Kathy said...

I also take my plants out of the windows so the sun isn't shining on them while I'm gone and drying them out.