This is my first time on this forum.
I go away on business about once a month and i am looking for a way of
keeping my house plants hydrated while i am away.
I have found a product online and wondered if anyone had used it before
and if it worked. It's called Holiday Mat and Rainmat supplied by
They claim it holds 8 pints of water. You lay it on a draining board,
add water to it and place your plants on top.
If you have any thoughts on this or better products, i would be very
If you buy this, be sure to give it a test run before you go away.
However, its efficacy will depend on the kind of soil mix you use and
the number of holes in the bottom of the pot. A much surer and cheaper
solution for most plants is to tie a plastic baggie over each one. If
you have a number of small plants, place them together in an empty
fish tank with a cover. Do not leave your plants where the sun will
shine on them. If you can leave them under a fluorescent light, that
will be perfect.
How often you're away isn't important... what's important is how long
you'll be gone. Most healthy plants when properly watered can survive
quite nicely for up to ten days with no care at all. Many plants,
like succulents and cacti don't require watering but *lightly* once
every month or even two months. With most plants less is more.. many
folks kill their plants with kindness... they over water and just as
bad they over fertilize. Of course some plants, like orchids,
violets, etc. require special care and rreally shouldn' left more than
a day or two. Without knowing what kind of plants you have, their
ages, size of plants/pots, type of pots, type of potting mix, room
temperature, etc, it's really not possible to give detailed
I either ask my son or a neighbor to water my house plants once a week
when we are on an extended trip. The potting mix that I use retains
much moisture without getting soggy. Thus, the plants only need
watering once a week.
See my <http://www.rossde.com/garden/garden_potting_mix.html for a
do-it-yourself recipe for my potting mix.
I also have potted plants in my back yard. I arrange them in a spot
where the automatic sprinklers will water them. (The sprinklers are
controlled by a clock to run just before sunrise.) This is on a walkway
between my lawn and rose bed, in an area shaded by a very large ash
tree. I surround the area containing the pots with several strands of
copper wire to keep snails away from the plants.
David E. Ross
Climate: California Mediterranean
Thank you all very much for the advice.
I go away for two - three weeks at a time, and I live too far away from
family to ask them to come and water them for me.
We are heading in to winter so putting them outside is no longer an
I think I will give the Holiday mat a try and I will let you know how I
There's a variety of drip irrigation systems available at your local big
box home improvement stores, add a $20 timer that can be set for up to
weekly watering. I've seen patio kits in the $20 range. That may be more
than you need.
Try using your bathtub. It's capable of holding a low
level of water and because of it's natural shape to flow
to drain, you can put your plants that need the least
watering at one end while the plants that will need water
setting in or near the water line.
Your plants, at a minimun, will have moisture around
them. But like another poster, it depends on how long
you're gone. I wouldn't leave a pot standing in water for
very long....but some can take that.
I put plants inside dry-cleaner bags for many unattended weeks. Some
plants can be left for a month this way without any watering. If you
travel a lot, get plants that thrive well on neglect. With
temperatures down I have not watered any of my plants in 2 weeks
except for the Aftican violets. A month or 2 ago, many were being
watered 2-3 times a week. Maybe you can get a friend to water once a
Just wanted to update you.
I got a my HolidayMat a couple of weeks ago week the service from
http://www.plant-watering.com was excellent.
The Holiday Mat is incredible. When I first opened it I was a little
dubious, but I placed it on a large tray and added about 3 litres of
water and it absorbed the lot. The mat swells to about 10 times the
thickness. Its amazing!
My plants have been on it now for two weeks and are doing fine.
I will definitely be using it when I go away next week and will use it
my hanging baskets in the summer.
For any one with a green house they sell it in 5m rolls.
Thanks again for the advice.
> keeping my house plants hydrated while i am away.
> and if it worked. It's called Holiday Mat and Rainmat supplied by
> add water to it and place your plants on top.
I too have had the problem of having my plants die on me while I am
The rainmat seems like a good option but I would check others out.
There are so many to choose from. My personal favourite is AQUADRIP.
You get 6 bottle top watering spikes in a pack and it supports Oxfam.
www.ecocharlie.co.uk is where you will find it.
hope that helps.
Expect roots to grow out the bottom of the pots into
the mat. You can make a wick system for next to
nothing, with as much water capacity as you need.
Whatever, pruning plants back will reduce transpiration,
reducing water intake.
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