How to keep plants in containers watered when on holiday

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Keen gardeners tend to worry about their plants when they are on holiday, particularly during extreme weather. If you are away for a week or two, plants in containers should survive whether they are in the garden or inside the home.

The best idea is to ask a friendly neighbour or relative to pop in and water your plants. If this is not an option, there are several strategies you can use to ensure that you do not face withered, dead plants on your return from holiday.

Move large indoor house plants in containers to a shady position, away from sunny windows. Remember to water them well before you depart on holiday.

Place smaller plants in containers in the bath on top of a drenched towel. This should be enough to keep the plants moist while you are away. It is a good idea to block out some of the sun at the window in the bathroom, too.

Put outdoor container plants in a shady position and water well before you leave for your holiday. Consider "planting" your pots deep in the ground up to the rim so the plants can obtain moisture from the soil.

Purchase an automatic irrigation system designed for the ordinary garden rather than a park or mansion house. Select a version that has an attachment for containers. Follow the instructions to set it up. Try out the system a few times before your holiday so you are confident it works. Set it, via a timer, to come on once a day, or twice if the temperature is very high.