Your plants at Christmas time

Your plants at Christmas time

By Lidia Boque Gousgouni
18 Dec 2017

We’ve all come home from holidays to find plants looking very sad and sorry. When you go away you need to take steps to minimise the stress your house plants might encounter during your absence. Some species of plants like cacti need almost nothing if you’re only away for a week or two - but other plants need constant care.

If you don’t have anyone to drop by and water your plants then there are steps you can take to keep your plants alive and healthy. Here are a few suggestions for you:

Always move pot plants out of direct sunlight if you’re going away. Surprisingly this simple step makes a big difference.

Find the coolest spot in the house for the indoor plants, this will keep plants moist for longer.

- Add some form of mulch to the top of the pot to help retain moisture, this is important for plants outside on the patio.

Put your house/patio plants into groups. This really does help them hold moisture for longer.

Water the plants really well just before you leave for your holiday.

Using a container, something like a kitty litter tray is ideal – add a deep layer of pebbles. Add water until it reaches the top of the pebbles and then place your house plants on top. It’s important that the plants sit on the pebbles and not in the water. This method will keep the air around your plants humid for quite some time.

- If you don’t have a container or if you have quite a number of plants then you can utilise the bathtub. Put in the plug, add a few centimetres of water and put your plants in the bath, stand the plants on blocks to ensure they sit them just above the water-line. 

The holiday-makers who forget to make provision for their plants make me despair. They return from holidays, throw out the dead and the dying and go and replace them. For some people this is fine, it gives them a chance to try something new – however, I do have a suggestion for habitual plant killers. Give your plants away before you go on holidays and then someone else can appreciate them and there will be fewer victims.

The Horticulture Department at Wodonga TAFE wish you all a happy and safe Christmas and New Year!


If you’ve been thinking about studying horticulture – Wodonga TAFE has Certificate III in Horticulture timetabled to begin at the end of February 2018.  This course runs on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays but you can choose to study part-time if that suits.  Why not call into Wodonga TAFE’s horticulture department in University Drive, Wodonga and pick up a timetable for 2018 or you can see the details and apply online at;


Grouped indoor plants, putting your plants in a tight group will help conserve moisture.