Table of contents:
There is such a thing as plant turgor. Turgor is the filling of plant cells with water. If the plant does not have enough water, the leaves and branches droop, become lethargic, then they talk about the loss of turgor. If the plant was not dehydrated for a long time, then it is enough to soak the soil well with water for the turgor to recover. But if the roots are very dry, watering will no longer help, the plants will die.
Probably everyone had to leave home for a while, leaving flowers and even animals. During our absence, we worry about our pets - how can they be without supervision. Everyone is looking for their own way out of the situation, depending on the timing of a business trip or vacation. Someone will leave the keys to the apartment to a neighbor or relatives with an order to water on time, but many do not have such an opportunity or simply do not trust an inexperienced person in such a sensitive issue.
You need to prepare for your vacation in advance, while you are choosing a swimsuit or just looking at colorful illustrations of travel agencies, you should not just ask about the ways of automatic watering of plants, but also try them in practice, having spent at least two days in advance on this.
After all, improperly organized automatic watering can lead to disastrous results when the plants turn out to be dry or, on the contrary, flooded. If you leave the care of the plants to a neighbor or friend, then at least take care of the exact instructions on this matter. Any person may have concepts of measure that are different from yours, and if for you abundant watering means a glass of water per pot, then someone can mean by abundant watering and 2-3 glasses of water.
The frequency of watering is known to depend on the type of plant, air temperature and season. Therefore, it is impossible to give an unequivocal answer as to how much it is possible to leave a plant without water without referring to its physiological state. Since cacti and some succulents are in a state of growth in the summer and will painlessly tolerate the absence of watering for about 2 weeks. In winter, during the dormant period, this period can be up to 1 month.
Plants with leathery leaves, such as ficuses or scindapsus, will survive without water for about a week in summer, 10-14 days in winter. But plants with thin and velvety leaves, for example Calathea rufibarba, can survive without water for 4-5 days in summer, depending on the temperature, and for about 7-10 days in winter. Bulbous and tuberous plants during the growth period will withstand about a week without watering.
More and more ways of autowatering are being invented; in a large flower shop you can even purchase special devices and whole systems for providing plants with water. Many indoor plant lovers, who often have to leave the house for several days, solve the problem radically - they switch to growing on hydroponics, which greatly facilitates the task (but does not eliminate the problems of care in general).
Automatic watering of indoor plants
If we talk about plants planted in soil, then there are several ways to provide plants with water:
Feodor: the system - "Smart Pot", appeared quite recently, but I already have a lot of plants growing in them. Its great advantage is its ease of planting and maintenance. I add water 1 time 3-4 weeks and the plants feel great. Fertilizers are added along with the irrigation water.
Method one - Plants are watered abundantly so that the earthen lump is completely saturated with water. If the pots are earthenware, then it is advisable to wrap each pot with moss, which is also thoroughly moistened. You can also place a clay pot in a plastic one of a larger size, and fill the space between the walls of the pot with moistened expanded clay. In plastic pots, the soil is covered from above with moist moss or expanded clay. Watered plants are placed on trays or in wide basins of water, without saucers, so that the bottom of the pot is in the water. Plants that categorically cannot stand when "feet in water" are left on silver platters, and the water drained after watering is drained. This method is effective if the plants are left for 7-10 days and if there are many plants.
Method two - Useful if there are not many plants, as well as if the plants are very sensitive to excessive moisture (both soil and air). The plant is watered so that the earthen lump is saturated with water. A plastic bottle with water and a thin knitting needle (or vice versa with a thick needle, you can also use an awl) is taken, heated on fire, a hole is made in the cork, then the same hole must be made at the bottom of the bottle. The bottle is dug into the pot with the plant neck down to a depth of 2-3 cm. Water flowing out dropwise moistens the soil. There is a very important point here - you need to practice in advance on bottles in the size of the holes. After all, it may turn out that the water flows out too slowly, or vice versa too quickly. It is best to try this method on a plantless pot filled with dry soil some time before leaving.
Watching for several days how the soil is filled with moisture, you will determine for yourself whether such a hole in the bottle is suitable or you will have to change it. When you are able to "tune the bottle" optimally, then the problem of watering during your absence will be solved once and for all. The duration of this watering depends on the size of the bottle.
Method three - A wick is twisted from a bandage or a strip of cloth, one end of which is placed on the surface of the earth in a pot, and the other is lowered into a container in water, which should be located above the pot. Here you should provide for the number of wicks for a certain size of the pot. So for a pot with a diameter of 10 cm, one wick is enough, and for a pot with a diameter of 25-30 cm, 3-4 wicks are needed for a sufficient supply of water. This method is effective if the plants are left for 7-10 days.
Method four - If your plants are grown in pots with good drainage holes on the bottoms, then this method will work for you. Oilcloth is spread on the table (so as not to spoil the furniture), on it is a wide strip of any dense woolen fabric (cloth, felt, an old baby blanket folded in several layers of batting, etc.), previously soaked in water. Pots with already watered plants are placed on the fabric (naturally, without saucers). The end of the fabric should hang off the table and sink into a large container of water, placed just below the table with plants. The fabric is kept wet all the time and the plants receive water through the drainage holes of the pot. This method is effective if the plants are left on for 10-20 days.
Method five - If you are leaving not for 7-10 days, but for 3-4 weeks, and even more than once a year, then it would be advisable to purchase an automatic watering system. Now they are sold in any major city and represent a container with water, a set of thin tubes and software control that ensures that the water supply is turned on at regular intervals, for example, 2 times a day.