Martha Stewart’s Genius Tip for Keeping Your Plants Watered While You’re Away

One of the hardest parts of becoming a plant parent is ensuring your leafy babies stay alive and thriving when you’re traveling. You can board your dog, but sometimes it’s just not feasible to have a friend stop by and give the thirsty pots a drink. Unsurprisingly, Martha Stewart has a tip for keeping potted plants hydrated for up to one week.

In her latest career-spanning book, “The Martha Manual,” Stewart packs in 40 years worth of tips, tricks, and how-tos for every part of setting up, keeping up, and enjoying your home. For folks who didn’t have handy parents or missed out on whatever they’re calling home economics these days, the book has sections on everything from what you need in your toolbox, to basic sewing skills, to how to host Thanksgiving or throw a kid’s birthday party.

In the book’s section on plants, Stewart offers up two tricks for keeping those pots hydrated while you’re away, using basic items from around the house (or your nearest hardware store).

While You’re Away

Instead of asking a neighbor to water your plants while you’re on a trip, use one of these methods to keep them hydrated for at least a week.

  • On the day of your departure, give each plant a good watering. Then snugly arrange the plants in a small tub that’s deep enough for the pots. Next, crumple up old newspaper and wet it. Arrange the newspaper around the pots, filling in all the gaps—it will keep the plants moist while you’re gone.
  • Cut a piece of nylon clothesline long enough to connect a water source to the plant; soak the rope for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, water and then drain the plant thoroughly. Bury one end of the wick deep in the soil and drop the other end in a container of water. (Use a water container that is taller or set higher than the potted plant.) For extra-large pots, use more than one wick.

There you have it—Martha is clearly the OG green thumb.

(Image credit: Courtesy Houghton Mifflin Harcourt)

While You’re Away is excerpted from THE MARTHA MANUAL: HOW TO DO (ALMOST) EVERYTHING © 2019 by Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, Inc. Reproduced by permission of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.

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