It’s almost that time of year again. The office Christmas tree is sparkling in the corner, Secret Santa names have been allocated and the staff Christmas party has been inscribed into the calendar.
But for all of the excitement that comes with preparing for the end of the year, there are also a lot of office tasks that need to be addressed in the lead up to Christmas. And if your office is home to indoor plants, one of those tasks is setting them up for a Christmas break so that it is as relaxing for them as it is for you.
It’s often impractical to bring your plants home with you over the office shutdown period. And while your tropical Zanzibar Gem might appreciate accompanying your colleague who is vacationing in Bali, custom regulations make this plan impossible to put into practice.
To ensure that you return to bright and happy office plants free of root rot in the new year, here is our guide on how to keep plants hydrated while away this Christmas.
Signs of unhealthy plants to look out for
Before you head off for your Christmas break, make sure you double check all of your office plants to confirm that they are in their optimal condition. Here are some signs of unhealthy plants you should look out for, both before and after your vacation:
One of the most recognisable signs of an unhealthy plant is when its stems start to droop. Plants wilt when they lack hydration and nutrients, both of which can be a result of too much direct sunlight or root rot in addition to insufficient watering.
Yellow or brown leaves
While yellow and brown leaves are a natural part of new leaf growth, they can also be a telltale sign of a plant on its last legs if they start to appear in increasing numbers. Browning or yellowing leaves is due to a deficiency of water or alternatively, too much water.
White powdery substance on leaves
The powdery looking substances could be a fungus or a mealybug infestation that can grow on indoor plants. It’s important to act quickly when you notice these white flecks growing on your plants, as the longer you wait, the more disastrous the consequences can be.
How to keep your plants alive while on vacation
Now that we’ve covered what to look out for in an unhealthy plant, here’s how to keep your plants alive and happy while you’re away during the Christmas shutdown.
Water plants thoroughly before leaving
If your plants have dry or slightly dry soil, make sure that you give them a good soak before you shut down the office on your final day. Let the water drain before returning the plants to their original spots.
Pull down the office blinds
The more sunlight that your plant receives, the more water it will need. Pulling the translucent office blinds down over the break and positioning your plants so that they receive less sunlight than normal will help them retain moisture. Alternatively, you can place a sheer curtain over your office windows so that the light entering the room is slightly muted.
Add mulch to your plants’ soil
Another way you can help your plants stay hydrated is by adding mulch or lava rocks to their soil. Mulch and lava rocks both lock in moisture and ensure that your plant doesn’t dry out as quickly as it would otherwise.
Consider storing your plants in the bathroom
Does your office have an unused shower in its bathroom? If the answer is yes and that bathroom also has a window, then you may want to consider storing all of your office plants in the shower.
Tropical and humidity-loving plants will benefit from spending their Christmas break in your office bathroom, as smaller rooms contain humidity and moisture better than larger rooms.
How to water plants while away on vacation for two weeks
If your office is shutting down for longer than a single week, you’ll want to decide the best way to water plants while on holiday. Here are three ideas to keep in mind when finalising your holiday plans.
Build a DIY drip system
Feel like getting crafty? Follow these three steps to make a DIY drip system that will water your plant while you’re away. All you’ll need is a plastic water bottle and a knife.
- Cut a small 1/8th of an inch hole in the lid of your plastic water bottle
- Fill your bottle with filtered water and screw the lid back on tightly
- Dig a relatively small hole in the soil of your plant and then insert your plastic bottle lid-downwards into the hole.
Call into the office midway through your break
This one may not be ideal for everyone. But if you’re not located too far from your office or find yourself missing it during the holiday season, you may want to duck in midway through your break to water the office plants yourself.
Hire a plant specialist
The simplest holiday plant care solution is to hire an indoor plant maintenance service!
One of the main benefits of hiring a plant expert to look after your office plants is that you can enjoy a carefree break without worrying about your office plants’ welfare. Then, when the new year arrives, you will be welcomed back into the office with refreshed and revitalised plants.
The Plant Man offers a wide range of plant hire and maintenance services throughout the year – including the Christmas and New Year break. Get in touch with our team office plant hire specialists to find out more about our wide range of services.