Traveling soon and wondering about your succulents? Deciding whether to bring your succulents with you or leave them at home isn't always straightforward.
Each choice comes with its own set of care challenges and risks.
As you prepare for your next trip, let's explore how to keep your succulents happy, whether they're coming along or staying behind.
Risks of Bringing Your Succulents in Your Travels
Here are certain risks involved in bringing your succulents along during your travels.
Root Rot from Overwatering
Beware of watering your succulents right before travel; it can make the pots heavy and create a high-humidity environment due to limited airflow, leading to root rot.
To avoid this, it's best to water your succulents at least two weeks in advance.
But generally, you'll want to water based on the soil's dryness rather than a fixed schedule to ensure they're neither over nor under-watered.
This allows the soil to dry out sufficiently while keeping the plants hydrated, striking a balance that keeps them healthy during your travels.
Physical Damage During Transport
Whether flying or driving, the risk of physical damage to your succulents during transport is high.
It's not uncommon for succulents to experience broken leaves and stems or soil displacement as you move along, especially if you have a lot of luggage.
You can minimize this risk by securely packing your succulents to avoid movement during transit — place them in a bag under your seat or carry them in a protective case.
Lastly, your succulents may experience stress due to changes in the environment.
Many factors, including temperature changes, lack of sunlight, or changes in humidity, can cause stress.
Slowly try to acclimate your succulents to their new environment to ease this post-travel trauma.
Gradually expose them to sunlight and avoid overwatering or repotting immediately after arrival, giving them time to adjust to their new home.
What Could Happen If I Leave My Succulents at Home?
Leaving your succulents at home during your travels is a common choice, but it comes with its own challenges.
Despite their hardy nature, succulents still need regular care and attention - which they won't receive if you're not around to provide it.
Another factor to consider is the fact that your home environment could be subject to unexpected changes while you're away. For instance, there could be:
- Watering issues: If you're away for an extended period, they might not receive the moisture they need, especially if your area has unusually dry conditions.
- Lack of sunlight: Succulents require at least 6-8 hours of full sun daily; not all homes can provide that consistently, especially if you have them indoors.
- Air Quality Changes: Factors like increased dust, lack of air circulation, or smoke (from cooking or other sources) can affect your plants in your absence.
- Unexpected Pests or Diseases: New pests or diseases could introduce themselves while you're away, and they could spread rapidly without immediate attention.
For more insights on succulent care, particularly regarding pest prevention, learn about the dos and don’ts in this guide.
Ways to Keep Your Succulents Healthy at Home While on Vacation
Now that you know the potential risks to your succulent collection while you're away, here are some key steps you can take to ensure they remain healthy and vibrant in your absence.
Water Them Before You Leave
Giving your succulents a thorough watering before leaving for vacation is crucial. They can survive without any water for about 7 to 10 days.
Consider setting up a self-watering system, if suitable, to maintain hydration during your absence.
Just make sure the device is functioning correctly and look out for leaks before leaving!
Find out how excess rain can affect your succulents and how to protect them when you're away. Read more here!
Place in a Well-Ventilated Area
Succulents need fresh air to grow and stay healthy. Place them in an area with good air circulation, but avoid drafty spots.
A well-ventilated location prevents mold and fungal growth, keeping your plants safe while you're away.
Make Sure to Manage Indoor Temperatures
Succulents prefer moderate temperatures. Maintain indoor temperatures between 55°F and 75°F (13°C and 24°C).
If your succulents are usually outdoors, consider bringing them inside if you're traveling during colder seasons.
Once indoors, adjust your thermostat to a lower setting, around 54°F, so you can conserve energy while extending the watering cycle of your succulents.
During the warmer months of spring and summer, it is ideal to be near an open window or an air vent.
Move Your Succulents to a Shady Location
Aim to position your succulents in a location that offers indirect sunlight, providing the necessary light without scorching.
Find an area with at least six hours of sunlight each day, accompanied by afternoon shade.
Consider Getting a Plant Sitter
Asking a trusted friend or neighbor to water your succulents during your vacation can be effective in maintaining their health.
Provide them with clear instructions about light exposure, water frequency, and temperature requirements.
Wrapping Up Your Succulents Care Strategies for Travels and Vacations
Deciding whether to bring your succulents on your travels or leave them at home involves careful consideration.
Each option has its own set of challenges, but with the right strategies, your succulents can stay healthy and vibrant.