If you are heading out on vacation, remember that your beautiful Pilea is not going to take care of itself on its own! Surely you don't want your plant to suffer, so here are some methods for keeping Pilea alive when you are away.
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Before Starting: How Long Are You Going To Stay Away?
If you plan on being gone just for a couple of days, then a well-watered and fed Pilea will stay healthy, as long as you water it one last time and move it into a cool and shady environment.
Vacations that are going to last more will need some systems in place to ensure the plant will stay healthy and happy in your absence.
1. Move Your Plant Out Of Bright Light
First thing first, make sure to move your Pilea to a spot that is darker than usual.
Then, remove any dead and decayed leaves – pruning will lower the water requirement of the plant.
2. Create A Mini-Greenhouse
You can make a mini-greenhouse that captures water as it evaporates and drips it back into the plant. This system will maintain humidity and help recycle the water into the soil after evaporation.
Choose a clear plastic bag large enough to cover your plant and its pot.
Water your Pilea as usual, being sure not to saturate it, then place it into the bag. Blow a bit of air into the bag to make sure it won't press up against the leaves.
Create some slits for ventilation, and then seal the bag to the pot.
Leave your Pilea in an area with indirect light – intense light would heat up the bag and likely kill your plant.
3. Use A Self-Watering System
You will need some cotton rope – cotton clothesline usually works great – and a large container filled with water.
Cut a piece of cotton rope. Take one end of the rope, and tuck it several inches into the soil, close to the main stem. Be gentle, and make sure not to damage the roots. Place the other end of the rope at the bottom of your water container.
The cotton rope will slowly absorb water from the container and drip it into the planter, maintaining a constant level of moisture in the soil.
You can consider purchasing a self-watering pot before you head for the holidays. It will push water into the soil only when the plant needs it.
Since Pilea actually does better when it dries out a bit between waterings, you may want to test your watering system before you leave to ensure that it's not overwatering the plant.
4. Ask A Friend For Help Or Get A Plant Sitter
A great idea to ask a friend to come and check on your Pilea every couple of days.
If your friend is not a plant expert, make sure to give specific instructions, such as when, and how much water is required along with any other needs.
If none of your friends is available, hiring a plant-sitter might be the answer. Finding someone available during the holidays might be hard, but apps like Thumbtack and Nextdoor may help you search for a local outside of your friend circle.