How Can I Keep My China Doll & Bird's Nest Fern Vacation Concern

chuffle(z5PA)July 30, 2011

This Thursday, I will be leaving on vacation, and will be gone for eleven days. Being summer, and the house will be closed and locked tight, I am concerned about two new additions to my little collection.

I bought a bird's nest fern and a small China doll earlier this summer, and so far they have been doing beautifully with the care that I have been providing. I had a China doll back in the mid 1990s, and I recall that they are not fond of drying out. I've been doing right by the fern, as it has been throwing up fronds with vigor.

My concern is leaving these two plants in a stuffy house, without care, for the eleven days that I will be gone. Does anyone here have any suggestions for keeping these two plants alive while I am away? (The rest of my plants - cactus, succulents, parlor palm, prayer plant - veterans of many years, will be fine while I am away)

I appreciate your help and suggestions.


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Gads!!! I didn't proof-read the title of my post. You'll think that I had been drinking when I typed the post.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:13PM
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tapla (mid-MI z5b-6a)

Not to worry - I don't think there was anyone confused by the title of your OP, Joe.

The obvious choice, if there are only two plants involved that present little in the way of an imposition, is to entrust them to the care of a neighbor, co-worker, family member, friend ....... don't trust any herbivores though - no matter how convincing they might be ...... and please provide fool-proof watering instructions based on the plant's needs during the recent past.

If that's not an option, ask & I'll share how to build a greenhouse with a kid's wading pool that will get you through - a LOT more effort than simply asking for help, though. I even entrust my wife with supplying water to my plants while I'm away. ;-)


    Bookmark   July 30, 2011 at 7:38PM
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Joe, one other option is placing both plants in the bath tub.
Do you have a tub plug?
If so, add an inch of water and plug. Place the China Doll in the center of tub and Bird's Nest further back.

You didn't mention pot sizes.

It's too late to order, but I purchased Water Drips several years ago. They were 2.99 for a pack of 12. Use with a standard, plastic bottle. Water drips very slow, but if your plants are in well-draining soil, and have drainage holes, these Drips work great.

Perhaps you can find them locally...Globes are usually sold, but they want 10.00 for one. Toni

    Bookmark   August 2, 2011 at 4:46PM
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I have these terra-cotta things that have worked great. In fact the plants do better than when I'm home giving them attention. :)

I put the plants in the darkest, coolest spot possible, like in the deep sink in my laundry room with no windows. It is good to set up the watering system a week or two ahead of time to be sure it's working properly.

Here is a link that might be useful: Lee Valley watering thingies

    Bookmark   August 12, 2011 at 1:16AM
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