Have you planned a holiday and no one’s going to be home?
Just as you would hire someone to take care of pets (if you have one), someone needs to care for the houseplants while you’re away from home. After all, houseplants are living things, and you don’t want to return to a bunch of wilting leaves and dry twigs!
This is where you might want to consider hiring a plant sitter. But what exactly do they do?
Generally, a plant sitter provides plant maintenance services such as:
- Holiday Plant Care – The watering, trimming, repotting, and tidying of houseplants for an agreed period of time.
- One-Off Visits – The upkeep of houseplants for a one-time visit
- Houseplant Accommodation – The housing of plants at the premise of the service provider
- Office Plant Care – The maintenance of greenery in offices and other enclosed spaces such as cafes.
In a nutshell, plant sitters provide plant care services for owners who cannot do so during their vacation. In this blog post, I’ll discuss what plant sitters actually do and where you can find such services if you need one.
Is There Such a Thing as a Plant Sitter?
Plant sitters are actually a thing to meet the demand of keeping plants alive while the homeowners go on vacation or business trips.
Sometimes, finding family and friends who are available and willing to drop by is challenging. This is where plant sitters come in to fill that need.
Professional plant sitters may be former horticultural specialists or nursery workers that want to continue their passion for pampering plants. Or they may simply be plant hobbyists that don’t mind exchanging some of their time in exchange for some cash.
Finding the most suitable plant sitter for your needs can be done through online searches.
There are networking platforms such as Airtasker where you can find independent plant sitters relatively easily. These platforms are great because other customers have given reviews and comments to the service providers. You can also filter sitters by minimum ratings and within your budget range.
Other plant sitters can be found on house sitting platforms such as housesitter.com.
You can also find plant sitting groups on Facebook by searching in the ‘groups.’ This is an excellent platform because it’s free. However, you may find yourself reaching a limited audience, and there are no visible ratings by other users. In other words, the independent plant sitters that you see on Facebook can be either great, a complete flop, or a total scam.
What Services Do Plant Sitters Offer?
Plant sitters offer a range of houseplant-keeping services depending on the duration of care required and how many plants that need caring for.
1. Holiday Plant Care (Multiple Visits)
Probably the only reason why we’d need a plant sitter is that there’s no one else to do the job.
Often when we’re traveling away from home for an extended time, we close and lock all windows and doors. Blinds may also be closed to protect privacy against onlookers.
So while you’re on holiday, your houseplants will suffocate from the lack of sunlight and air circulation. It’s common for us to return home to a bunch of wilting and sad-looking plants!
This is where plant sitters come in.
Many plants sitting businesses and contractors offer holiday plant care services so you can travel with peace of mind knowing that your expensive plants are being taken care of.
Plant sitters are usually booked online or by phone to match your plant sitting needs to an available plant carer. At your request, holiday plant care services may involve multiple visits by the plant sitter over weeks or months that you’re absent.
They will water, mist, re-fill humidifiers, and trim indoor and outdoor plants under your instructions.
If you’ve got a greenhouse or humidity domes, they can take care of that too! You can ask them to open the greenhouses to allow airflow and turn the grow lights on/off.
2. One-Off Visits
Most plant sitters offer one-off visits and charge per day.
These plant-sitters generally charge between $10 and $50 per day and should be able to perform most of the plant housekeeping on that day without staying for more than an hour.
For example, Tiffany from Pets N Plants charges $45 per visit for plant watering, feeding, trimming, and pruning. She services smaller indoor and outdoor gardens and houseplants. The cost covers up to one hour of sitter time.
The Plant Sitters in Seattle charges customers based on the number of plants. For up to 20 plants, you could be paying only $35 per visit. For an extra $20, they will cater for up to 99 plants!
During this visit, you can request additional services such as repotting. The Plant Sitters charge between $35 and $50 depending on the quantity and size of the plants. This service is ideal for those who don’t have the time or know how to repot.
If you’re looking for cheaper rates, you can jump onto independent contract services such as AirTasker to find young workers willing to work cheaply. Perhaps you just need some straightforward watering tasks and may find someone willing to do the job at a low price.
3. Houseplant Accommodation
Some plant sitters offer to accommodate your plants at their homes or business premise.
This might be a good option if you don’t feel comfortable having strangers entering your home. So if you’ve only got a handful of plants, why not ask if you could leave a few at their premise in exchange for a fee.
4. Office Plant Care
Plant sitters can offer plant sitting services more than just individual homes. They provide plant-keeping services for cafes, gyms, small offices, salons, and restaurants.
Plant sitting for small businesses usually comes in the form of a monthly subscription, and they will attend to your office plants once per week. They do not typically offer a one-off transaction, though, you can always negotiate if this is what you require.
Don’t be surprised by the higher price point, as corporate plant sitters are generally more expensive than individual properties. The bigger professional plant sitters are often experts trained to property water, prune and dust your plants.
Examples of these corporate plant sitters include Ambius and Planterra.
Is There a Plant Sitter App?
As of July 2022, there are very limited plant sitter apps that connect homeowners with plant sitters.
One of them is the Watering Can app.
This app connects homeowners with available plant sitters within their local area. Users can browse plant sitter profiles, check their profiles and discuss plant sitting requirements.
Apart from the Watering Can app, there are housesitting apps such as the Trusted Housesitters app. This popular network app is more tailored to general house and pet sitting; however, most are willing to do some plant-keeping while looking after the house.
Outside of phone apps, there are several websites that connect homeowners with home sitters. This includes mindmyhouse.com and housesittersamerica.com
With general house sitting websites, bear in mind that the house sitter may not have the green thumb. So it’s recommended that you provide specific instructions to the sitter to ensure your plants are not under or over-watered!
So, at present, you’re better off finding a suitable plant sitter through an internet search, rather than looking for a plant sitter app.
So there you have it – plant sitters are really such a thing!
As hinted by the name, the responsibility of a plant sitter is to “babysit” your houseplants by fulfilling their watering, trimming, and tidying needs.
It’s no surprise that the demand for them has increased over the years due to the rising number of people working from home; we are spending more time at home than ever.
To ensure you’re getting a suitable plant sitter at the best rate, do plan ahead and shop around early.
Do Google searches for “plant sitters near me,” or head onto network platforms such as AirTasker to find a plant sitter suited to your needs.
Good luck in your search!