How Much to Pay 9 Year Old for Taking Care of Plants While on Vacation?

Updated on September 11, 2013
M.T. asks from Naperville, IL
12 answers

We were on vacation for three weeks and we asked the neighbor to water our plants while we were away! Not sure how often she watered, but was wondering how much do you think we should pay her for doing so?

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So What Happened?

Thank you everyone. I appreciate all the input! I will most likely give her $10 for the job, like most suggested.

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answers from New York on

Are the plants still alive lol? $10 is more than enough. She went like three times, so $10 is more than enough. Plants really only need to be watered once a week. Any more than that, they get waterlogged and rot.

1 mom found this helpful

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answers from San Francisco on

Three weeks? I think at least $20 or 25.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

Less than what it would cost to buy those self watering globes.

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answers from Boston on

My son had a job for years, taking care of plants and mail and trash and small animals. He charged $5 a visit. It also depends on how much watering she had to do - do you have 6-10 plants, or a full greenhouse?

Did she also pick up your mail or newspapers? If my son did that, he charged $1 or $2 if it was the only reason for the visit. If he was going over anyway to walk dogs or feed gerbils, he didn't charge extra for the mail/papers.

I do think you should pay her cash, not just a gift of fudge. This is a great way to show kids that you value their services, and get them to be responsible, taking on more and more tasks as they mature and prove themselves.

It's also okay to give her instructions about how to mop up spills so you don't have water damage on anything. We also have our house care kids turn on lights randomly so the house looks lived in. Very important for security.

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answers from San Francisco on

I pay the neighbor boy $10 per day. That includes watering the potted plants outside every day, inside plants once a week, bringing in the mail, and feeding the fish and rabbit (no cleaning, just feeding.) If we're gone on a Sunday night he also brings our trash to the curb.
If she was JUST watering plants, and not every day, I'd say maybe $5 per visit?
I mean, it's not the amount of time it takes to do the job, but the peace of mind of having someone trustworthy come in and take care of things while you're gone. To me, coming home to healthy and happy plants and pets is worth it, and the better you pay the more likely you are to have the kid do it again.
And it's a good idea to discuss this upfront, even, no ESPECIALLY with young people.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Austin on

How about $10. per week. The child will not have to go over every day..

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answers from Las Vegas on

Without realizing you had already gone on vacation...I was thinking $3 - $5 for every plant that didn't die.


answers from Santa Fe on

My 9 year old son watched our neighbors 2 pets for 8 days. He had to go over once a day and give food to a tortoise and a rabbit. No cleaning. No walking. They paid him $5 a day. How often did you tell her to go over? Every third day? How many plants are we talking about? I'd pay her $5 per per day she went over.



answers from New York on

It's hard to answer this question because you don't say how many plants, potted or garden, how often they need to be watered, or how long it would take to accomplish this task. In general I would say $10 to $20.



answers from Washington DC on

We pay our cat sitter $5/day. She comes over morning and night, puts food in their bowl. (No litter box cleaning or any of that). I have a 9 year old daughter who watered plants for a week. I think they paid her $10. She would've been thrilled with $10 even if she'd done it for 3 weeks! Try to keep in mind a 9 year old's expectations, and how much $10 is worth to them. I remember when we first started hiring our babysitter, she was 12 at the time. Her mom said to me "Make sure you don't pay her too much!" It might be worth asking the mother how much she thinks would be fair and appropriate for her daughter.



answers from Kansas City on

I think $10.00 per week is fair. I have many plants in my home and I don't water them every day, so if she came over once or twice a week, then I think she did a good job. She doesn't need daily pay for this job.

And another vote to pay her in cash. :)



answers from Chicago on

The little girl I nanny for picked up the neighbors mail every day while the neighbor was gone on vacation. They pay her a pound of fudge.

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