Humidity is a massive part of keeping your houseplants healthy, happy and thriving. Often our homes may be lacking in humidity and increasing it will only benefit your loved plants. There are many ways that you can increase humidity for your houseplants such as:
– Creating pebble trays
– Creating a terrarium environment
– Using a humidifier
What is humidity?
Well I think we should answer this first, what is humidity?
Humidity is the the measure of water vapour relative to the air. When temperature rises the capacity of the air to hold water vapor increases. This is why on hot days the air outside can feel ‘sticky’ and on those colder winter days your lips can get chapped.
It is measured on a scale of ‘relative humidity’ ranging from 0% which is dry, to 100% that is completely saturated. Fog, for example, would indicate 100% relative humidity.
What level of humidity is ideal for houseplants?
Most houseplants will want to be in an environment with around 30-40% relative humidity. However, ones that are more humidity sensitive will need to be 60% or more humidity. There is an easy way to tell which plants are more likely to be sensitive to humidity. Plants with thinner and more papery leaves are, more likely to require a higher level of humidity. Plants with thicker, waxier leaves are better to be able to withstand dry air.
This is important to keep in mind when deciding on what plants to keep in your home. If your home is relatively dry then maybe it is best to look for those plants that have the thick, waxy leaves as they are going to grow better in your home.
Misting your plants to increase humidity
You can increase the humidity around your plants by spraying fine mist on them. This method literally adds more water to the air to increase humidity. It is best to do this for plants that are in bright areas and receive goof airflow.
This method only increases humidity somewhat locally for a few minutes, but when it evaporates, the humidity goes back to what it was. It can help to do it in the morning to kickstart your plant’s day however you would need to do this several times a day for it to have a genuine affect this means that misting isn’t a permanent solution.
Showering your plants to increase humidity
This is essentially the same theory as misting. Think about it, your bathroom is almost always the most humid room in your house, so by taking your plants in there you’re giving them a more humid environment. This can also be coupled with your weekly watering. Take your plants into the bathroom/shower, water them all as usual and leave them there for a few hours while they drain. This is such a great practice as it accounts for two aspects of your plants health in the one action. You’re giving your plants the water they need while also increasing the humidity for them, even if it is only for a few hours on your weekends, they will benefit greatly.
Creating pebble trays to increase humidity
Pebble trays are another easy DIY solution to increase humidity around a plant. You typically don’t want a plant’s roots sitting in water, so to prevent that from happening, add clean pebbles in a shallow water-filled tray. Place the plant on top of the tray. The water will gradually evaporate around the plant, boosting humidity for that plant and all of those around it.
Huddling to increase humidity
By placing your plants closer to each other you will increase the relative humidity, the plants do this themselves and I bet you’ve even experienced this before. Have you ever visited a rain forest? Obviously the rain helps to make the environment more humid however the close proximity of the plants also assists as it decreases drafts and evaporation and keeps the level of humidity higher. You can create this effect in your home by huddling your plants together, they’ll benefit from the increased humidity and also look great in your home too!
Creating a terrarium environment to increase humidity
Terrariums are typically semi-open or closed glass environments, which certain plants, particularly more moisture-loving plants, tend to thrive in. The glass globes for Tillandsia or air plants are not only for aesthetic reasons, but also because the contained environment helps increase the humidity around the plant as evapotranspiration occurs from the plant’s leaves. You can also create a simple, homemade terrarium with a clear plastic bag around the plant, make sure to poke some holes in it though to generate some airflow, if you don’t do this it may encourage problems such as mold growth.
Using a humidifier to increase humidity
This one seems pretty obvious doesn’t it? You can buy a humidifier for your home and increase the humidity that way. What they do is release an incredibly fine mist continuously and will raise the humidity of the whole room. You know these work because its all in the name.
How to know if your plant is suffering from low humidity
If your plant has low humidity, symptoms can include:
- Browning or crisping
If your plant has too high humidity or a lack of air flow, symptoms can include:
- Mold or mildew development
- Fungal infections
- Overwatering symptoms like yellowing leaves (too much water vapor with little air flow accompanied with moist soil prevents plants from drying out at a sufficient rate)
So now you know all about how to increase humidity for your houseplants! Use these tips and tricks and watch your plants thrive!