If you have ever noticed your house plants crisping up around their leaf edges, it is likely that your plants are suffering from a lack of humidity. Take a minute to think about where your beautiful tropical foliage plants exist naturally in the wild. More likely than not, they grow freely and happily in warm climates or densely packed together in lush tropical forests. Mimicking their natural environment is the best way to ensure your house plants thrive. In this article, we would like to discuss a few misconceptions surrounding humidity and house plants, as well as present some ways that you can effectively help to provide the humidity your house plants require.
Misconception 1: Lack of humidity is only a wintertime issue.
Although it is true that the lack of daily warmth from the sun and dry radiator heat can cause your house plants to suffer in the winter, central air conditioning in the summer can also be a cause for concern. Central air conditioning tends to produce dry, cool air. In both cases, it is best that you keep your plants a safe distance away from any radiators or vents.
Misconception 2: Misting your plants is enough to increase humidity.
Although misting is a fun way to interact with your house plants, it is only a temporary fix. It can certainly help boost humidity in the moment, however, misting alone is not a sufficient way to increase the overall relative humidity in your space. Plus, if your space has poor circulation, resting, stagnant water on leaves can cause other issues such as mildew or rot.
Below are 3 effective ways to increase humidity for your house plants:
Using a pebble tray
Pebble trays are a great way to help increase humidity for your house plants and can be easily made at home in 3 easy steps:
1. Fill a tray with rocks or pebbles
2. Fill the tray with water until the water line is just below the tops of the pebbles
3. Place your house plants on top of the pebbles
As the water evaporates, it will help to create a humid microclimate for the plants resting on top of the pebble tray.
Pro tip: grouping houseplants together will also help to increase humidity as the plants will work together to trap air and moisture between them – just like in the forests!
Using a cloche or other enclosed structures
A cloche is an effective (and attractive!) way to help boost humidity. However, a cloche display can generally house only one single plant or a few small plants. It is a great option if your home already has good relative humidity levels, and you are just looking to boost humidity for one or two fussier plants such as ferns and calatheas.
There are some larger units available on the market, such the IKEA Socker greenhouse which can house several smaller plants. There has also been a huge trend sweeping across the plant community on Instagram where growers have converted IKEA cabinets into attractive humidity boxes for their fussy tropical plants. Check out @ikeagreenhousecabinet on Instagram for inspiration.
Using a humidifier
Lastly, a fantastic way to increase humidity for your house plants is by purchasing a humidifier. Some things to consider when searching for the right humidifier:
We recommend choosing a model that has a hydrometer built so you will not need to buy one separately. A great starter setting is about 60% humidity. Most tropical house plants are happy with this level of humidity but there are certainly species that would love more so you can adjust accordingly.
Read the product description and look for a humidifier that will work effectively according to the size of your room. It is possible that you may need more than one humidifier if your space is larger.
Whichever unit you decide to go with, make sure that your humidifier is a safe distance away from your plants. Having warm, moist air blowing directly onto the leaves of your delicate tropicals is not a good idea!
There is no doubt in mind that plant parents will do all that they can to help ensure their plant babies live a happy life. We hope you found some great ideas to help provide your house plants with the humidity they need to thrive. Happy growing!