How to Increase Humidity for Houseplants

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How to Increase Humidity

How to increase humidity for your houseplants (and also for your own comfort) has been a very misunderstood topic of debate among houseplant growers everywhere!  Unless you are growing only cacti and succulents, it is important to understand the topic of humidity and the most effective ways on how to increase humidity for your houseplants.    Let me first talk about the least effective ways to increase humidity, and work our way up from there until I discuss my recommendation for the ultimate way to increase humidity for your plants.  Or you could forget about humidity loving plants and only grow cacti and succulents, but that would be a bit boring…

how to increase humidity

Misting Your Houseplants

Are you an obsessive mister?  Do you run around from plant to plant and mist your houseplants daily?  The only benefit to misting is that you DO get a forearm and hand workout, but that is about it!

Contrary to popular belief, misting is NOT an effective way to increase humidity!  It may increase humidity instantaneously, but it is extremely short lived and ineffective.  So spare yourself the work!  I occasionally do use a mister sometimes, but not to increase humidity.

If you are using a mister to wet the leaves of your plants so you can wipe them down to keep them clean, or maybe mist your exposed Phalaenopsis orchid roots so that they stay hydrated, that’s fine!  But don’t expect it to effectively increase your humidity.  It just simply does nothing.

In fact, if you overdo it, you can create problems for yourself!  Misting your plants at night, coupled with cooler temperatures, is an invitation for fungal diseases.  Certain plants like begonias, and many others, are prone to powdery mildew.  Misting, especially with cool water, can also cause unsightly blotches on plants like African Violets.

So put that mister down!  There are better ways…

Placing Houseplants on a Pebble Tray

This method is OK!  You would simply take a tray of some sort, fill it with pebbles, and add water so that the water level is just under the top of the pebbles.  Then simply place your houseplants on top.

As the water evaporates, it will create a little humid microclimate for your plants.

Of course, this has its limitations!  It is really only practical if you have smaller plants.  And if you have a lot of plants, it simply isn’t easy, nor practical, to have trays everywhere your home!  But it is a much better method than misting.  There are better methods though…keep reading.  

Grouping Plants Together to Increase Humidity

Plants naturally release water through a process called transpiration.  The more plants you group together, the better it will be!  You will be creating a little microclimate within your own home.

Of course if you are a plant hoarder like me, this will happen anyway!  But there is the added benefit of extra humidity as well!

Place Plants in Naturally Humid Areas

Do you have any houseplants that need humidity to do their best?  Why don’t you place them in higher humidity areas of your house?  Bathrooms are a perfect choice!

Assuming that you have the appropriate light in a bathroom, why not place your humidity loving plants there if you can to take advantage of humidity created by your daily shower.

This brings me to my intended focus of this post…

Using a Humidifier to Increase Humidity for Your Houseplants

In my opinion, this is the best and easiest way to increase the humidity for your houseplants!  Especially if you live in areas with cold winters and forced air heating.  My indoor air gets painfully dry in the winter, much to the dismay of my ferns, Calatheas, and other humidity loving plants.  Not to mention my poor, dry, flaky skin!

I recently purchase a fabulous humidifier for my sunroom, where I have much of my collection concentrated in.

I was tired of the cheap drugstore-type humidifier.  They are poorly constructed and have no features.  I’ve learned my lesson.  The humidifier I chose is a bit pricier than many, but in the long run, it is the most effective and probably even a cheaper route!  I don’t want to keep buying a humidifier every year!

LEVOIT Humidifier

I absolutely LOVE this humidifier!  I have mine placed between our sunroom and our bedroom, so that both plants and people can share in the benefit!  My plants will benefit from increased humidity, and so will my skin!

I have been absolutely thrilled with the Levoit 6L Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier.  There are many things that I love about it:

First of all, it is super quiet!  I barely hear that it is operating, and that’s only when I get up close to it!

You can easily change to either a warm mist or a cool mist with the press of a button.  The warm mist option has the advantage of being able to humidify your air much more quickly, and the higher temperature will help to kill any bacteria in the reservoir.

One option that I LOVE that none of the more inexpensive humidifiers have is that this unit actually displays the current humidity in your room!   This will help you keep an eye on the humidity level and adjust accordingly if you need to.  I also get the satisfaction that I am doing something good for my plants!  It’s a mental thing…

It contains a 6 liter  reservoir, so slightly over 1 1/2 gallons (Why can’t the U.S. get on the metric system like the rest of the world?).  Depending on the settings that you choose, it will last anywhere between 20-36 hours in continuous use.  Of course this will depend greatly on the settings, so take this advertised value with a grain of salt.  I’ve run the unit on warm mist, and at the highest mist level, and in this particular case, it lasts between 10-12 hours for me.   The amount of time that the water in the reservoir lasts will greatly depend on the settings you choose.

I find that the controls are very intuitive to use, and there is even a little remote control with the same controls as on the main display on the unit itself.

The construction is very solid, unlike many of the very flimsy, inexpensive humidifiers out there.

I love the customization that this unit provides.  You can set the mist level manually to three different levels.  You can manually select a relative humidity target, or just use the Auto feature.

Once the water level gets low, it will automatically shut off.  It also has a timer that you can program if you only want it on for a certain amount of time.

If you like essential oils, you can even use those products with this humidifier!  Although please be careful because certain essential oils are supposedly toxic to pets.  Do your research.

The unit also comes with wonderful directions on how to clean and disinfect your humidifier, and it even comes with a little brush to help with this task.  Please be sure to clean your humidifier weekly!  It is a bit of a process to clean, but you will have to do this with any humidifier that you purchase.

The Levoit Hybrid Ultrasonic Humidifier is worth every penny and more.  Try it out.  You won’t be disappointed!  Your houseplants and your skin and sinuses will thank you!

 

8 Comments

  1. Zainab December 1, 2018
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  2. Charlotte Tataryn January 29, 2019
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  3. JR February 17, 2019
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