When bring new plants into your home it’s important to consider the humidity. Plants grow in greenhouses are going to be use to a much different environment than your home. This is especially true in the winter when running a furnace or similar can really dry out the air. Learning the proper humidity for your indoor plants can greatly increase their lifespan and motivate them to thrive.
One of the worst times for low humidity is during winter months when the air is dryer. As mentioned above, a furnace is also large culprit as it pushes our warm, dry air that is no ideal for a plant. A good first step is to make sure that your plant is not directly in the path of any heating vents.
Humidity for Houseplants
Many plants are different, but in general houseplants like humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent. Some require more, and other less, so take some time to learn about your specific plants needs.
Most of us don’t have the means to measure the exact humidity, so look out for the following symptoms:
- Browning leaves
- Wilting plant
- Flowers shrivel before fully opening
You might recognize some of these as symptoms of other problems (under/over watering, lighting, etc.) so take care to rule out other issues before jumping to humidity being the problem.
How To Increase The Humidity
Raising the humidity of your plants is not a difficult task, and there a couple of popular ways that most gardeners go about doing so.
An easy, but temporary way of raising the humidity is misting plants. Spraying your plants with a little bit of water is an excellent way to keep them moist and the relative humidity up. In fact, some plants actually thrive when misted frequently. Generally though, giving your plants a quick mist in the morning is ample.
Placing your plants into small groups can also help keep their humidity levels up. By having several plants close together they will naturally help nearby plants through transpiration. This works for plants with moderate humidity needs.
Another popular way to increase the humidity is with a pebble tray. A pebble tray is exactly as it sounds; a small tray of pebbles. The pebbles prevent the roots from getting waterlogged, and allow the water to naturally evaporate. As the water evaporates, it saturates the air around the plant and increase the humidity.
A standard room humidifier is also a good choice if you’re not concerned with keeping the humid change local to the plant. This will effect the whole room, and is great for long term use especially in the winter.
If you’re looking to grow tropical plant or other high humidity plants you’ll need to take specialized measures. For plants looking for humidity over 70 percent, it’s generally quite difficult to keep a room at proper humidity levels for them.
In cases such as this it may be better to investigate growing a small terrarium. A terrarium works perfect for high humidity plants as it aggressively traps in moisture and provides a perfect climate for plants in that category.
Don’t Over Humidify
Took much of a good thing can be bad. Took much humidity can also damage you plants. It also can encourage mold to grow on or around your plants, which no one wants!
If you’re plant is a room that is naturally humid like a bathroom or kitchen, then you’re likely not to need to do anything additional.
Now you’re armed with the knowledge of how to handle humidity with your plants you’ll be able to grow beautiful plants year round. Remember, humidity issues are most likely to arise in the winter months, so take care to pay special attention to your plants when the temperature drops!