How to Raise Humidity for House Plants
Many house plants prefer higher humidity than is usually found in a home. Tropical plants are healthiest with relative humidity around 50-60% -- far higher than most homes.
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In the winter months, my home can feel extremely dry, especially with the furnace blasting hot air into the room and the fireplace blazing. This kind of arid environment is okay for a cactus -- and me. But for house plants that have origins in the tropics, I have to increase the moisture level in the air around them.
Now the talk gets a little steamy...
Short of buying a whole-house humidifier, there are several easy ways to raise the humidity for your indoor plants:
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- If you want to do this for one room, a small room humidifier works well. Use one with a cool, fine mist and place the humidifier close enough to your plants to provide moisture, without getting the foliage wet.
- Mist the plants every day -- or as needed -- with a fine mist of room-temperature water. Use a mister with a fine spray to prevent big drops of water from settling on foliage. Misting only works well if you can do this several times a day because the moisture quickly evaporates.
- Set the container on a tray filled with pebbles. The tray should be filled with just enough water so that the top half of the pebbles and the pot itself remain dry, so the plant won't draw up more water. The water will evaporate, increasing the humidity in the air around the plant's leaves.
Humidity Drip Tray with Pebbles
A humidity tray with pebbles allows you to use pots with drain holes without worrying about excess water pouring out and damaging furniture. The overflow will collect in the tray where the settled water will evaporate, surrounding the foliage with moist air. Care is easy -- just wash the tray with mild soap and water occasionally, then refill with water.
- Group plants together. They emit moisture so this helps to raise the humidity for house plants.
Sign you need to boost humidity for house plants
How do you know if your plant is suffering from low humidity? It will tell you. Here are some things to look for:
- Plant wilts.
- Tips or edges of leaves turn brown.
- Flower buds develop poorly or wither soon after opening.