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The Right Humidity Level for Your Houseplants: A Guide

Right Humidity Level for Your Houseplants

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Do you have houseplants? If so, it’s important to ensure that you provide them with the proper environment to thrive. Most homes have modest levels of humidity, but many houseplants thrive at higher levels. Plants from tropical and subtropical locations thrive in moist, nutrient-rich undergrowth of a larger forest in which they thrive.

Because of their origins, these plants are not well-suited to growing in the ordinary residential environment. This is where many of the aroids and most popular orchids come from, and even English ivy thrives in wet and foggy woodlands. If you want your houseplants to thrive, creating an environment that mimics their natural habitat as closely as possible is important.

What is Humidity?

The amount of water vapor in the air is measured by humidity. As the temperature rises, water evaporates more quickly, increasing the amount of water vapor in the air. Rain, fog, or dew are more likely to occur when the humidity level is higher (the water droplets you sometimes see on grass first thing in the morning).

The correct humidity level for your houseplants can vary depending on the plant, but generally, most plants prefer humidity levels between 40% and 60%. If the air in your home is too dry, your plants may become stressed, which can cause them to lose leaves or stop growing.

On the other hand, if the air is too humid, your plants may be more prone to fungal diseases. Therefore, it’s important to monitor the humidity level in your home and make adjustments as needed to ensure that your plants are healthy and thrive.

Why Is Humidity Important for Plants?

Humidity is extremely important for plants, as they need the right levels to properly thrive. Humidity helps determine how much water is present in the air and is thus a key factor in regulating a plant’s hydration. Plants absorb water through their roots and then release it back into the atmosphere through evaporation from their leaves.

This process, known as transpiration, helps to cool the plant and allows nutrients and water to circulate throughout. In order to prevent dehydration, plants have tiny pores on their undersides called stomata. These allow the plant to take in carbon dioxide (which is necessary for photosynthesis) while also releasing oxygen back into the atmosphere.

However, in environments with low humidity, plants can lose water faster than they can replace it. To prevent too much water loss, plants will often close their stomata. While this helps them conserve water, it also prevents them from taking in the carbon dioxide they need to survive.

As a result, low humidity can cause extensive damage to a plant’s health and development. Given the importance of humidity for plants, it is clear that maintaining proper levels is essential for keeping them healthy and happy.

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What Is the Best Humidity Level for Plants?

The ideal humidity level for plants varies depending on your plant’s kind of plant and the stage of growth. It’s possible that the humidity levels in your house or the outside environment have an impact on how much you need.

Houseplants such as Parlor Palm, Pothos and English Ivy, Begonia and Ferns and Ficus plants, Peace Lily, Philodendron, Areca Palm, and Orchid plants originate in tropical or subtropical climates. They’re well-known for their ability to cleanse the air in your house, and for a good reason.

Summers in tropical climates are hot and humid, with frequent and heavy rains. They are subjected to humidity ranges of 70 to 90%. Humidity levels in the average house are quite low. Humidity levels may fall as low as 20% or more in the winter when heating systems remove moisture from the air.

When it comes to plants, there are certain varieties that can grow at low humidity levels of about 10%. Humidity levels of 40-60 percent are ideal for most indoor plants. Following is a list of plants that do well in varying humidity levels:

0% – 10% – Most houseplants can’t live in these conditions, but cacti and succulents can make it down to around 10% of their maximum humidity.

20% – 40% – Most interior environments will have a humidity level of between 20% and 40%. Some plants, particularly tropical ones, will be able to survive, but their leaves will get drooping and wither if they do not blossom.

40% – 60% – In the summer, humidity levels between 40 and 60 percent are optimal for most homes and plants. Other plants may thrive in humid conditions, such as misting, thanks to particular methods of increasing humidity. Flowering and flora thrive at this altitude.

60% – 80% – The ideal humidity level for a greenhouse is between 60 and 80 percent, which is difficult to maintain at home. Tropical plants benefit the most from this treatment.

80 percent +: Tropical plants like pineapples are impossible to grow at home because of the high humidity needs of 90 percent or more! Germination and seedling development benefit greatly from this pH value.

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5 Signs Your Houseplants Need Higher Humidity

Brown Edges & Crispy Leaves

Your houseplants’ leaves will stiffen up and turn brown if the humidity drops below 50 percent during a dry spell. Low humidity is the most common cause, although harsh sunshine may also play a role.

In dry circumstances, when the rate of transpiration is at its peak, the leaves of plants are the most affected. Plants are unable to keep hydrated only by soil moisture, resulting in crispy, dry leaves.

It’s time to raise the humidity level in your house since this is an indication of trouble.

Dull Looking Leaves

Your houseplants will seem sickly if their leaves are continuously evaporating water. Evaporation will cause them to lose their sheen and seem drab.

Stunted Growth

Your houseplants will seem sickly if their leaves are continuously evaporating water. Evaporation will cause them to lose their sheen and seem drab.

Wilting

In extreme dehydration, plants wilt, but low humidity may also lead to the same symptoms. In a dry atmosphere, drooping leaves and stems will become brown. Your plants may be permanently harmed if humidity levels are not adjusted in a timely manner.

Yellow Leaves

Insufficient nutrition, intense sunshine, and poor water levels are only a few of the causes of yellowing leaves. However, low humidity is to blame if you find a lot of yellowing foliage on your property.

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How to Increase Humidity for Plants

Humidity Tray for Plants

Using a humidity tray for plants is a common way to raise moisture levels. The humidity level rises as the water in the water tray evaporates.

Use a clay or ceramic tray to be one or two inches larger in size than the pot. Fill it with stones and rocks first. As the last step, add water to half of the tray and set your plants above it. The plants should not come in contact with the water; therefore, be sure to use large stones to prevent this. Root rot will occur if water accumulates at the bottom of the container, and your plant will die as a result.

Keep humidity trays empty when watering plants that are kept in a humid environment. Keeping water moving is essential to preventing the growth of germs and mold. The tray should be emptied and refilled after 2-3 days, even if your plant has been removed from the tray before the watering session.

Mist to Increase Humidity for Plants

Misting your plants with water is an easy and effective way to provide soil moisture. When their leaves are covered in a misty fog, your high humidity plants will be delighted.

Keep a spray bottle of water near your plants so that you may sprinkle them if the air seems dry. When watering plants, do not use chlorine-treated tap water, and Houseplants are poisoned by chlorine. Instead, let the water remain for at least 24 hours to enable the chemical to dissipate naturally.

You may simply use a plant sprayer to boost the humidity surrounding your plants. Additionally, this procedure will not significantly raise the humidity level. If your location is very dry, you may need to spray multiple times a day.

Factors to keep in mind while spraying your plants:

Misting certain plants may not be a good idea, and plants with hairy or velvety leaves should not be misted. The additional water on the leaves of desert plant species like cactus and succulents is a no-no for misting.

When spraying your plants, be sure to keep the air moving to prevent the spread of the fungus.

Get a Humidifier

A humidifier that is specifically designed for use with indoor plants. It’s best to have a humidifier if you want to improve the humidity of your plants. Increasing the amount of moisture in the air by producing water vapor or steam is how it does this. As a result, you’ll be able to keep all of your tropical plants happy and healthy.

Depending on the weather outside, you may leave the humidifier running all day, or you can turn it on and off as needed. Choose a plant humidifier with a longer run duration, so you don’t have to keep filling up the water tank as often.

It’s also good for you to use a humidifier in the winter since low humidity levels may cause dry skin, itchy throats, and other ailments.

Place Your Plants in Humid Areas

Another way to raise the humidity in your house is to place plants in high-humidity rooms like the bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.

Showers, baths, and sinks provide a moist climate that will greatly benefit your high humidity plants. Additionally, the steam produced by cooking food may accomplish the same goal.

During the winter, when humidity levels drop, consider placing plants like Peace Lilies, Ferns, Indoor Palms, and English Isvies in these spots.

Build a Closed Terrarium

Creating a little garden with colored stones and small plants is visually appealing and may also help plants retain water.

Plants in terrariums provide their own water via evaporation and condensation. A terrarium is simple to construct; all you need are a few basic supplies, and you’ll be done in no time.

When you mist the soil in the terrarium, plants absorb water and then exhale it via transpiration, which condenses on the walls of the terrarium. Eventually, the water that has been condensed returns to the soil, starting the cycle all over again.

When the dirt in your terrarium seems to be becoming too dry, mist it with water. To prevent mold from growing, open the lid twice a week to let fresh air circulate.

Opt for a Two Pot Method

Plants love the extra humidity that comes from using the two-pot approach. Put your ordinary houseplant pots into a larger pot that is 1-2 inches wider and taller than the original pots.

Spray the sphagnum moss in the larger container with water. If you like, you may also use moss to cover the dirt in the container it came from.

Sphagnum moss retains water and slows soil evaporation. As the sphagnum moss dries out, it raises the plant’s humidity level. To minimize root rot and fungal development, use this procedure with two pots that include drainage holes.

Group Your Plants

A humid micro-climate may be created by grouping plants with high humidity. Many plants in close proximity assist raise humidity levels by releasing moisture via transpiration.

The vascular system of plants transports water from the roots to the stems and leaves. Water evaporates as it reaches the leaves, resulting in a higher interior humidity level.

You must put together plants that have comparable humidity needs. Because of its high evaporation rate, English Ivy plants may be grouped together to promote humidity. More is better, right?

Shower Your Plants

Put all of your humidity-loving plants in the shower or the bathtub and give them a thorough rinsing. Alternatively, watering can be used. If you must use tap water, let it rest for at least 24 hours to enable chlorine and fluoride to dissipate. Put the plants back where they belong when you’ve finished bathing.

High humidity is caused by the water evaporating from the soil and leaves. In addition to removing accumulated dust from the leaves, this technique also aids in the cleaning of the foliage. Showering the plants also has the added advantage of removing microscopic bugs attached to the leaves and stems.

Dry Laundry Near Your Houseplants

Drying clothes near plants is another method of increasing humidity for plants. Wet garments are a great way to add moisture to the air.

Either place a drying rack near your houseplants or take your plants with you when you do your clothes. One drawback of this strategy is that it can only be used on washing day; otherwise, you’ll have to find another solution.

Cover Your Plants With a Plastic Bag

There is a risk in using this procedure, but the danger is only there if it is not done properly. When other methods are unavailable, you may use this instead.

A simple plastic bag is all you need to protect your plants from the drying effects of the winter cold. The plastic bag should not come into contact with the foliage, and the plastic may be kept away from the plants with the use of wooden posts.

Open the plastic bag every now and again to see whether there’s any extra dampness building up within. Furthermore, avoid placing your plastic-covered plants in full sunlight, as the temperature inside this greenhouse-like environment may quickly rise to dangerous levels, resulting in leaf burn.

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Maintaining Ideal Humidity Levels for Plants Using Smart Devices

Cielo Breez smart AC controllers are one example of a smart gadget you can use to manage the humidity in your home. These devices offer a Comfy Mode that automatically adjusts the humidity levels in your home based on preset ranges.

Suppose the humidity levels exceed or fall below the preset range. In that case, the Cielo Breez smart AC controller sensors will activate your desired settings.

This can save you time and energy since you don’t have to continually adjust the humidifier yourself. Additionally, green or grow rooms are another excellent option for growing plants, as they offer controlled environments that can help to regulate the humidity levels.

By considering all of your options, you can find the best way to manage the humidity in your home and keep your plants healthy and happy.

Is Too Much Humidity Bad For Plants?

Most people know that too much water can be detrimental to plant health, but many don’t realize that too much humidity can be just as damaging. When the air is saturated with moisture, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow and proliferate.

This can lead to a rapid spread of disease among your houseplants and can ultimately lead to their death. Too much humidity can also cause leaves to be yellow and drop, flowers wilt, and fruit rot. If you suspect that your plants are suffering from too much humidity, you can do a few things to help mitigate the problem.

First, make sure that they are getting adequate ventilation. This will help to circulate the air and prevent the build-up of moisture. You can also try running a dehumidifier in the room or placing bowls of water around the plants to help absorb some of the excess moisture. By taking these steps, you can help your plants thrive even in humid conditions.

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Do Houseplants Increase Humidity?

Houseplants play an important role in keeping the air inside our homes clean and fresh. But did you know that they can also help to regulate humidity levels? Stomata are tiny openings on the leaves of plants that allow gases to pass in and out. During transpiration, water vapor is released through the stomata into the air surrounding the plant.

This will result in a rise in the relative humidity in the area where they are developing. Therefore, acquiring some houseplants is a great, fantastic alternative to consider in the event that you are battling with low humidity levels within your home.

Houseplants not only create a more pleasing aesthetic, but they also improve air quality and help to regulate humidity levels – making them a win-win for any household!

Low Humidity Houseplants

However, even if you dislike the idea of increasing humidity levels in your home or prefer lower humidity levels, you may still grow plants indoors and get the benefits that come with doing so. Low humidity is no problem for the houseplants listed below.

  1. Aloe Vera
  2. Euphorbias
  3. Peperomia
  4. Rubber plants
  5. Cacti
  6. Jade Plant
  7. Crown Of Thorns
  8. Echeveria
  9. Ponytail Palm

High Humidity Houseplants

The following plants will thrive in situations of high humidity. If you are caring for these plants, it is essential that you check the humidity levels and apply some of the previously described ways to maintain healthy humidity levels.

  1. Rex Begonia
  2. Nerve Plant
  3. Peacock plant
  4. Orchids (some species)
  5. Alocasia
  6. Prayer Plant
  7. Lucky Bamboo
  8. Boston Fern
  9. Dieffenbachia

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Right Humidity Level for Your Houseplants – FAQ

What should the humidity be for indoor plants?

The ideal humidity level for most indoor plants is between 40-60%.

What is the best way to increase humidity for plants?

There are a few different ways that you can increase humidity for plants, including:

– misting the leaves with water

– placing a bowl of water near the plants

– using a humidifier

Can too much humidity kill plants?

Yes, too much humidity can kill plants. When the air is saturated with moisture, it creates an ideal environment for bacteria and fungi to grow and proliferate. This can lead to a rapid spread of disease among your houseplants and can ultimately lead to their death.

What are some plants that thrive in high humidity?

Some plants that thrive in high humidity include: Rex Begonia, Nerve Plant, Peacock plant, Orchids (some species), Alocasia, Prayer Plant, Lucky Bamboo, and Boston Fern.

What are some plants that thrive in low humidity?

Some plants that thrive in low humidity include: Aloe Vera, Euphorbias, Peperomia, Rubber plants, Cacti, Jade Plant, Crown Of Thorns, and Echeveria.

How much humidity should I give my plants?

The ideal humidity level for most indoor plants is between 40-60%. However, some plants thrive in high or low humidity levels, so it is important to research the specific needs of your plant. Overly humid conditions can kill plants, so be sure to monitor the humidity levels and take steps to adjust as needed.

The Right Humidity Level for Your Houseplants

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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