Humidity for Plants

Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor in the air and is not easily controlled. The good news is that although many houseplants prefer high humidity (50-70%), most manage to do quite well in the 20-60% humidity found in our homes and offices. However, it’s always a good idea to find out how much humidity a specific plant needs; for example thin leaved delicate plants usually require more humidity than thick leaved plants. If low humidity is a problem during the winter when the heat is on and in the summer when the air conditioning is on, houseplants develop brown leaf tips, leaves dehydrate, wither, and may eventually fall off. There are several ways to increase the humidity in a room.

  1. Place a small room humidifier near your plants.
  2. Group plants together and create a mini greenhouse effect
  3. Place plants on a wet pebble tray. Be sure the water stays below the bottom of the pots and the plant sits on pebbles and not directly in the water. The pebbles should be pea size and the tray should be at least as wide as the plant. As the water evaporates, the humidity in the air increases.
  4. Misting Plants: I do not recommend misting plants. Leaves that are constantly wet tend to develop bacterial and fungal diseases which are more serious problems than lack of humidity. Also, its not very efficient since the mist dissipates so quickly it rarely increase the humidity for an adequate amount of time.