Complete guide to humidity
Most indoor plants like moist air as well as moist soil. Here’s how to keep your plants humid and happy.
A lot of houseplants are from tropical environments, where the weather is warm and humid. To keep them healthy and prevent dry leaves we need to mimic those humid conditions at home. The basic things to know about humidity:
- Plants absorb water through their leaves as well as roots
- Dry air can cause crispy leaves and brown marks
- An easy way to boost humidity is to mist your plants
- An easier way is to put them in a bright bathroom
Keeping the air sufficiently humid isn’t very difficult and you’ll notice a big difference in your plants’ health. If you want to know more, let’s evaporate...sorry, elaborate. Our guide to watering is here.
Why do plants need humidity?
Do you use moisturiser on your skin? Well, that’s a bit how humidity works for plants.
Plants take in moisture in the same way we do. They get most of it by drinking it (like us), via their roots (unlike us), but they take some in through their ‘skin’. Like us, without surface moisture they get dry and crinkly.
How can you make your home more humid?
You’ll never be able to directly recreate the humidity of a tropical rainforest, but you can do a good impression. There are several methods:
- Mist your plants regularly
- Put your plants in the bathroom, the steamiest place in your home
- Group plants together. The moisture they breathe out creates a little humid microclimate
- Place your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and water. Seriously, it works
- Buy a humidifier. It’s expensive and impractical for most people, but it’s the pro option
What happens if humidity is too low?
If the air gets too dry you may notice the edge of your plants’ leaves turning brown and crispy. It can be especially noticeable on ferns or palms, which have finer leaves.
A plant that’s well watered but not misted probably won’t die, but it will likely look quite sad.
How often should I mist my plants?
It’s very hard to mist too often. Most plants will love being misted every day, though most will be happy if you spritz them every few days. The finer the mist the better. You’re not aiming to visibly wet the leaves.
Your plants will need more misting when the weather’s hot, because the air will be drier.
Ferns tend to like very frequent misting, because they’re used to really moist environments, around waterfalls and rivers. You can check your plant’s care page to find specific misting guidelines.
Congratulations, you’re now an expert on humidity! Now, grab yourself a mister and get those plants looking ten years younger.
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