Growing houseplants is about having fun and adding green beauty and tropical vibes to your house. Generally, most houseplants, like monstera, philodendrons, etc., come from a tropical background. Therefore, they require a warm and humid environment to survive. Since our houses and apartments are not as moist as their original climate. Humidifiers are a great way to increase humidity in your indoor space. If you have never used a humidifier before and do not know how to use one, then you are at the right place. This article provides a complete guide on How to Use a Humidifier for Plants? The different types of humidifiers, and much more. So let’s dive in!
1. Why Should You Use a Humidifier for Plants?
As mentioned above, most houseplants come from a tropical environment where the air is so moist. It means they need a hot and humid climate to grow and survive. These plants absorb most of the moisture from the air to stay hydrated, but the atmosphere of the houses is not that humid.
It can be a bit challenging to maintain the optimal humidity conditions for the houseplants. So, people opt for different ways to fulfill those conditions.
- Some use pebble trays and place them near the plants to increase the humidity. But it is not helpful because pebble trays only increase the humidity level to 1 or 2 percent.
- Other than that, people also try misting the plants, but it is impossible to reach the humidity level required by plants by just misting them. Moreover, misting doesn’t come in handy if you do not have much time or have a busy schedule.
So, what is the best way to improve the humidity level of your houseplants? The answer to this question is a humidifier. Yes, it is true; using a humidifier to level up the moisture conditions for your houseplants is the best possible solution.
1.1. Symptoms of Low Humidity in Plants:
If the air is dry and the humidity level is low inside a room, the indoor plants can show the following symptoms.
- Leaf curling
- Leaf drying
- Brown tips of leaves
1.2. How to Measure Humidity Level in Your Indoor Space:
You can easily measure the humidity level with a hygrometer. This device gives an accurate reading of the humidity level in your home. However, if you don’t want to buy any device for this purpose, you can also use this technique to identify if the humidity level is low indoors.
- Take a glass of water and add 2-3 ice cubes.
- Put the glass near your plants.
- Now, wait and observe for condensation.
- If the water is condensed on the outside of the glass, then it means the air is dry. And if moisture is accumulated outside the glass, then the humidity level is just acceptable for the plants.
2. How does a Humidifier Works:
The humidifier helps the plants by adding water to the dry air of your houses and apartments and keeps the plant from dehydrating. Moreover, it also enhances the relative humidity level of air by adding more moisture to the atmosphere. A humidifier proves its worth by protecting your precious houseplants from getting dry and dull.
2.1. Do All Plants Need Humidifiers?
Many indoor plants need a certain level of humidity in order to thrive. Between 40 to 50% is the perfect balance for indoor plants. Not all plants need a high humidity level and can survive in normal room conditions. However, plants from tropical rainforests like monstera, philodendrons, air plants, etc., need humidifiers to maintain the required level of humidity to survive indoors. Following plants love high humidity and may need a humidifier in order to show optimal growth.
- Anthurium Plant
- African Violets
- Boston Fern
- English Ivy
- Fiddle leaf Fig
- Prayer Plant
- Peace Lily
2.2. When to Use a Humidifier
Using a humidifier depends on various factors. The most important factors that influence the use of humidifiers are; the type of plant, the atmosphere of the room, and the weather. These conditions determine when and how often you should use a humidifier. Let’s dig deeper into the details of these factors:
- Type of the Plant: Different plants require different humidity levels to survive. For instance, plants like cacti and succulents can store water in their leaves which is why they easily survive in dry atmospheres like deserts. On the other hand, some plants, like epiphytes, can only access moisture from the air. That’s why they need a constant supply of moist air for such plants. A humidifier is the best option.
- Conditions of the Room: Usually, houses and apartments have dry air, which means the air has a shallow moisture content. This is not suitable for tropical houseplants. If you are confused and want to know the exact percentage of moisture in the air, then you can use a hygrometer( a device to see the measurement of humidity in the air). You can turn it on and then off the humidifier when it reaches a specific limit( mostly above 40%).
- Weather: The most crucial factor that influences the use of a humidifier is the weather. Generally, the air is usually loaded with moisture in the summer season. On the other hand, in winter, the air is arid and lacks water. Depending on the weather, you can reduce and increase the use of the humidifier for the houseplants. For instance, in winter, you may need to increase the use of the humidifier for the plants.
3. How to Use a Humidifier for Plants Properly
- Placement: The humidifier should be in the same room as the plants. And it can be placed 4-6 feet away from the plants, so the plants can absorb the moisture in the air without becoming too wet.
- Time: The optimal time to use a humidifier for plants is from sunrise till the middle of the day or noon. Also, ensure you use the humidifier for at least 4-5 hours daily. Also, ensure that you do not use a humidifier after the middle of the day or overnight. It can make the plants too moist and promote fungus or algae growth.
- When to on: If the humidity reading on the hygrometer is less than 40%, you can turn on the humidifier. However, when the humidity level reaches over 65%, then turn off the humidifier, as high humidity is not good for your home.
4. Different Types of Plant Humidifiers
If you begin looking for a humidifier for your plants, you will discover two different types of humidifiers. Let’s have a look at them:
- Evaporative Humidifiers
Evaporative humidifiers are a good option, but they make a little noise while operating. Evaporative humidifiers draw water over a wet wick with a fan to create mist utilizing airflow. Additionally, evaporative humidifiers have filters that must be changed regularly to stop mold formation and germs.
- Ultrasonic Humidifiers
Ultrasonic humidifiers use high-frequency (ultrasonic) vibration to aid in the evaporation of water. The vibrations cause the water to steam, resulting in extra-fine droplets. Ultrasonic humidifiers are typically slightly more expensive than evaporative humidifiers, but they have no filters to replace and are quieter.
And do not forget to use filtered or distilled water if you use an ultrasonic humidifier because the mist takes everything that is dissolved in water with them.
- Warm Mist Humidifier
These are the humidifiers that are sold most frequently. They operate straightforwardly by heating water to a high temperature, which turns it into water vapor. It is then released into the environment to increase the local humidity. A warm mist humidifier also reduces the risk of growing germs and bacteria.
But they risk getting burned while using a warm mist humidifier, and they use a little extra electricity. They can be costly and risky if you have kids or pets.
Using a humidifier for plants is the best way to ensure they get the humid air to grow and thrive. Now it’s time to say goodbye to the pebble trays and mist sprays. It’s your turn to buy a humidifier for your houseplants. This article will surely help you with How to Use a Humidifier for Plants and where to place it for the best results.
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- Are warm mist humidifiers better than cold mist humidifiers?
It does not matter whether it is a cold or warm mist humidifier. It is because both have the same purpose; to increase the humidity of the air. The difference that they might make is negligible. But warm mist humidifiers are considered superior as they generate mist from evaporation. It is more natural, and the moisture is pure.
- Where to place the humidifier?
The best spot to place the humidifier is at the center of the room and almost 3-6 feet from your plants. Also, it should be raised, almost 4 feet above the ground, then the plants’ surface.