During colder months or even if you live in drier climates, it's more difficult to keep our tropical and humidity loving plants happy. Many of our favorite houseplants originate from warmer tropical environments with humidity that is much higher than our homes. The humidity level that these plants thrive best in is typically between %40-%60. I don't know about you, but my home isn't anywhere close to that naturally. Without any help from humidifiers my home is usually around %27 humidity. That simply won't do. In this post, I'll show you my favorite methods to increase the humidity for your houseplants.
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11 Ways To Increase The Humidity For Your Houseplants
Before we get into all the ways you can increase the humidity for your plants, we need to know exactly what humidity is. We also need to know what signs may convey that a plant needs a bit more humidity.
Your plant may need more humidity if it:
- -Has brown or crispy edges
- Is constantly wilting
- Is not producing growth in the growing season
Group Plants Together
Grouping plants together helps increase the humidity for your houseplants through transpiration. Transpiration is the process in which a plant releases moisture through their leaves. Plants lose more than %90 of water through transpiration which is then evaporated into the air.
Place Water Vessels Through Out Your Home
A simple but effective way to increase your home's moisture levels is to place vessels of water throughout your home. I like to find attractive and decorative jars at the thrift store and fill them with water. Placing these around your house allows the water to evaporate into the air causing an increase in moisture.
Air Dry Your Laundry
You read that correctly. Air drying your laundry in rooms where your plants are kept can significantly increase the humidity in the air. This is especially true if the room is smaller with a door that can be closed to seal in the moisture. Using a clothing rack you can hang your clothes up after they come from the washing machine. The water in your clothes will evaporate into the air causing the humidity levels to rise.
Using a pebble tray is an effective way to increase the humidity for your houseplants. To create a pebble tray, simply place stones on a tray or plate and top with water. The stones keep the plant elevated and prevent the plant from sitting in water. If a plant sits in water, it may result in root rot. Place the plant on the tray and the water will evaporate around the plant. This will increase the humidity in the air. You will need to refill the tray with water every couple days.
Place Plants In In The Kitchen And Bathrooms If Possible
The bathroom and kitchen are the rooms that typically have the highest humidity. Boiling water in the kitchen, washing dishes, ect. provides excess moisture in the air. In the bathroom, the humidity is dramatically increased after a hot steamy shower. If you have adequate lighting and space, try to place plants in these rooms to take advantage of the increased humidity. There's only so much space in these rooms so be strategic about placing plants there. For example, all of my high humidity plants are in the bathroom. Plants like cacti that prefer dryer climates are placed elsewhere.
Leave The Bathroom Door Open When You Shower
If you don't have proper lighting or room in your bathroom for plants, don't fret. You can leave the bathroom door open either while you shower or after you shower. The steam will be released outside of the bathroom increasing the humidity level.
Use A Fountain
A fountain is a decorative way to add a little moisture to your dry space. Depending on the size of the fountains you choose, you may want to place your fountain in an enclosed area like a shelf or a small greenhouse to maximize it's effectiveness.
Get Yourself A Cloche
A cloche is a dome shaped enclosure that encases your plants. This traps the humidity inside. Be sure to allow fresh air flow every couple of days to prevent mold. Most cloches that I've seen are glass but I picked up this plastic one from my local Dollar Tree.
Bag Your Plants
Placing your plants in bags is another great way to increase the humidity. Of course this method is not as aesthetically and is also temporary. I like using this method if I receive a plant in the mail that needs help bouncing back. It's also a great option for a smaller plant that requires more humidity in the winter months. Make sure that the leaves of the plant aren't touching the sides of the bag. The excess moisture will cause the leaves to rot. You will also need to make sure fresh air is circulated in the bag to prevent rot.
Use A Humidifier
This might seem like the most obvious answer. Investing in a good humidifier can increase the air quality for both you and your plants. There are several types to choose from. I have large room humidifiers and also small portable humidifiers that I use in places like my bathroom. The ones that cost a little more, allow you to set the desired humidity and even set timers. It's worth the investment though., especially if the dry air is affecting you as well.
Get A Green House
I know you may be thinking that you don't have room for a green house in your home. Believe it or not, the make miniature green houses that hold 3 to 4 small plants. This is a good solution for your more finicky plants like Hoyas. They love humidity and are small enough to fit inside.
If space is not an issue for you, you can create a green house cabinet like the ones many people are making from Ikea cabinets. There are also medium size green houses that you can get for your home. Be sure to have a fan in there because a wet enclosed environment is a recipe for disaster.