Most Indoor plants often benefit from humidity levels higher than our homes naturally provide. This can be a particular issue in the winter months when we have the central heating on, and the windows shut. We will give you 10 great tips to increase humidity for your plants to create a more ideal environment at a micro and macro level.
- The first thing to consider when trying to create the ideal microclimate for your plants is to consider grouping them together if possible. Plants lose water from their leaves through tiny pores called stomata, in a process called transpiration. This water vapor enters the air in the immediate vicinity of the plant, increasing local humidity and the other plants around it. Grouping of plants can reduce overall airflow which can slow down water loss from your plants
- Use A Pebble Tray - A pebble tray is a really simple way to increase local humidity for one or a small number of plants in an otherwise arid location. All you need is a drip tray that is about twice the diameter of the base of the plant pot, or ideally a bit larger. It should be at least an inch deep to ensure that the water does not evaporate too quickly. Scatter some pebbles that are of roughly of equal size on the base of the tray and fill the tray with water to just below the top of the pebbles.
- Using a simple spray bottle, you can spray the air around your houseplants and spray directly onto the plants. This method is quick and easy, but it will only provide an increase in humidity levels for a few hours, so you will need to repeat the process as needed. In addition, much of the water will end up on the plant foliage which can increase the risk of fungal and bacterial disease. We recommend you exercise caution and only mist in the morning.
- Humidifiers are a very simple option to quickly increase humidity for houseplants.The ultimate no fuss option to increase humidity for your houseplants is to get an electric humidifier that you can set them to maintain a particular humidity level, or to operate only at certain times of the day. With humidifiers we do find that in most cases size does indeed matter for optimal results where you do not need to top up the water daily. If you are concerned about running costs you may alternatively invest in ceramic water holders that you can hang on radiators to give you a little humidity boost without breaking the bank.
- You can increase humidity for indoor plants with a terrarium. They can either be open or closed, providing moderate or very high humidity levels within their respective micro-climates. Closed terrariums provide exceptionally high humidity levels, and won’t be suitable for all houseplants, but you certainly won’t need to worry about insufficient humidity, as the air will be near fully saturated with water vapor in this environment. Open terrariums in contrast have a large opening to let air from outside the terrarium circulate freely with the inside of the terrarium. However, the glass walls will trap a fair amount of moisture in the air and reduce ventilation, which will increase humidity levels. Many people repurpose glass cabinets to fulfil this in a stylish yet practical way.
- The double -pot method is a creative way to increase humidity levels without having to compromise the aesthetics or location of your plant. You simply put your potted houseplant into a pot that is 1-2 inches in diameter larger than the inner pot. Fill the gap with sphagnum moss or leca mix and soak this with water. The moss will hold onto the water and dry out slowly over the space of a few days, releasing the water vapor into the air around your plants. This works well if terracotta pots are your go to. With this method, it is best to make sure the inner and outer pots both have drainage holes, to prevent water building up at the base of the outer pot, which could potentially cause root rot for your plant.
- Location. Location. Location. Bathrooms are a great place for houseplants generally, and plants which need high humidity levels will thrive in these conditions. The wet environment created by sinks, baths and showers means there is usually some area of your bathroom that is in the process of drying during the day. Even wet towels are a significant source of moisture entering the air. The downside is that most bathrooms do not tend to have the best natural light as it is common for the windows to be smaller. If this is the case the simple act of leaving your bathroom door open to benefit the rest of your home when having a shower. Do you really need to drain your bath water away so quickly?
- You can also put your houseplant collection in your bath or shower and give them a rinse down. This not only cleans the leaves, which is a good thing to do to keep your houseplants in top shape but drenching the foliage and soil of your plants will lead to increased evaporation and local humidity over the next few days. Be mindful of potential root rot from excessive water in the soil.
- Think about drying your clothes in the same room as your houseplants. Your wet laundry is a great source of water vapor that your plants will appreciate. Set up your clothes rack near your houseplants or move your houseplants into the room you tend to dry your clothes in. The water evaporating from your clothes will increase the humidity level in the air and your plants can benefit. Anyone with a condenser clothes drier will appreciate the amount of moisture and money you are literally throwing away.
- While not the most attractive way to increase humidity for indoor plants, covering a houseplant with a clear plastic bag will create a highly humid environment for your plant. This can be particularly useful for helping a very sensitive plant through a tricky winter indoors. You can put several wooden stakes into the houseplant pot to prop the plastic up off most of the foliage. Keep an eye out for excessive condensation forming on the sides of the bag and open it up from time to time if you see this. In addition, because this creates a greenhouse like environment, things can get hot if you leave your plant in direct sunlight. Ensure your plant is kept in indirect light to prevent excessively high temperatures.
As with most things there will be no one stop solution that works for everyone. You need to pick solutions that suit your lifestyle. That work with the aesthetic you want to create and most of all give you pleasure.