Using a humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity levels of houseplants. Some plants enjoy high humidity climates like tropical plants, so a humidifier can help mimic these climates. However, not every plant wants to be in a high humidity environment, where the humidifier can cause problems. Not only that but there are some other concerns that plant owners should know about when it comes to using a humidifier.
So, what does a humidifier do? Are they good to use for plants? What are the do’s and don’ts when using them on plants?
Here is the complete breakdown of using a humidifier on plants and more below.
What Does a Humidifier Do?
A humidifier is an appliance that boosts the humidity levels in a room by emitting water vapor. The process works by dumping water into the tank, turning the machine on, and letting water vapor come out of the system. Depending on the application’s size, they can go from increasing the humidity from small rooms to large rooms, which works great if you have multiple plants that can benefit from additional moisture.
Why Would Plants Need a Humidifier?
Dry air is standard in most homes and offices. Especially during the winter, when the heat is on to keep everyone warm, the air becomes dry. Most homes have a relative humidity level percentage of 40-60%, but that can drop if you run the heat.
For humid-loving plants, this becomes a problem because they need to be in an area with lots of moisture in the air. A humidifier can help solve this problem for these plants, especially in the winter. The humidifier can help balance the amount of moisture missing in a large room where the plants are, which can help the plants thrive.
Why do Some Indoor Plants Enjoy Humidifiers?
Tropical houseplants tend to love being in rooms with higher humidity. Some types of plants that want to be in humid environments include monsteras, lucky bamboo plants, aloe vera, snake plants, ivy, and philodendrons.
Why Don’t Some Indoor Plants Like Humidifiers?
Plants familiar with dry climates, like succulents and cacti, don’t want to be next to a humidifier since it increases humidity. These plants enjoy low humidity levels, so placing a humidifier next to them won’t work well. That extra humidity will cause these plants to struggle to grow because these climates are not what they are familiar with when outside.
What are the Best Ways to Use a Humidifier with a Plant?
The best way to use a humidifier is to find one that covers the square feet in the room where your plants are. Whether you have a small humidifier or a big one, you want one that will cover the entire room, so the plants all benefit from your investment.
In addition to picking out the humidifier that covers the room size, you also want to use one that automatically shuts off after a time or reaches the right humidity level. Like how you might leave the TV on in your home as you run errands, you might do the same with the humidifier. Especially if the water level tank capacity is full, you don’t want that to run for too long, or else the mist levels will be too much for your plants. Having that automatic shut-off is critical to not over misting the plant.
Finally, you should use the humidifier on plants near a bright to a sunny area in your home. You don’t want the soil to become mushy next to the humidifier, so placing it in an area that fits the sunlight requirements for the plant is critical. The soil’s type of moisture can dry naturally in a room with some sunlight.
What Should You Not Do With a Humidifier?
Excess moisture in the air can cause problems for your plant, especially if they are in an area that does not receive enough sunlight. When you water your plant with tap water or any other type of water and then keep it next to a humidifier, you risk creating soggy soil. Soggy soil can cause mold growth buildup, root rot, and other issues, which can ultimately cause the plant to fail to grow.
To combat that, you should look for a humidifier with an auto shut-off feature after a few minutes, or when the room reaches the appropriate humidity levels, just in case you forgot to turn it off as you leave your house. The best humidifiers for plants have an automatic shut-off feature, which is critical because you don’t want to keep the plants in an area with humidity for too long.
In addition to that, you shouldn’t place the humidifier next to plants that enjoy dry climates. For example, placing a humidifier next to a cactus plant creates shock for it, which can cause the plant leaves to begin wilting. The general rule of thumb is only to use the humidifier next to plants that enjoy humidity, not those that don’t.
Different Types of Humidifiers Great for Plants
- LEVOIT Humidifiers: Auto-shutoff, night light, cold mist, and a quiet operation
- Honeywell Cool Mist Humidifier: Helps keep the room in your home at the 40-60% humidity mark.
- AIRCARE: Auto shut off after reaching the desired humidity levels with a large tank
- Toppin: Light noise, sleep mode, and hours of high misting
What are Other Alternatives Outside of a Humidifier for Plants?
While it is not essential to get the best humidifier or any humidifier for that matter for your plants, there are other ways that you can increase humidity around plants. Here are some of the more budget-friendly options to consider to improve the humidity levels around your houseplants.
Regular misting plants is a great way to increase the moisture and humidity level around plants without going overboard. Mist options are straightforward; you want to spray the plant a few times each day not to overload it with water but instead to give it a bit of humidity, which it will enjoy. Also, it is best to use warm water instead of cold water when misting tropical plants.
Using a pebble tray works excellent when you want to have a slow release of humidity around the plants. The process works by watering rocks and pebbles that sit underneath the plant, and when the water evaporates on the stones, it releases humidity on the plant. This pebble tray method is a slow and steady process of releasing humidity, so it is popular for plant owners to use.
Keeping the Plant in a Bathroom
One cheap and effective way to have a naturally warm mist humidifier is to keep the plants in a bathroom with a shower. Running a hot shower for 10 minutes a day (run time) will create a steamy and humid environment, which the tropical plants will enjoy. Keeping these plants in the bathroom is also a good option in the winter when you have the heat on. The heat will cause dry air, so you want to move the plants to an area in your home that will be more humid than the rest of the house.
Sitting the Plant Next to Boiling Water
If you don’t have enough space to group plants in a bathroom, consider putting them in your kitchen when you boil water. Boiling water creates a bit of additional humidity around it, which is perfect if you want your plants to enjoy that extra moisture.
Grouping Similar Plants Together
A cheap and effective way to generate more moisture in the air for plants is to group them. After you water the plants, they release a bit of humidity through their plant leaves. By grouping plants together, you create a mini-environment that releases humidity, so all plants benefit from each other as they release water vapor.
Conclusion: Are Humidifiers Good for Plants?
In summary, humidifiers are great for plants, as long as those plants like humidity. Not all plants will benefit from humidity, so make sure you don’t put the device next to a cactus. Otherwise, it will cause more problems than what you are trying to solve.
However, while using a humidifier is good, you also want to avoid overdoing it. Consider using a humidifier that has an auto shut off after the desired humidity levels are reached so that you don’t create soggy soil for the plant. If you run a humidifier for too long and the soil doesn’t get fully dry, you run the risk of root rot and mold buildup, which will create a new problem for you.