If you filled your home with lush tropical plants, you might be wondering how to increase humidity for houseplants to thrive.
Many gorgeous foliage plants require high humidity, but not many homes naturally come with a humidity level those plants require. You really can’t compete with a rainforest, well, at least not without a little help.
Not all plants require high humidity, so there is no need to assume getting a plant automatically means having to work on raising the air humidity of your home. Learn about your plants and their requirements.
Do you need to increase the humidity for your plants?
If your plants require high humidity, the first step would be to figure out what humidity levels your home has. You might read advice somewhere that Calatheas (for example) need regular misting or even an air humidifier to thrive, and while this is true, it might not apply to you.
If your home has high enough air humidity levels (50 to 60%), most of the tropical plants should do well, and you don’t need to increase humidity for your plants.
Air hygrometers/humidity meters are widely available; you can get small stylish ones or just a regular digital clock that measures humidity. There are thousands to choose from, from inexpensive ones to high end.
Keep in mind the air humidity levels will change throughout the year, your plants might like the conditions in fall but might need you to increase humidity in winter months.
How to Increase Humidity for Houseplants?
There are quite a few ways you can go about increasing the humidity for your plants, some more effective than others.
You can opt for the most effective one and leave it at that or use a combination of methods.
We’ll start of with the most popular method, even though it’s not the most effective one.
1. Misting the Plants
Misting is one of the most popular ways of increasing humidity around your plants. Its an advice that is most commonly given when people ask how to increase humidity for plants.
It’s fun, it’s calming, and it’s good for your soul. And it certainly can help the plant, however not as much as you would want.
Misting leaves a ton of tiny water droplets on your plant’s leaves, and as those droplets evaporate, they help raise the air humidity around the plant. However, this is a short-term effect.
If your plants have almost ideal conditions, misting will certainly benefit them. However, if your air humidity is really low, misting won’t solve the issue.
If you enjoy this process, keep at it, it’s not hurting your plant, and it really can benefit you too. However, if this is something you are not enjoying, you can skip misting altogether.
Keep in mind not all plants like misting and to never mist plants that are in direct sunlight.
2. Pebble Trays
As opposed to misting, pebble humidity trays have a long-lasting effect. They are an inexpensive solution to a localized problem.
As with misting, the water evaporates and raises the humidity levels close to the pebble tray.
The pebbles prevent the water from evaporating too quickly, so you will have even evaporation and constantly raised humidity levels for a while. Once all water evaporates, pour on some more.
They are a great way to raise the humidity around some of your plants as the effect will be localized.
Perfect if you have that one (or a couple) fussy diva plants that want a bit more humidity than others.
What are they? Trays filled with pebbles and water. And that is all. You can have them around plants or have the plant sit on top of the pebble tray. You have to make sure the pot is placed above the water level on the pebble tray.
3. Air Humidifier
While not the most inexpensive solution, it is a hassle-free solution that will keep your plants happy. Out of all ways to increase the humidity for your plants, an air humidifier is the most reliable and effective one.
These are especially handy in winter when the air humidity can drop drastically.
Look at an air humidifier as a long-term investment so take your time in finding the right one and don’t be afraid of spending a little bit more. When buying one, you should consider a few things, and one of the more important ones doesn’t have anything to do with humidity. Consider where you will have it and how loud it will be. You want a quiet one if it is in an area where you don’t want any extra noises.
Humidifiers can come with no additional functions at all or with a whole bunch. You can even get fancy ones that will maintain a certain level of humidity, adjusting misting accordingly.
Another thing to consider when purchasing one is the room’s size. Each humidifier can only handle so much as far as the size of the room goes. Measure your room and check the box (or with the manufacturer) for a specific unit’s working area. Depending on the brand and model, you might need more than one if you want to raise the air humidity in a larger room.
Aim for larger ones, with greater water reservoirs so they will be able to run continuously for longer periods of time.
4. Placing Jars Filled With Water in the Room
Placing jars and bottles filled with water near and around your plants or heat sources will serve the same purpose as the water tray. The benefit to this is you can use the water to water the plants too.
If you are water propagating plants, you can set your propagation station near the mother plant and other plants to keep up humidity.
5. Keep Adding More Plants and Group Them Together (our favorite)
Transpiration is the magic word! Grouping plants together will increase the humidity around them. Every plant releases water from the leaves, the stem, and flowers. As they do, the plants around them will benefit from the evaporated water. A nice little microclimate. The more plants, the merrier.
There really isn’t any downside to this method.
6. Room Strategy
If you got your air humidity meter, measure the humidity in all your rooms. You will probably notice the humidity changes room to room, with some rooms having only slight changes in humidity and others potentially drastic.
Bathrooms and kitchens are rooms that usually have higher humidity, bathrooms more than kitchens. When taking a bath, the humidity level of the room skyrockets.
If the light conditions in those rooms are favorable, consider moving your plants to these rooms.
Taking a calming bath or a shower surrounded by your plants sure sounds great too! It’s a win for you and your plants.
7. Glass Dome, Terrarium or Clear Bag
Got a plant that, despite all your efforts to raise the humidity to its desired efforts, still struggles? Place the plant into a glass enclosure or place a clear bag over it. This way, all the moisture stays inside, and the plant has its own little environment in which it can be happy.
Now you know a few of ways on how to increase humidity for houseplants, so go and make your plants happy!