Creating Humidity for Your Plants
A lot of our favorite indoor tropical plants struggle with normal household humidity levels, because their natural habitats are humid jungles. If you’re lucky enough to live in a region where your tropical plants are happy all the time, take a moment to pity those of us in the colder climates! Today we’re talking about some tips for anyone who has to combat dry air for plants that have humid native habitats.
If you’re seeing crispy, crunchy foliage or limp, wilting plants in your home, the problem might be your humidity — or rather the lack thereof. If you like numbers and data, you may want to invest in a hygrometer to measure the humidity levels in your home. It’s not a necessity, though, because most of us start to see it in our plants and feel it ourselves when it gets too dry. Try some of these methods to help your plant pals out:
Lots of people like to use pebble trays to give that little extra boost to their fussier plants. This is a quick and easy fix. All you need is a dish or tray, some pretty pebbles or even larger-sized aquarium gravel, and water. Fill your dish with pebbles to keep the plant from sitting directly in the water, and then fill it up. The evaporation will give your plant a little extra moisture in the air. I even use humidity trays by themselves on top of my radiator to combat the dry heat in the winter.
Grouping Your Plants
If you have a lot of plants and a space that they can be placed together, you might have noticed it feels just that much more humid in that area of your home. This is one of the reasons I always say that plants benefit from having “friends” — grouping them together really does provide a beneficial boost in humidity.
Creating Closed Environments
If you’ve got smaller plants that appreciate lots of humidity, consider creating a terrarium or using a cloche to cover them. Even a recycled plastic cake cover will do in a pinch, and it’s environmentally friendly! An open terrarium can help some of the fussier plants as well. I have a Fittonia who just couldn’t perk up until I created a small, open terrarium out of an old five gallon fish tank. Voilà, happy plant!
Misting (Well, Maybe)
There’s some debate about the efficacy of misting your plants, but you can’t deny that misting makes you feel like you’re helping out. Use a simple spray bottle with filtered or distilled water (we can’t recommend tap, but it depends on where you live), and spray your plants. It only raises the humidity for a little bit. To make a really big difference, you’d have to spend a lot of time misting. If you need a big-time boost, this isn’t your solution. Remember not to mist plants that have “furry” leaves, like African violets!
Shower with Your Plants
Don’t load them in with you as you wash your hair or anything, but many people haul humidity lovers into the bathroom to soak up all that humid air while showering or bathing. Kitchens can also be a great place for plants who need a little extra help — I’m always putting the kettle on and accidentally boosting the humidity in the kitchen, and the plants appreciate this.
Invest in a Humidifier
This is probably our number one tip. If you have dry air, suffering plants, and all else fails you, a humidifier or two to see you through the winter will definitely help. As a bonus, humidifiers are good for helping people stay healthy and happy through winter, too. With this solution plants and people both win!
Another fun way to boost the humidity in a room with your plants is to set up an aquarium — but we only recommend this if you’re into learning about caring for fish, too! Setting up an aquarium opens up a whole new world of indoor plants as you choose the best aquatic plants for your new fish friends.
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