Taking care of indoor plants can be quite challenging especially if you live in an apartment. Ideally, plants need humidity, soil, light, and nutrients to thrive.
While you can place your indoor plant near the window to ensure that it gets access to light and buy the right soil for your plants to ensure that they get adequate nutrients, meeting the humidity needs of the plants can be quite challenging.
You should place your humidifiers approximately 3 to 6 feet away from your plants. You should also ensure that you place the humidifier on a raised surface that is slightly higher than the plants. The raised surface should be about 2 to 4 feet above the ground and about 4 feet below the ceiling.
Some plants require high levels of humidity while others can be watered once a week. It is essential to understand the type of plants that you have in your home before you consider which humidifier to buy and where to place it in relation to the location of your indoor plants.
Some of the toughest plants to keep indoors include Azalea, Boston Ferns, Miniature Roses, among other plants. These plants often require cool and humid conditions, which can be hard to maintain.
If you love a good challenge or simply adore these plants and wish to keep them indoors, then you should consider using a humidifier to provide them with the right environment.
Aside from having a humidifier in your home, it is also important to know where you should keep the humidifier in relation to the location of the plants in your home.
In this article, we will discuss:
- Where to place humidifier for plants?
- Why do indoor plants need a humidifier?
- 7 tips for meeting the humidity needs of your indoor plants
- How do you humidify a room for plants?
- Do plants like warm or cool humidifiers?
Where To Place Humidifier for Plants?
The most important thing to consider when buying a humidifier for your plants is the location of the humidifier in relation to your plants.
The placement and positioning of the humidifier will determine whether the plants will get too little, just enough, or too much humidity.
Ideally, you should place your humidifier approximately 3 to 6 feet away from your indoor plants. This distance ensures that the plants get adequate levels of moisture.
Placing the humidifier too close to your leaves will promote the accumulation of condensed water on the leaves and soil for prolonged periods.
Placing the humidifier too close to your indoor plants can also cause over-hydration because the plants have higher access to water when compared to when the humidifier has been placed slightly far from the plants.
Excess water on the leaves increases the risks of mold and fungal growth. Additionally, excess hydration of the soil can limit the roots access to oxygen, which can cause stunted growth. Simply put, over-hydration drowns plants and increases the risks of root rot and other root diseases.
Running a humidifier constantly in your home could be a cause for concern if you live in a poorly ventilated home or if you are worried about the risks of mold.
You should place your humidifier on a small table or shelf and ensure that is slightly above your plants. Placing your humidifiers slightly above your plants will ensure that the plants absorb maximum moisture levels.
Placing your humidifier about 2 to 4 feet above the ground promotes air circulation, which will also ensure that your plants get maximum humidity. Aside from that, placing the humidifier above the ground will also ensure that all the parts of the plant have access to water.
You should also ensure that your humidifier is 4 feet below your ceiling. If your humidifier is too close to your ceiling, the humidity produced could damage your ceiling. There is a higher likelihood of this happening when you are using a high-capacity humidifier than a low-capacity humidifier.
High capacity humidifiers produce mist/moisture/humidity at a higher rate than low capacity humidifiers. As such, the amount of humidity produced within a minute is higher in high-capacity humidifiers.
Naturally, the upper part of the leaves on your plants has vascular structures to promote the absorption of water and light.
Placing the humidifier slightly above the leaves will ensure that they absorb enough water and that the rest of the plant gets adequate amounts of water/humidity.
Placing the humidifiers above the plant will also ensure that all parts of the plant have access to the water. If you place your humidifier on the same level as the lower part of the stems of your plants, only the lower parts of the plant will have access to the water.
While there is an upward water movement mechanism in plants that promotes the movement of water from the roots to the stem and the leaves of the plant, placing the humidifier lower than the leaves will mean that the leaves will not be sturdy and strong.
Additional Placement Considerations.
- Avoid placing the humidifier in a corner. Placing the humidifiers in a corner limits air circulation and could affect the plant’s ability to access the humidity produced by the humidifier. Generally, corners get a minimal level of airflow.
- You should also avoid placing a humidifier in a corner because of the risk of mold growth. Generally, corners have higher moisture content when compared to other parts of your home. Placing a humidifier in a corner can increase the humidity levels even more and promote mold growth.
- Avoid putting the humidifier near electronics. While it is important to consider the position of your indoor plants, you should also avoid placing your humidifier near electronics. The mist produced by the humidifier will sip inside the electronics and damage them.
- Place the humidifier away from electrical outlets and extension cords (multi-outlets). Like in the case of electronics, the humidity produced by the humidifier can damage the extension cords or increase your risk of being electrocuted.
- Move the humidifier around your home. If you have placed your plants in different locations around your home, feel free to move the humidifier around to ensure that all the plants have access to the humidity produced.
- If all the plants in your home are located in one room, you can consider placing the humidifier in a central position to ensure that they have proper access to the humidity produced.
- The most important thing is ensuring that the position of the plants in your home allows them to access the humidity produced.
Why Do Indoor Plants Need a Humidifier?
Helps Plants during Winter
Winter is usually characterized by low levels of indoor humidity when compared to other seasons. The low humidity levels can affect the growth rate of your indoor plants and increase their likelihood of dying.
Watering your plants the wrong way during different seasons is one of the most common reasons related to the deterioration of the overall look of your indoor plants. If you wish to revive them, consider buying a humidifier, especially during winter, when the air is less humid.
Great for Non-succulent Plants
Humidifiers are great for non-succulent plants because they require a constant supply of water or humidity for them to survive. If you have a cactus or a succulent plant, you might not need a humidifier because those kinds of plants thrive in desert-like conditions.
The Indoor Environment Has Low Humidity Levels
Generally, the indoor environment has low humidity levels. The humidity levels inside your home are usually high after a bath, when you are cooking, or performing other chores with a similar nature around the house.
Unless you have placed your indoor plants strategically in areas like your bathroom or kitchen where the humidity levels are slightly higher than the rest of the house, you might struggle with attaining the right humidity levels for your plants.
Some Plants Are Used to Tropical Climates
Tropical climates are characterized by an average temperature of around 18 degrees centigrade (64.4 degrees Fahrenheit). Tropical climates also feature relatively high humidity levels.
The high relative humidity in tropical areas is linked to the high evaporation rate caused by high temperatures. The nights in tropical areas are relatively warmer compared to those in other areas.
The high heat in tropical regions evaporates a lot of water from water bodies, which then rises to the lower atmosphere. By mid to late afternoon, the evaporated water might lead to a steady downpour of rain depending on the time of the year and the wind patterns.
Mimicking these conditions can be quite challenging especially if you live in a place with extreme weather changes. A humidifier ensures that you can create the same environment for your indoor plants.
Creates a Humid Condition for Plants
The main reason for using a humidifier for your indoor plant is to ensure that you create a humid condition for the plants. Plants need a humidifier for survival.
The humidity levels in your home are not usually the best for plant growth, which is why humidifiers are recommended for indoor plants.
Humidifiers ensure that your plants get the right level of humidity for their survival. Watering the plants yourself can be challenging especially if you have a busy schedule or you do not always remember to water the plants when you need to do so.
To Avoid Over-Hydration
Relying on other watering techniques can increase the risks of over-hydration, especially if you do not have a background in botany or some skills in caring for indoor plants.
You can easily overhydrate your plants if you are not certain how often you should water them or the amount of humidity/water that they require to flourish.
Humidifiers release moisture or misted water at a controlled rate. This way, humidifiers mimic the natural conditions that are optimum for plant growth, which reduces the risks of over-hydration.
7 Tips For Meeting the Humidity Needs of Your Indoor Plants
1. Know The Humidity Requirements for Your Plants
It is important to know the humidity requirements for your plants. Plants have varying humidity needs. Exposing your plants to the wrong humidity levels can hinder their growth.
On average most plants require a relative humidity level of between 40 and 60%. Here is a guideline on the average relative humidity needs for different plants.
0% to 20%: Although this relative humidity is very low, it is perfect for cacti and succulent plants. These plants would thrive in relative humidity levels of 10%. Examples of indoor succulents that you can consider include aloe vera, panda plant, pincushion cactus, and burro’s tail.
20% – 40%: Succulent plants and those that do not require high humidity levels can comfortably survive in rooms with these levels of humidity. On the other hand, tropical plants would deteriorate over time and die if placed in such conditions.
40% – 60%: Some household plants can flourish within this relative humidity level. This is a great humidity level for plants that require low maintenance as most houses maintain a relative humidity level of 40 to 60%.
If you want to grow your indoor plants within this humidity level, you might need to consider investing in a humidifier or misting your plants occasionally to ensure that they get adequate humidity for their growth.
60% to 80%: This is the best relative humidity for tropical plants. Most tropical plants require high humidity levels. Relative humidity of 60 to 80% mimics the natural environment of tropical areas.
80% and above: These humidity levels are suitable for tropical plants like pineapples. Such high humidity levels are also great for seedling germination.
While it is not advisable to sustain such high levels of humidity in your home because of the risk of mold growth, you can attain these humidity conditions in a greenhouse.
Knowing the different humidity requirement levels for your plants will help you determine how long you should run your humidifier.
2. Group Your Plants
If you have more than one indoor plant, grouping them can promote their growth and might reduce the time you will need to run your humidifier.
Generally, plants release humidity during transpiration, which can increase the overall humidity levels within their microenvironment.
Placing your plants in groups will increase the humidity levels in their micro-climate during the transpiration process and promote reabsorption of the humidity that had initially been released during the photosynthesis process.
3. Place Your Indoor Plants in Naturally Humid Areas
If you do not have a humidifier or you are not interested in buying a humidifier, you should consider placing your humidifier in a naturally humid place. One of the places that are naturally humid in your home is your bathroom.
If your bathroom has good ventilation and adequate access to natural light, it can be a great place for an indoor plant. Ferns are great options for bathroom plants.
4. Shower Your Plants
You can place your plants in the shower in the morning to help them access the humidity that they need for proper growth. You can shower the plant for a minute and then return the plants to their original location within your home.
Avoid over-showering the plants as that equates to over-hydration, which places your plants at risk of root rot and excessive accumulation of condensation on the leaves.
If you plan to shower your plants, ensure that the water is either slightly warm or cold. Avoid exposing your plants to water that is above room temperature as this could destroy the plants.
5. Dry Your Laundry Near Your Houseplants
If you dry your laundry indoors, you can consider drying your laundry next to your indoor plants. This will ensure that your plants can absorb the humidity expelled by the wet clothes as they dry.
As the wet clothes dry, they transfer the excess water to their immediate environment, which means that the air around them will have high humidity levels.
If you do not have a humidifier, you can dry your clothes indoors to ensure that they get the moisture they need.
6. Run Your Humidifier between Morning and Mid-morning
Running the humidifier between morning and mid-morning hours promotes maximum absorption of humidity by the plants. Plants absorb humidity during the day and release water during the night through the transpiration process.
As such, running your humidifier between morning and mid-morning hours will promote maximum moisture absorption.
7. Create a Greenhouse-like Setting for Your Plants
You can create a greenhouse-like setting for your plants by carefully covering the plants with a plastic bag. Simply take a plastic bag and cover the upper parts of your plant.
It is important to ensure that the plastic bag does not touch the leaves of the plant as this could affect their growth. You can use wooden sticks to lift the plastic bag and ensure that it is not in direct contact with the leaves.
This method will create a vacuum-like condition or greenhouse-like environment for the plant. The humidity released by the leaves during transpiration will be trapped in the plastic bag and can be reabsorbed by the plant again.
How Do You Humidify A Room For Plants?
There are several ways that you can humidify your room for your indoor plants. These include:
Using a humidifier: If you have a humidifier, you can simply use it to ensure that your plants get the right levels of humidity during the day. Running your humidifier for several hours every morning will ensure that your plants remain healthy.
If you are using your humidifier for other purposes, the humidity released by the humidifier in the room will still help your plants grow. You do not need to run your humidifier for extra hours every day if you already use it in your home.
As long as the humidifier is placed at a central location or near your plants, the mist released by the humidifier will be enough for your plants.
Watering the plants manually with a watering can: You can simply water your plants manually if you do not want to invest in a humidifier. Ensure that you water your plants during the morning hours. Additionally, you should also confirm the water requirements for different plants to avoid under or over-watering the plants.
Opening windows: You can humidify your room for your plants by simply opening the windows and doors in your home. If the air outside your home has higher humidity levels, then you should expect a natural movement of the humid air inside your house that is simply based on the mechanism of diffusion.
Placing your plants outside when it rains: If all these options do not work for you and you happen to be enjoying a rainy season in your area, you can simply place the plants on your balcony or outside your home to allow them to soak the rainwater.
Do Plants Like Warm or Cool Humidifiers?
The most critical thing to consider when choosing warm or cool mist humidifiers for your plants is positioning.
If you place a warm mist humidifier too close to your indoor plants, the warm mist could burn the plants and denature the chlorophyll and other enzymes in the plant, thereby killing the plant. I am fairly sure that you do not want to “cook” your live plants with your humidifier.
As such, if you have a warm mist humidifier, it is advisable to place the humidifier at a central location in the house or away from the indoor plants so that you avoid exposing the plants to the hot or warm mist.
If a warm mist humidifier is placed away from the plants, by the time the humidity reaches the plants, the temperature of the humidity will have dropped to the room’s natural temperature.
On the other hand, if you have a cool mist humidifier, you can adhere to the 3 feet rule. Placing a cool-mist humidifier too close to your plant could over-water the plant.
How Long Should I Run a Humidifier For My Plants?
You should run your humidifier for an average of five hours. Plants absorb more moisture from the air during the day when compared to evenings and nighttime.
This is why the best time to water plants is in the morning before the sun becomes too hot. Watering your plants in the morning allows them to absorb the moisture before it evaporates.
Run your humidifier from morning to midday to allow your indoor plants to absorb enough moisture for the day. This will also reduce your risks of over-watering or under-watering your indoor plants.
What Type of Water Should I Use In My Humidifier When Watering My Plants?
Any time you are using your humidifier, it is advisable to use distilled or softened water. You should avoid using tap water because tap water contains high levels of minerals that contribute to water hardness. It is also important to note that hard water damages the heating elements of your humidifier.
Since distilled water does not contain bacteria, algae, and other harmful microbes, you will not have to worry about the risks of respiratory infections when you are using your humidifier. Additionally, you will not have to worry about mineral deposit build-up in your humidifier.
Check out: Hard Water Damage on Humidifiers
A humidifier is a great tool for increasing the humidifier levels in your home, especially if you have indoor plants. Most indoor plants require a relative humidity level of between 60 and 80%, which can be quite hard to maintain unless you live in Florida or other states with high humidity levels.
If you wish to increase the humidity levels in your home to promote the growth of your plant, a great option would be getting a humidifier.
When using the humidifier ensure that you follow the placement guidelines discussed above to promote effective humidification of your plants.
You should also ensure that you also position your humidifier well and that you consider the humidity needs of the different plants in your home.
This is particularly important if you have different types of plants like succulents and non-succulents in your home. I hope this article has been helpful to you and has addressed your concerns regarding using a humidifier for indoor plants.