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Although there are many aspects of proper plant care, watering, light levels, and potting medium are usually the main ones that immediately come to mind. However, humidity is also important for a lot of houseplants, and even critical for some.
Many houseplant species are found in rainforests and other tropical regions and therefore would be receiving a very high level of humidity in their natural habitats.
Humidity is helpful throughout the year, but depending on the climate where you live, it is especially important in the winter when the air turns dry as a bone and during the summer in homes that are heavy on the air conditioning.
Luckily, recreating humidity in your home isn’t complicated. In this post, I’ll go over easy ways to create humidity for your houseplants.
Houseplant Humidity Supplies List
Before we dive in, here is a quick list of all the supplies I’ll mention in this post.
- Plant tray
- Larger humidity tray
- Fish tank
- Humidifiers under $50 and available on Amazon Prime
- Homech Cool Mist Humidifier
- URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser
- Small, portable greenhouse
- Wooden frame small greenhouse
- Plant mister
Make a Pebble Tray
A pebble tray is a super easy hack to create humidity that lasts all day long. The concept is simple: A tray filled with water underneath your plant means that the water will evaporate all around your plant, creating humidity.
I wouldn’t say this is THE MOST effective method out there as some humidity dissipates around your plant, but I have used this method and have found it to help. It can be made even more effective by putting your pebble tray and plant in something that has walls, like a fish tank.
Pebble Tray Materials
- Any typical plant tray will do as long as it’s big enough. Keep in mind it has to be wider than the size of the pot so that the water evaporates around your plant.
- I also really like this larger humidity tray. It has enough room for a few different plants which is really convenient! Consider a larger tray if you have a lot of plants with humidity needs.
- Last but not least, you’ll need pebbles. Why not just put the plant directly into the tray and skip the pebbles? I’ll explain why in my instructions below.
- A fish tank or similar container is optional. It will help keep the humidity contained.
Lay the pebbles down evenly in the tray. They will act as the surface that your plant sits on. Fill the tray with a little bit of water, but no higher than the pebbles.
Put your plant on top of the pebbles and make sure it’s not sitting below the water’s surface. If it is, remove some water. You don’t want the soil and roots to inadvertently suck up the water! As the water evaporates, it will create humidity around your plant.
Turn On a Humidifier
Any size humidifier will do. Some plant owners have a large one to help with a whole room of plants, while some have a small one pointed at a single plant.
Can you use an essential oil diffuser as a humidifier for plants?
Yes, in fact, you’ll find many diffusers are also labeled as humidifiers. However, unless you’re using it in a small space or very close to your plant, it might not work as well for providing humidity.
I wanted to highlight two humidifiers I really like:
Homech Cool Mist Humidifier – This one works great in larger spaces (like if you’re lucky enough to have a dedicated plant room!). It can also last for THREE days!
URPOWER Essential Oil Diffuser – I’ve had this one for years, and yes, it’s an essential oil diffuser! It works just as well as a small-space humidifier. I like it because it fits well on a shelf or a table and lasts over six hours.
Here are more humidifier options that are under $50 and available on Amazon Prime.
Use or Make a Greenhouse
It’s OK if you don’t have one of these in your backyard, most of us don’t! You can find smaller, portable greenhouses, create a terrarium (a mini greenhouse), or even build a greenhouse cabinet.
This small, portable greenhouse comes in a few sizes and is a great solution if you don’t have the space to commit to a permanent greenhouse.
If you’re in need of something larger, this wooden frame small greenhouse is a little more attractive and would look lovely in a plant corner or on a patio.
Closed Terrarium (Small Greenhouse)
If you have a single plant or a few small plants that need more humidity, consider putting it in a closed terrarium (tutorial here)—a mini greenhouse! Closed terrariums are their own mini ecosystems and lock in a lot of moisture. The terrarium must be closed to trap moisture. You won’t get this same effect with an open terrarium.
Plastic Bag Over Your Plant (Even Smaller Greenhouse)
You can create your own tiny “greenhouse” for small plants, cuttings, and seedlings by taking a clear plastic bag and putting it over the top to lock in humidity. Spritz inside the plastic bag to add in even more moisture. Don’t leave this closed 24/7, open it up every other day or so to let in fresh air.
Ikea Greenhouse Cabinet
This is a more recent trend that is taking the houseplant world by storm. My plants LOVE my greenhouse cabinet. Check out this post for a tutorial on my Ikea Greenhouse Cabinet.
Group Your Plants Together
This method requires no extra materials. Move your plants closer together and they will all benefit from the moisture they are each releasing. There is strength in numbers here, just be sure you’re not spreading any pests or diseases that may be lurking.
Put Your Plants in the Bathroom
If you have windows in the bathroom, keep your high-humidity plants there so that they get a nice dose of moisture every time you shower. If your bathroom doesn’t have any windows you can still move your plants there temporarily while the shower is on.
Mist Your Plants
Full disclosure, I added this method last because I personally don’t find it to be very effective for providing lasting humidity, however, some people really like this method.
This can be done with a spray bottle or a plant mister. Make sure the spray bottle actually sprays a mist rather than just producing a single stream of water as some do (I mean seriously, what is the point of that?). Here is a plant mister very similar to the one I have. It looks great on a shelf, too!
This particular method is popular with some because it’s so simple. However, the cons are:
- Some argue that this doesn’t actually create humidity, it just gets the plant wet
- There’s a possibility of spreading pests and disease this way
- It gets everything—walls and all—wet. Not a big deal, but I find it annoying
However, humidity aside, misting is definitely handy as an alternative watering method for smaller air plants and also keeping soil moisture high for cuttings you’re propagating or seedlings you’re growing. I use my mister all the time for propagating cuttings.
Common Houseplants that Like Humidity
Here is a list of some common houseplants you might already have in your home that like humidity. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
- Peace lilies
- Air plants
- Spider plants
- Lucky bamboo
- Prayer plants
- Fiddle leaf figs