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Although there are many aspects of proper plant care, watering, light levels, and potting medium are usually the three factors 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 where you live, it can be especially important in the winter when the air turns dry as a bone and during the summer in homes that are heavy on air conditioning.
Luckily, recreating humidity in your home isn’t complicated. In this post, we’ll go over easy ways to create humidity for your houseplants.
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.
Check out the materials below, which you’ll need to create a pebble tray:
- Any typical plant tray will do as long as it’s big enough. I really like using that one because it’s sturdy and comes in many sizes. Keep in mind it has to be a little 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. I’ll explain why in my instructions below.
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 not 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 roots to inadvertently suck up the water!
As the water evaporates, it will create humidity around your plant. Some people like to use bigger containers, like empty fish tanks, which will surround the entire plant and lock in even more humidity.
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.
Check out these humidifier options that are under $50 and available on Amazon Prime.
I also wanted to highlight two humidifiers I really like:
- Essential Oil Diffuser with Adjustable Mist Mode – I’ve had this one for years, and yes, it’s actually an essential oil diffuser! But 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.
- Miroco 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 over a day on a full tank.
Use a Greenhouse
It’s OK if you don’t have one of these in your backyard, most of us don’t! You can actually find smaller, portable greenhouses or create a small DIY greenhouse yourself.
- 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. (Click the link for more size and shape options.)
- 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. (Click the link for more size and shape options.)
If you have a single plant that needs more humidity, consider putting it in a closed terrarium—a mini greenhouse (it’s easier than you think)! 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.
You can also create your own tiny greenhouse for small plants and seedlings by taking some clear plastic wrap and wrapping it around and over the pot and plant to lock in humidity. Spritz inside the plastic wrap to lock in even more moisture. Don’t leave this closed 24/7, open it up every other day or so to let in fresh air and more light.
Group 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 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 the 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
However, humidity aside, misting is definitely handy as an alternative watering method for smaller air plants and seedlings.
Common Houseplants that Like Humidity
Here is a list of some common houseplants that you might already have in your home that like humidity:
- Peace lilies
- Air plants
- Spider plants
- Lucky bamboo
- Prayer plants
- Fiddle leaf figs
Houseplant Humidity Shopping List
Here is a “shopping list” of all the links I’ve included throughout this post