Don't let your houseplants suffer due to lack of humidity. Most houseplants are native to rainforests and humid places so they prefer more moisture in the air. My favorite houseplants such as calatheas and orchids are meant to grow in humid environments. Signs of humidity stress are brown leaf tips or yellowing leaves. During the summer, I do not have to worry much about increasing the humidity level for indoor plants, but it is a different story during winters!
Winters bring dryer and colder air and it is especially important to regulate the moisture in air when the plants are indoors. Although I love winters more than summers, my plants do not share this sentiment. Since it is already September and winter is coming, here are my tips for increasing humidity levels for indoor plants.
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1. Shower Your Plants
This is undoubtedly a very cheap way and one of the very few free ways. According to a Reddit user, a 15-minute shower without exhaust will lead to 100% humidity in the air. This would form condensation on the ceiling, walls, and floor, which can help the plant retain some of it. A Monstera Deliciosa permanently lived in my parent’s bathroom and thrived off of showers. It has aerial roots and even put out five new leaves this summer. In comparison, my Monstera have put out only one leaf and aerial root even though I got them at the same time as the other one. This is evidence as to how much humidity helps tropical plants.
2. Keep Your Plants Close to Each Other
Another one of the zero-cost strategies you can utilize is to keep your plants close to each other. In doing this, the different microclimates of the plants combine to form a huge, consistent, and humid force field. Microclimates develop due to the difference in moisture retention of the soil or medium used.
3. Use Sphagnum Moss
A way to get the right humidity for plants is to dress your soil in sphagnum moss. This is a good way to increase the humidity level for one plant. Moss retains a lot of water which increases humidity when it evaporates. It also prevents the soil from drying out quickly. I use this cheap way on many of my philodendrons, and they seem to love it. I also use it for air layering my pink princess, and it helped it grow aerial roots. I like to use this sphagnum moss from Amazon.
4. Use Glass Domes
To increase the humidity for individual plants, you can also use a glass dome. If you are clumsy like me, you might have to be careful with this one. I have already shattered one I had gotten from IKEA. Luckily, I found this replacement glass dome with a design I like. It has a stopper on the top so I can air out the dome once in a while. I've used it to get my Stephania Erecta to sprout.
5. Use Water-Filled Trays
One of the zero-cost strategies to increase humidity is to place the plant on a tray filled with water. However, I use pebbles to ensure the plant is not sitting directly in water because that increases the chances of root rot. In this video, I am using extra LECA that I use for my semi-hydroponic plants. Nevertheless, the humidity increases as the water evaporates.
When all fails...use a Humidifier
Although they are more of an investment, humidifiers increase the humidity consistently for the entire surrounding. The two that I am currently testing are from Elechomes and Wiekurts. Humidifiers, however, require maintenance because the water continuously collects minerals like iron and needs frequent cleaning. It is also not abnormal to see a red layer inside. Check out my review on both humidifiers after using it for more than a year.
With winter coming, I hope these tips will help you keep your tropical plants happy. Other things to keep in mind when preparing plants for the winter are light and temperature. Grow Lights and heat pads will help in this regard. However, I will leave that for another video!