Plant Humidifier: Some of the most popular houseplants come from tropical regions and thus flourish in locations with high humidity. If the air in your house is dry, such as during the winter months, your plants may benefit from the usage of a humidifier.
Compared to misting or using a pebble tray, a humidifier will provide a more constant humidity level for your tropical houseplants.
For best results, run your plants’ humidifier for a few hours every day between sunrise and midday. The humidifier should be in the same room as your humidity-loving plants but not so close to them that moisture starts to condense on the leaves.
When in doubt about your home’s humidity level, use a hygrometer to get an exact measurement. Varied plants have different ideal ranges, but most will be happy in a range between 40 percent and 60 percent relative humidity.
Why do Houseplants need a Humidifier?
Except for succulents and cacti, many popular houseplants thrive when there is more moisture in the air. Plants like orchids and aroids (such peace lily and Monstera), just to mention a few, are accustomed to a tropical environment.
These tropical plants are not utilised to reduce humidity since, unlike succulents, they do not retain water in the fleshy leaves of their leaves.
There are a few different mechanisms that plants may use to draw moisture from their surroundings, and these mechanisms can be quite distinct from one plant to the next and from one region to another depending on the specifics of the plant’s origin.
Some Houseplants Have a Root System That Is Not As Robust As Others.
The principal method by which a plant takes in water is through the roots that it has spread across the soil. Plants that are adapted to flourish in arid environments have developed extensive root systems in order to take use of any available water.
On the other hand, Tropical Plants do not really require such a robust root system because there is always water everywhere where they originated!
Plants that have evolved to live in a position where they can draw moisture from the air are called epiphytes. Typically, the growth of this kind of plant occurs on or up other plants like trees. Orchids, monstera, and tillandsia (also known as air plants) are just a few examples of well-known epiphytes.
Some of these houseplants have their roots in the soil, some have aerial roots that provide structural support, while yet others could not have any roots at all! Because of this need, epiphytes can only survive in environments with a greater humidity.
There are several houseplants that have a delicate leaf system.
So where does the water go once it has been absorbed by the plant?
Although there are a few intricate biological processes involved, the water ultimately makes its way to the leaves, where it is either stored for later use or expelled into the atmosphere.
Cacti and succulents are plants that store water in their leaves for use at a later time when there may not be any other source of water. Because of this, the plants are extremely hardy.
Since of the high humidity and consistent rainfall, tropical plants do not have any places in their leaves that are capable of storing water because they have never had a need to do so in their whole existence. These plants are capable, via a process known as guttation, of releasing surplus water from their leaves due to the high levels of water that are often present.
Stomata are the pores in the leaves that are responsible for allowing the plant to breathe. They also let off water vapour and carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. They may either open or close according on the amount of humidity in the air. But if they are closed for an extended period of time because the air is too dry, it is the same as the plant not breathing at all!
The relative humidity of the air within is lower.
Now that we have a better idea of how various plants flourish in the environments that are most natural to them, let’s have a look at the atmosphere that you have created in your own house.
Your home’s relative humidity will remain in the range of 40 to 60 percent while the weather outside is warm and pleasant, which is ideal for the majority of houseplants. On the other hand, when winter comes and the heating is turned on, the relative humidity may decrease to as low as 10 percent.
This dry air can lead you to experience dry skin and a scratchy throat, and it can also cause your tropical plants, which require more moisture in the air, to experience discomfort.
Misting or placing pebbles in a dish is not sufficient.
It is a widely held belief that if you mist your plants, it will help increase the humidity in the room. The results are disappointing, to say the least. When you spray the leaves of your plant with water, the relative humidity will rise slightly for a very brief period of time. In order for this to be a useful instrument, you will need to mist the area every half an hour.
In addition, if you mist your plants while they are in the bright, direct sunlight, the droplets that remain on the leaves after the misting can act as tiny magnifying glasses and cause burn spots. Mold and fungus will have a much easier time growing in areas where there is an excessive amount of moisture at night because it will take longer for it to evaporate. No, thank you very much!
The only benefit that can be derived from misting is that it is an excellent exercise for your forearms.
Another common technique for raising the relative humidity is to position your plants in close proximity to a pebble tray filled with water. They function by delivering water to the soil in the vicinity of your plants. The water eventually evaporates into the air, which raises the relative humidity in that region over the course of time.
The use of a pebble tray is more effective than spraying the area with water, but it is not as efficient as using a humidifier.
When should a humidifier be used?
Let’s have a look at the many circumstances in which you should use a humidifier for your plants. At what point in the day should you begin using it? Could it have something to do with the season or the time of year? Where does the temperature of the room come into play? The most essential question is, how much humidity is considered excessive?
The best time to start using it is when.
The early morning hours, about between daybreak and noon, are when your plants will benefit most from having a humidifier running. You may start it up in the morning when you have breakfast, and then turn it off in the afternoon when you eat lunch.
Your plants will benefit greatly from this abundant supply of dampness!
After monitoring the humidity with a hygrometer, you can continue to let the humidifier run a little longer into the afternoon if you find that it is still a bit on the low side.
It wouldn’t be a good idea to run it too late in the evening or at night after the sun has set. Your plants’ normal process of transpiration will be thrown off if there is an excess of moisture throughout the night (their way of breathing).
Condition of the room.
There are several distinct optimal humidity ranges that are conducive to plant growth; nevertheless, each plant prefers a specific range. You may use a hygrometer to determine whether or not the relative humidity of the air in your house is within the acceptable range by testing it.
In most cases, you will need to operate the humidifier for the plants if the relative humidity is lower than 40 percent. You are able to switch off the humidifier when the relative humidity in the air rises over 65 percent.
The Climate and the Seasons.
In general, summers have a greater relative humidity, whereas winters tend to have relatively low levels of moisture in the air. However, the weather in each region is unique.
The scientific disciplines of chemistry and physics are somewhat to blame for this. While cooler air is unable to store as much water vapour as warmer air, warmer air has the potential to hold more water vapour. The cold weather causes there to be less moisture in the air throughout the winter months, and then when you heat the air in your house, the relative humidity drops significantly.
In the winter, when the air is dry, you should run a humidifier for your plants. If you live in an area that has low humidity year-round, you should also run a humidifier throughout the summer.
How much humidity is considered to be too much?
Any plant cannot thrive under humidity levels that are higher than 80 percent. Your plant may not be able to “breathe” correctly if there is an excessive amount of water vapour in the air, which may also result in problems such as the growth of mould and fungus.
If there is too much moisture in the air, you may reduce it by increasing the circulation using a fan and positioning the humidifier a few feet away from the plants you have.
You can simply monitor the relative humidity of the space using the built-in humidistat that comes standard on some models of humidifiers. If the one you have does not have that feature, you should invest in a hygrometer so that you can monitor the level of humidity in your space on a more regular basis. Your plants will express their gratitude to you.
Best Practices for Using Plant Humidifiers
How often should I use a humidifier?
It would be great if you utilised the humidifier for your plants every day. Use a hygrometer in the morning to check the moisture level in the air. If it is below 40 percent relative humidity, time to switch on the humidifier!
As indicated earlier, this is more likely to be the case in the winter when the temperature lowers and the heaters suck up all the additional moisture in your home. You are not likely to require a humidifier for your plants as much in the summer.
How long do you run a humidifier for plants?
You should run your humidifier for at least 4 to 5 hours every day in the morning till lunchtime. Running it too late into the afternoon risks leaving too much moisture in the air overnight when the plant doesn’t absorb it as much, which raises the danger for mould or fungus.
Where to place humidifier?
It might assist if you positioned the humidifier a few feet away from your plants, preferably in the centre of the room. Placing it too near to the plants might cause too much water to condense on the leaves and soil. Too much water on the leaves is an invitation for mildew and fungus!
Elevate the humidifier a few feet from the ground on a table or desk. Keep it away from porous surfaces like wood or cloth drapes. When exposed to air that is very moist, porous surfaces like these have a greater risk of developing mould.
Never set the humidifier down on a plush carpet or other similar surface. The bottom of many of these devices is where air enters, and placing a carpet or rug there would prevent air from entering.
Which kind of water should we drink?
Utilizing filtered or distilled water in the humidifier that you have for your plants is the recommended method of care. This will ensure that only water that has not been contaminated in any way is vaporised and brought into your home.
If you use water that has been distilled, it will prevent bacteria and algae from forming in the water tank for a longer period of time, which means you won’t have to clean it as regularly.
If you choose to fill your humidifier with water from the tap, you should be aware that the minerals in the water might eventually lead to the formation of scale inside the device. If you use filtered or distilled water in your humidifier, you won’t have to clean it as frequently, which will keep it working well for a longer period of time.
Maintaining a humidifier with routine cleaning.
You will need to clean the humidifier that is attached to your plants on a regular basis. The accumulation of minerals from the water might be to blame for this, or it could be algae and bacteria that thrive in damp environments.
In the event that your humidifier is not cleaned for an extended period of time, a buildup of bacterial grossness will occur. This is not something that you want to be releasing into the air in your home.
Every week, you should thoroughly clean the humidifier that you use in your home.
To begin, pour vinegar into the base, then wait for it to absorb the liquid. After that, wipe the inside of the water tank with diluted bleach or peroxide to get rid of any slime or odours that could be there. Before putting it back together for regular usage, give the components a last rinsing in running water.
There are humidifiers that also function as water filters. It will be necessary to change them on a regular basis. Because each product is unique, you will need to examine the technical specs of the gadget you are using.
When selecting a plant humidifier, there are a few qualities to look out for.
How exactly should one go about selecting a humidifier for their plant collection? Because there is such a wide variety of choices, determining the best path to take can be challenging at times.
Because of this, I’ve put together a helpful guide for you. Before purchasing a humidifier for your plants, there are a few things that you should think about, which I have outlined below.
Humidifiers for Plants: Different Types
Warm mist, ultrasonic, and evaporative humidifiers are the three types of humidifiers.
The most common humidifiers for sale are warm mist humidifiers.
It’s a straightforward method that includes heating water to a temperature that causes water vapour to escape.
Ultrasonic humidifiers are fascinating engineering feats.
They promote the evaporation of water in the water tank by using high-frequency sound vibrations.
The outcome is a light, wispy mist of high-quality air.
The ultrasonic humidifier is the quietest of the different types of humidifiers.
This type does not have a filter that needs to be cleaned on a regular basis, and it does not utilise hot water.
While this means it uses less energy, it also means bacteria have a better possibility of being present inside the machine.
If you decide to use this humidifier, make it a point to disinfect it on a regular basis.
Evaporative Humidifiers work in the same way that a jar of water in the centre of a plant cluster does.
Moisture is naturally ejected into the atmosphere.
Evaporative humidifiers, on the other hand, use a fan to speed up the process.
The operation of this plant humidifier is fascinating.
On top of the water reservoir sits a damp pad or cloth.
A fan then pushes air out of the damp fabric, resulting in a cold mist.
Size of the Room
Also Read; Carport Design Ideas
Plant humidifier consumers frequently make the mistake of buying the smallest unit available.
Before settling on a brand or type, this is one of the most critical factors to consider.
The moisture output of a plant humidifier must correspond to the size of the room in which it is located.
You won’t get the required impact and level of dispersion if you go for a smaller size.
A huge humidifier, on the other hand, in a tiny room would just drown your plants with moisture.
A humidity level of 60% is required for most of our houseplants.
A modest plant humidifier will be required for a 300-square-foot area.
Plant humidifiers for rooms of 399 to 499 square feet are appropriate.
Plant humidifiers with a bigger capacity are recommended for rooms over 500 square feet.
Consider the size of the rooms when deciding on a humidifier for your plants.
Of course, you’ll need to consider where your plant humidifier should be placed.
The moisture created by these devices is rotated using fans.
If you put it near plants, you’re actually dehydrating the air rather than adding moisture to it.
You’ll be back to square one when the plants wilt.
The plant should be at least 6 feet away from the humidifier.
Level of noise
If you want to use your humidifier where you sleep or work, think about how much noise you can tolerate.
Some humidifiers for plants are just plain loud.
Because of the rotating fans that remove moisture, this is the case.
Ultrasonic models, for example, operate quietly.
The noise level of evaporative humidifiers is higher.
The volume of the water tank.
It’s just as vital to think about the size of your water tank as it is to think about the size of the room.
The plant air humidifier can run for longer if the water tank is larger.
You’ll have to turn it off and refill it if the water level is low.
Constant refilling can be inconvenient if convenience is a priority when purchasing an air humidifier.
Temperature of the mist.
While the temperature of the mist isn’t crucial to the growth of your plants (they won’t mind), it is a factor to consider for you – the one who pays the expenses.
You should analyse the distinctions between a Warm Mist Humidifier and a Cool Mist Humidifier.
Evaporation produces a purer mist in warm mist humidifiers since the water is boiled.
Cool mist humidifiers, on the other hand, use less energy, allowing them to operate for extended periods of time while still being simple to maintain.
Levels of Humidity
It’s important not to release too much or too little moisture.
Select models that can monitor your room’s temperature and humidity levels.
Make the appropriate adjustments to your machine settings once you’ve identified that critical data.
The humidity settings on a plant humidifier are usually low and high.
You can change the mist output depending on which unit you use.
It’s important to keep in mind that extremely low humidity will cause your plants to dry out more quickly.
The room is kept wet by high humidity levels.
Both extremes promote the growth of bacteria, which is bad news for your plants!