Try These Tricks to Establish Perfect Humidity for Your Houseplants

Most homes are too dry for plants to thrive. Here are two simple ways to raise the humidity around your plants.

If your home has central heating, you'll stay toasty during the fall and water, but there's a downside: Your air will most likely be dry. The same is true during the summertime if your air conditioner runs a lot. This is bad news if you have an affinity for houseplants. While cacti and succulents thrive in dry conditions, most plants don't. Climate-controlled spaces demand one of two approaches: Exclusively grow plants that like dryness (or at least tolerate it) or raise the humidity in your home. Read on to find out how.

Invest in a Humidifier or Vaporizer

A humidifier is the simplest, most obvious solution to dry air. But are humidifiers good for plants? Yes—the added moisture benefits most houseplants (and furniture and people, too). If you don't want to buy a whole-house or room humidifier, place a small vaporizer near plants.

wooden shelving with plants
Carson Downing

Give Your Plant a Friend

Grouping plants also helps, since moisture released by one plant can be picked up by another. Keep in mind, though, that plants also need good air circulation to ward off disease. Leaves of individual plants should not touch. This isn't always possible, but you should try to give each plant breathing room.

Mist the Leaves

Spray your plants frequently with a fine mist of tepid water. Mist both the tops and bottoms of leaves in the morning so that plants have a chance to dry during the day. (Warning: Misting at night encourages disease.) Besides increasing the humidity around plants, spritzing your greenery also helps deter some insects, especially red spider mites.

Create a Pebble Tray

placing black stones around bamboo
Peter Krumhardt

Place an individual plant or group of plants on a tray of wet pebbles to raise the humidity around them. Fill the tray with water until its surface is just below the bottoms of the pots. Don't overwater the plants or the roots may rot.

Nest Two Pots

To give your houseplant a more humid environment, nest its pot inside a larger pot, a technique called double-potting. Fill the gap between the pots with sphagnum moss, then pour water over the moss until it's moist.

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