The 7 Best Humidifiers for Plants, and How to Pick the Right One
Incorporating greenery into your space is an excellent way to bring life into your home. But unbeknownst to some plant parents, most houseplants benefit from increased humidity. This is especially the case if you live in a cold, dry climate or have a tropical plant. Sure, you can place your moisture-craving plant in your bathroom so they soak up the steam from your shower, but experts recommend investing in a humidifier to regulate the moisture in your home.
"Humidifiers are an excellent option for plant parents who want to help mimic the natural environment of most plants," Alessia Resta, plant blogger and founder of Apartment Botanist, explains. "They add moisture into the air, allowing for plants to absorb that moisture through their pores. I love using my humidifier daily, as it keeps the plants looking lush; the additional moisture helps when new leaves are unfurling, so they don't get stuck or snap."
Below, explore the best humidifiers for plants and follow along with our expert-led guide to help your indoor plants thrive.
The Best Humidifiers for Plants
- Best Overall: Elechomes 6.5-Liter Top-Fill Humidifier
- Best Budget: Levoit 2.4-Liter Cool Mist Humidifier
- Best Runtime: Levoit 6-Liter Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
- Best for Small Rooms: Pure Enrichment MistAire Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier
- Best Compact: Geniani Portable Cool Mist Humidifier
- Best Warm Mist: Honeywell Filter-Free Warm Moisture Humidifier
- Best Evaporative: Vornado Evaporative Humidifier
How to Tell if Your Plants Need More Humidity
"Many common houseplants are native to tropical rainforest areas, which means they've evolved to thrive in warm, humid air with 80%-plus humidity," says Bloomscape gardening expert Lindsay Pangborn. "In our climate-controlled homes, humidity tends to range between 30% to 60%. Winter is a particularly tough time for plants when indoor humidity averages only 35%, which is less than ideal for some plants."
According to Pangborn, your houseplants have ways of letting you know when they aren't getting enough humidity. "Keep an eye out for the most common signs of low humidity: dry, browning leaf tips, curling or yellowing leaf edges, deformed new leaves, flowers or flower buds falling off prematurely, or leaf drop," she says. "A good rule of thumb: The thinner the plant's leaves, the more humidity it likes. For example, calatheas and money trees love extra humidity, while [snake plants] and cacti can suffer in too humid conditions."
Common Plant Humidifier Questions Answered
Can a plant have too much humidity?
"There is such a thing as too much humidity, especially inside our homes," according to Pangborn. "They've evolved outdoors, where wind keeps fungal issues at bay. In our homes, the combination of too much humidity and not enough airflow can result in a fine, fuzzy mold on the surface of leaves and flowers or black rot developing on leaves or stems." She also notes that too much humidity can result in furniture and floor damage, as well as health-hindering bacteria and mold growth.
Resta adds, "Make sure if you are increasing the humidity that you also balance with airflow. You don't want pooled water on your leaves or plants to be sitting in water. If you are limited with light or affected by the lack of light during the winter, I suggest investing in grow lights."
How long should the humidifier run for? Does this vary by plant?
Determining an optimal runtime depends on several factors, including the type of plants you have, the size of the room, the temperature of the room, and certain airflow characteristics like drafts, fan usage, and the circulation from your radiator or air conditioner. "Aim for an average humidity between 50% to 60% for your humidity-sensitive plants," Pangborn recommends. "The best thing you can do is to get a humidity meter and experiment with how often and how long you need to run your humidifier."
When's the best time to run a humidifier?
"Stick to running your humidifier during the morning and early afternoon only," Pangborn suggests. "It's important to allow any moisture on the leaves to evaporate before night falls." That's because wet leaves can lead to fungal issues that cooler night temperatures encourage.
If you have a humidifier already that you turn on during the cold winter months, you can keep that one going, and opt for one of these if you're trying to keep your tropical plants even happier.
Keep scrolling to explore the best plant humidifiers, and read testimonials from real plant owners.
Best Runtime: Levoit 6-Liter Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
Best Warm Mist: Honeywell Filter-Free Warm Moisture Humidifier
Best Evaporative: Vornado Evaporative Humidifier
Other Ways to Increase Humidity for Plants
A humidifier isn't the only way to boost the moisture levels in your home. Here are some other ways to create a humid environment for your plants, according to Pangborn and Resta.
Group your plants: As plants transpire, or release water vapor from their leaves, the air around them becomes more humid. When plants are grouped, they create a "microclimate by trapping and holding more humid air between them," says Pangborn.
Add a pebble tray: Placing your plant on a tray filled with pebbles and then topped off with water is another way to create a humid microclimate around your plant, according to Pangborn. The pebbles ensure your plant isn't sitting in water, and as the water evaporates, it raises the humidity. Be sure to top off the water in the pebble tray as it evaporates.
Misting: "Misting works in the same way that a humidifier does," Pangborn explains. "To be effective, it must be done very often since the water can evaporate into surrounding dry air quickly."
Make a terrarium: "If a humidifier isn't a possibility, I suggest using cloches and domes to help plants benefit from a more humid environment," Resta says. Keeping them enclosed allows you to create a tailored climate for them to thrive; just remember to water them and alternate their lighting as needed.