Plants need a perfect environment to grow and thrive without issues. This includes maintaining an ideal temperature, moisture, soil condition, and so on. Therefore, one of the most important aspects of indoor gardening is maintaining an ideal humidity for indoor plants. Although many indoor plants can survive in the average humidity level of most homes, many of our favorite indoor plants have their natural habitats in the tropical or subtropical environment. This means they flourish more in the loamy and very humid underbrush of a large forest. This type of natural habitat means the average home may not be an ideal space for them to grow. However, it is possible to alter some indoor conditions to replicate their ideal environment to ensure that they grow and thrive.
What Is Humidity Level?
One of the biggest issues people experience with indoor gardening is knowing how to maintain an ideal humidity level for their plants. Because of this many plants will have to endure weeks or even months in a home where the humidity is either higher or lower than the ideal condition for them. However, a conscious gardener will know the ideal humidity level for their indoor plants and take care of their needs by rectifying indoor humidity levels to suit the plants’ exact needs.
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air. The exact way this water vapor is measured is in terms of relative humidity, which is the percentage of water vapor present in a volume of air relative to the total amount of moisture it can hold without forming rain or fog. The relative humidity of any space has a major impact on the comfort level of plants, animals, and even humans living in that space.
The relative humidity of air depends on several factors, especially the temperature. Basically, the hot air with a small amount of water vapor has lower humidity, while colder air with a high amount of water vapor is said to have higher humidity. Different plants have varying needs as far as the humidity level is concerned.
However, the general recommendation for the ideal humidity level for indoor plants is between 40 to 60%. This is much higher than the average humidity levels in most homes, especially during the winter months, where the air tends to get dried out due to efforts to heat the air with furnaces and fireplaces. A humidity level that is less than optimal can lead to browning of the plants’ leaf edges and the leaves may begin to yellow. The Plants may also wilt as the foliage becomes dry, crispy, and may eventually die.
Therefore, you must make efforts to measure the humidity level in your home (especially in your plants’ room) and take steps to increase the humidity so that your plant is not affected by low indoor humidity.
How Can You Monitor The Humidity Level In Your Plant Room?
A hygrometer (also commonly called a humidistat) is the instrument used to measure the humidity level in any space. This instrument can measure the exact amount of water vapor present in the air taking into account the temperature. They are a common sight in nurseries and indoor plant rooms.
In the past, hygrometers used to be quite rudimentary and their accuracy was quite questionable. These days there are many digital units that are battery-powered and are a lot easier to use. They do not need any extra independence calibration and they can deliver to a high degree of accuracy with an error margin of between 1% – 3% depending on the quality of the product. You simply have to place the hygrometer in the room whose humidity you intend to measure and it’ll deliver an accurate measurement. The summary chart below would be of a great help.
How To Increase Plants Room Humidity Level If Discovered To Be Low?
Measuring the humidity level in your home using a hygrometer is a great place to start. However, what do you do if your hygrometer measurements show that the relative humidity is lower than the ideal recommendation for your plants? Fortunately, there are several steps you can take to adjust the humidity level in your indoor space. This includes the following:
1. Mist your plants:
A very common and simple method of ensuring indoor plants get the humidity they need is by spraying them with mist. You can spray them with tepid water using a fine mist spray bottle. This is sufficient enough to temporarily raise the amount of air moisture around the plant. However, this is not recommended for all plants. Some plants such as the African Violets, Purple Heart, Stretocarpella, and so on have hairy leaves and this hair will hold water which may arbor certain pests and diseases. However, misting is an effective way of raising humidity for plants with non-hair leaves.
2. Grouping plants to create a microclimate:
Another simple strategy to raise humidity is by grouping the plants. Placing your plants together in a group creates a sort of microclimate that acts in a similar way to forest plants. The plants will trap the air and create a pocket of humidity between them. This helps them thrive better than they would have done if they are placed singly.
3. Use pebble trays:
You can purchase a pebble tray or make yours at home. To do this, place a layer of pebbles in a tray (at least an inch of pebbles) then set your pot of plant on the pebbles. Fill the tray with water (about halfway). As the water in the pebbles evaporates, it will increase the moisture around your plant.
4. Place plants in more humid rooms:
If you don’t want to invest in any technology or make extra efforts to control humidity, you can simply take advantage of natural processes by placing your plant in rooms that are already very humid, such as your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry rooms. These rooms already have a lot of natural humidity, and you don’t have to alter anything.
5. Use a humidifier:
Perhaps the most effective way to increase humidity in a room is to use a humidifier. This is a device that is designed to increase the amount of water vapor present in the air. There are different types, sizes, and models of this device ranging from whole house units to portable table-top models, all of which are designed to add extra humidity to your home, especially during the winter season when the air tends to be drier. Some modern humidifiers even allow you to set an exact humidity depending on your preferences and the needs of your plants.
Some important humidifier recommendation for your plant room are:
- >>TaoTronics Humidifier for Large Bedroom
- >>Proscenic 808C Humidifier
- >>GENIANI Top Fill Cool Mist Humidifier
- >>Homech Cool Mist Humidifier
- >>TaoTronics 4L Cool Mist Ultrasonic Humidifier
A typical home has a low humidity level. But many houseplants tend to prefer a more humid environment that is more similar to their natural habitat in the jungle. Measuring the humidity level and making efforts to increase the humidity in your home, especially during the cold, and dry winter months is key to achieving an ideal humidity for indoor plants to ensure that they can grow and thrive properly. Follow the tips recommended here to ensure that your plant grows strong and healthy.
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