For our indoor plants to thrive, we need to imitate the conditions they have in their natural habitat as much as possible. One of the most important is definitely moisture.
To achieve it, we don’t just water our plants as required, but we also need to be mindful of atmospheric moisture or what is more commonly known as humidity.
There are various ways to give our indoor plants the atmospheric moisture they need; however, nowadays, one of the most practical and efficient methods is a humidifier.
These gadgets don’t just help us breathe healthier air, but also encourage our plants to grow healthy.
Thanks to the tips below, you’ll learn more about humidifiers and be able to choose the best indoor plant humidifier for your needs.
What is an indoor plant humidifier?
Indoor plant humidifiers are devices used to increase the moisture in the air and lower dryness indoors.
They’re used for treatment of skin, nose, throat, and lip dryness and to relieve some cold and flu symptoms. In addition to helping us, they can also help our indoor plants to grow and remain healthy.
How does a plant humidifier work?
Humidifiers actually work quite simply.
They heat up water to a certain temperature, making it water vapor. Then, this vapor is released into our environment, elevating the humidity.
Why is a humidifier a good idea?
Humidifiers help raise the humidity indoors in the right amounts. When this is achieved, your plants will pull as much as moisture they need to survive and grow.
Although you can mist your plants to boost the humidity, surplus moisture on the leaves exposes them to infections.
When should I use an indoor plant humidifier?
If you decide to add a humidifier indoors, make sure you know when to use it. For example, avoid turning it on at night because this increases the risk of plant diseases.
This is because at night, without any sunlight, the water won’t evaporate and the plant will end up retaining a lot of moisture. More moisture means higher risk of bacteria.
It’s best to do it in the morning because they’ll have more time to dry out.
Avoid placing the humidifier in close proximity to your plants or too far. The best placement is around 3 to 6 feet away from the plants.
But, when placing it, also consider the plants’ needs (some may need higher moisture, others lower).
Which plants need humidifiers?
Throughout the years, plants evolved to adjust to their native environment.
For example, in places with high humidity, plants responded by lowering the amount of water which their foliage can retain.
On the other hand, there are epiphytes-plants which absorb as much as water as possible from the environment because they need high humidity levels to stay healthy.
Humidity requirements across different types of plants varies. But, here are some useful general percentages:
- Ferns need around 40 to 50 percent
- Orchids need around 40 to 70 percent
- Most other indoor plants need around 40 to 60 percent
How to determine the humidity levels in your home
The best way to tell how much airborne moisture your indoor plants are enjoying is to use a hygrometer.
These affordable instruments can tell you the humidity levels surrounding your plants so that you can determine whether or not you need to lift humidity with the use of an indoor plant humidifier.
The different types of humidifiers
Generally speaking, humidifiers work in three ways, that is, warm mist, ultra sonic, and evaporative.
- Warm mist
These are the most common models you’ll find. They heat up the water to a certain temperature to make it water vapor. Then, they release the vapor into the environment and increase the humidity.
- Ultra sonic (Cool mist)
This type of humidifier uses a vibration to elevate the rate of evaporation of the water in its tank. Its quality of mist is very fine and almost feathery.
To produce vapor, these humidifiers use airflow. They draw water from the tanks through a cloth or a felt. Then, a fan forces the air over the wet material and this increases the vapor in the air which gives plants the humidity they need.
Cold vs. Warm Mist
Although you may think it’s important if the humidifier releases a cold or a warm mist, actually, it doesn’t. The difference in the temperature is scarcely noticeable.
There’s only one possible advantage of the warm one: they make mist through evaporation so their vapor is purer.
Still, they require more electricity to heat up. On other hand, a cold mist humidifier uses less energy and is able to run longer, reducing your maintenance costs.
How to choose the best indoor plant humidifier for your plants
Knowing that they’re designed for humans, not plants, there are some properties of humidifiers that aren’t suitable for your houseplants. To be able to choose the best one for your plants, consider these factors:
- The design-choose a humidifier with a simpler design; it’s the easiest to maintain because you’ll be using it frequently
- Running time- make sure it has at least 12 hours of run time-the best would be over 24. This is to avoid having to refill it all the time
- Compact size- you don’t want a bulky and hard-to-move-around humidifier that will only make things harder!
- Brand name: choose a well know and trusted brand name that stands by the quality of their products with a warranty
Since most homes have low humidity and most indoor plants need more it to grow healthy, a humidifier is a convenient gadget to consider.
By investing in an indoor plant humidifier for your plants, you’ll help your moisture loving plants feel much more at home by recreating their native environment as best as possible!
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