Humidity! Houseplants absolutely love it. Most of the plants that we love displaying in our homes come from tropical rainforests or jungles. In their natural habitat the humidity levels are much higher than the average UK household. High levels of moisture in the air will prevent your much loved plants from developing brown tips and crispy edges. In the UK the average household humidity levels range from 35%-55%. Most tropical plants prefer humidity of 60-70%. Not only will increasing the humidity in your home benefit your plant but it will also benefit the health of you and your family. A more humid room can help reduce dry skin, sore throats and headaches.
There’s one myth that needs debunking before we begin. Misting your plants will not increase humidity. In fact, some houseplants like Ferns, Alocasia's and Calatheas can be sensitive to water droplets on their foliage which often leads to mould or plant fungus on the leaves. That being said, plants that don’t need high humidity to thrive like Zoe the zz plant may benefit from a light mist to keep her leaves looking fresh. It will not however contribute to increasing the humidity around the plant.
Let’s get started!
Group your plants
Tropical plants release humidity into the environment. By grouping your humidity loving plants together they can help each other out by making the general area around them more humid. As a styling tip, group plants together that have a similar shade and design so they don’t clash. Group Hamish the Boston Fern (Nephrolepis) Maya the Parlour Palm (Chamaedorea) and Eddie the Golden Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) for a finish that will look stylish but also help to increase humidity.
The most effective way to increase humidity is by using a humidifier in a room with your tropical plants. The humidifier shown from Elechomes can be set to turn on when the room's humidity is lower than 60% and will turn off again when the desired level is reached. Furthermore it can be set to run for a select time. Running a humidifier for 1-3 hours in the evening is best because when the central heating is on the air will dry out.
Pebble trays are an easy and quick way to help increase the humidity around your plant. Simply grab a plate or saucer and fill it with pebbles. Then pour water over the pebbles and place your pot on the saucer (still in a decorative pot without drainage holes). The water from the pebbles will evaporate and make the air around your plant more humid. Look for our DIY pebble tray reel on instagram (@pointless_plants).
Place your plants in a bathroom
Placing your humidity loving plants in the bathroom will help with strong bursts of high humidity throughout the day. The plants that would especially benefit from this are Lily the Peace lily (Spathiphyllum) Eddie the Pothos (Epipremnum Aureum) and Hamish the Fern (Nephrolepis) These three plants can occasionally get brown fonds/tips when the air is too dry. A bathroom is a really good alternative to a humidifier provided that the bathroom has natural light.
Dry your laundry near your tropical plants
Another great way to increase humidity is placing your clothes horse in the same room as your humidity loving plants. The moisture from the clothes will evaporate and increase the humidity in the room by 10%.
Use shells for humidity
Place shells on the topsoil of your plant. This works in a similar way to the pebble tray. After you have watered your plant the shells will retain some of this water. Throughout the day the water will evaporate and help with moisture levels around the foliage of the plant.
Place water around your plant
Decorate your space with colourful vases or mason jars filled with water. Place them close to your plants and over time the water will evaporate and help to keep the air around your plant moist and humid.
Hopefully these tips can help keep your space humid and encourage your houseplants to thrive. By far the most effective solution is placing a humidifier close by to the plants that need it the most. These other tricks can help the humidity in your home overall and will not only make your plants happy but benefit your health as well.