Let us try to understand what humidity and transpiration are before knowing whether plants like humidifiers.
Humidity is the amount of water vapor held in the air. Humidity is important for plants to make photosynthesis. So, lesser humidity impacts plant growth.
Transpiration is the loss of water from a plant via leaves, stems, and flowers in the form of water vapor.
When there is a lot of water vapor already present in the air, the rate of water evaporation slows down. So, humidity directly affects transpiration.
Certain plants like Cacti and succulents, which grow in dry areas don’t prefer humid conditions. Whereas tropical plants thrive in humid conditions.
If you are growing tropical plants indoors, you need to provide more humidity which can be achieved using a humidifier.
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Is a humidifier good for plants?
Yes, if the average humidity required for house plants is not sufficient, a humidifier is a good option.
While misting help in increasing the humidity levels in your home, it works only for a short period, maybe about 30 minutes depending on your location and temperature. It may not be feasible for you to mist every 30 minutes.
Although there are some alternate options to increase the humidity apart from misting like using a pebble tray, grouping plants together, placing the plants in the bathroom, or two potted methods, they work only to a certain extent.
Can you use any humidifier for plants?
Let us first look into different types of humidifiers. Then, based on pros and cons, you decide which is better for you.
There are two types of humidifiers namely cool mist humidifiers and warm mist humidifiers.
Cool mist humidifier: Cool mist humidifier does not heat the water first. It pushes it out with a fan or ultrasonic vibrations. This is recommended for warm and dry areas.
There are two main cool mist humidifiers available in the market:
Evaporative humidifier: – Evaporative humidifier uses a fan to circulate humidity. If forces dry air through a wet wick filter and the water evaporates into the air.
- There won’t be any bacterial emissions.
- It uses little electricity.
- It can be noisy.
- You need to change the wick filter every few months depending on usage and water type.
Ultrasonic humidifier: Ultrasonic humidifier has a small metal diaphragm inside that vibrates atomizing water into a fine vapor.
- Generally quiet – no humming whistling or crackling sound
- It uses less electricity.
- No filter necessary.
- It can emit bacteria into the air.
- Requires frequent cleaning.
Warm mist humidifier: Warm mist humidifier heats the water to boiling temperatures and makes a warm mist. They are suited for cool dry areas.
- There are no filters (some units come with an absorption pad that collects mineral deposits and those need to be changed).
- Uses more electricity.
- May pose a burn risk (not recommended for use near babies or toddlers).
Considering the above factors and also based on the room size, you should be able to decide what the best humidifier.
Warm and Cool Mist Humidifier
Dual mist ultrasonic humidifiers provide you the option to enjoy both warm mist and cool mist. You can stay a comfortable whole year with both cool and warm mist settings.
During winter you can choose a warm mist setting and during summer you can change it to a cool mist setting.
There are so many options most of the dual mist humidifiers provide.
- Sleep mode
- Auto shut off
- Timer option
- Remote control
- Alexa & Google Voice Control
- Touch screen
- Child lock
- Aromatherapy function
- Multiple mist level options
- 360-degree nozzle
What size of the humidifier do I need to buy?
It all depends on your room size and where do you want to place the humidifier. If you purchase a larger humidifier for a small room, condensation will be formed on the windows.
You can go for a small humidifier if the room size is 300 – 350 square feet. For room size 350 – 550 square feet, you can go for medium humidifiers, and for larger rooms between 550 square feet to 1000 square feet you can use large humidifiers.
For room size over 1000 square feet, you can choose a Console evaporative humidifier.
When to use a humidifier for plants?
The ideal time to start turning on your humidifier is in the morning. You can continue it till noon so that enough humidity is created for the plants that would last till evening.
You can consider getting a moisture meter or a Hygrometer that will give you an actual humidity level. You can make the right decision based on the readings.
You should avoid turning on the humidifier at night as the water vapor won’t evaporate easily in the absence of sunlight. Due to this, the plants tend to retain excess water. This will lead to the growth of mold and mildew. Also, the plants can become soggy and weak.
Are small humidifiers effective?
Excess moisture is always a problem. How well the moisture is discharged to the full area depends on the home’s size and layout.
For a room size of 300 to 350 square feet, a small humidifier is effective.
Where to place humidifiers for plants?
Usually, 6 feet is the ideal distance for a humidifier for your plant. Humidifiers should be placed at least 6 inches from the wall on a flat surface. Never place the humidifier on a towel or a rug as it can interfere with the fan.
List of plants that require high humidity
- African violet
- Air Plant (Tillandsia)
- Baby’s tear
- Croton plants
- Fiddle Leaf Fig
- Lipstick plant
- Majesty Palm
- Nerve plants
- Peace Lily
- Pitcher Plant
- Prayer plant
- Purple velvet plant
- Snake Plant
- Spider Plant
- Weeping fig