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How To Use A Humidifier For Plants

Some of the most popular houseplants are native to tropical climates and thrive in high-humidity environments. Your plants may benefit from the use of a humidifier if the air in your home is dry, as it is during the winter months.

A humidifier will provide a more consistent humidity level for your tropical houseplants than misting or using a pebble tray.

A humidifier adds moisture to your home’s atmosphere. A wicking filter is used in most humidifiers to absorb water from a basin. The wet filter is then blown through by a fan, releasing either warm or cool mist into your home.

The humidifier is self-regulating, which means it adjusts its water-vapor output to match the humidity level in your home. The extra moisture pumped into the air can help your plants thrive.

Types Of Humidifier

Warm mist, ultrasonic, and evaporative humidifiers are the three main types available. All three of these options will suffice for your plants; it’s just a matter of deciding which one is best for you.

Warm Mist Humidifiers

Warm mist humidifiers work by heating the water inside the humidifier to a boiling temperature, converting it from a liquid to a vapor.

Only pure water leaves the device due to the way the mist is created. Any minerals in the water are left in the water tank, which reduces the risk of germs or bacteria.

Warm mist humidifiers are quieter than the other two types because they do not use a fan to propel the water vapor. The heating element, on the other hand, consumes more electricity and can be hazardous to curious children and pets.

Ultrasonic Humidifiers

To turn water into vapor, ultrasonic humidifiers do not use a heating element. Instead, they create a cool mist with a vibrating plate.

An ultrasonic humidifier has a higher risk of bacterial buildup due to the lack of a heating element. Anything dissolved in the water will also be carried away by the mist.

When using an ultrasonic humidifier, it is always recommended to use filtered or distilled water.

Evaporative Humidifiers

Evaporative humidifiers, like Ultrasonic humidifiers, produce a cool mist. It is, however, made in a unique way. There is a filtering wick in this type that absorbs water from the tank.

The water evaporates into the air as a result of a fan blowing over the wick. This produces a vapor that is imperceptible to the naked eye.

Although the fan may be a little noisy, this humidifier is nice because it filters the water as it works. Additionally, there is no risk of being burned by a heating element.

It is impossible for evaporative humidifiers to oversaturate the air. No matter how hard the fan blows, if the air already has enough moisture, the water will simply not leave the wick due to physics and chemistry principles. This is especially useful for people who forget to turn off their humidifiers.

To avoid bacterial buildup, make sure to replace the wick on a regular basis.

When Should You Use A Humidifier

Let’s take a look at when you should use a humidifier on your plants. 

The best time to use a humidifier with houseplants is between 7 a.m. and 12 p.m. or when the room humidity falls below 40%.

The best time to run a humidifier for your plants is between sunrise and midday in the morning. You can turn it on before breakfast and then turn it off by lunchtime. This will give your plants plenty of humidity.

If your humidity level is still low, you can leave the humidifier on for a little longer in the afternoon.

Don’t run it late in the evening or at night when the sun has gone down. Your plants’ natural transpiration process will be hampered if there is too much moisture in the air at night.

Ideal Humidity Range

Different plants prefer different humidity levels to thrive in. Use a hygrometer to check the relative humidity in your home to see if it is within the proper range.

If the humidity level falls below 40%, you’ll need to turn on the humidifier for the plants. You can turn off the humidifier once the air reaches a humidity level of over 65 percent.

Season and Weather

Every location has its own unique climate, but humidity levels are generally higher in the summer and very low in the winter. Warmer air can hold more water vapor, whereas cooler air can’t hold nearly as much.

Because of the cold, there is less ambient moisture in the winter, and then heating the air in the home lowers the relative humidity.

In the winter, when the air is dry, and in the summer, if you live in a low-humidity climate, you should run a humidifier for your plants.

Where To Place

It depends on the humidifier’s range, but as a general rule, we recommend keeping the humidifier in the same room as your plants. If your humidifier has a low range, bring it closer to the plants, but not too close, or the leaves will become too wet.

Try placing the humidifier between 3 and 5 feet away and see how it works. 

If you have a hygrometer, you can place it next to the plant to get a better idea of how much it is assisting. If necessary, you can always move the humidifier closer.

How Does a Humidifier Help Plants

Most indoor plants cannot thrive in most homes because they are too dry. You can either grow only plants that can withstand dry conditions, such as succulents, or you can raise the humidity level in your home.

Purchasing a humidifier is an obvious solution if you enjoy growing plants of all kinds. During the summer, you may not need to run your humidifier as often as you would in the winter, depending on where you live.

During the dry winter months, however, it is best to use your humidifier almost every day, especially in any room of the house with humidity-loving plants.

Consider placing your humidifier above your plants, perhaps on a small table or shelf, rather than directly on the floor, to avoid concerns about mold.

Make sure your humidifier is at least 4 to 6 feet away from your plants if you decide to run it on the floor. Plants can benefit from being grouped together because moisture released by one plant can be picked up by another.

Plants require good air circulation in addition to humidity to avoid disease. Try to give each of your plants enough space to breathe so that none of their leaves touch.

Make Your Own Humidifier

If you don’t want to buy a humidifier, you can make one yourself, though it won’t be as effective as an electric humidifier. All you’ll need is a tray, some pebbles, and some water.

Fill the tray halfway with pebbles, then top it off with water until the pebbles are just visible above the water’s surface. After that, you can set your plant pots on the pebbles.

Your plants won’t drown because their roots won’t touch the water, but as the water evaporates from the tray, it will provide a cool mist around the leaves. This is a simple and inexpensive humidifier that you can make in a matter of minutes.

Simply refill the tray when the water level falls low, and your plants will be constantly misted. When the room temperature drops at night, evaporation slows down but speeds up again in the morning.

This isn’t the same as using a swish humidifier, but it’s a quick and inexpensive way to keep your plants moist.

You can also raise humidity levels by grouping your plants together, as most of them produce small amounts of humidity and this helps to trap and keep it close to the plants. A humidifying tray placed beneath them will enhance this benefit.

Another way to provide humidity to your plants is to mist them with a fine plant mister every now and then.

Final Verdict

It’s crucial to keep the humidifier’s water supply running until the plants are completely hydrated. This will prevent mildew from growing on the plant’s leaves and stems.

Because of the constant moisture supply and evaporation from the water used to keep the water supply running, most indoor plants use humidifiers. It aids in the development of a strong root system, which increases their longevity.


Q. Can you use tap water in a humidifier?

A: For most humidifiers, tap water will suffice. Water vapor does not need to be distilled or purified before it can be safely dispersed into the air.

Q. What is the ideal distance between a humidifier and a plant?

A: The ideal distance between a humidifier and a plant is 4 to 6 feet.

Q. Is too much humidity bad for plants?

A: A plant cannot make water evaporate or draw nutrients from the soil when relative humidity levels are too high or there is a lack of air circulation.

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