Do your plants suffer from browning or wilting leaves? Chances are the air in your home is too dry. Here are five easy ways to increase the humidity for your plants.
Plants are a tropical species. As such they love warm, humid environments. Humidity is the amount of water vapor present in the air. In tropical spheres, air humidity typically runs in the 60-65 percent range. In northern hemispheres, especially in winter in closed, heated rooms, humidity rarely reaches 30 percent. This not only dries out your skin, but also presents a serious challenge for the health of our plants.
Plants lose humidity in photosynthesis
All plant leaves have numerous, tiny pores, so-called Stomata. Through the Stomata, and with the help of chloroplasts chloroplasts are tiny oganic cells which capture the energy from sunlight, convert and store it – similar to our blood cells
, plants extract the carbon dioxide from the air to feed themselves. During this process, the plant combines carbon dioxide with water which allows the plant to take what it needs for food. The plant uses sunlight as energy to perform this chemical reaction, which ends with the exhalation of CO2 in the photosynthesis. But they also transpire water in the process. And the dryer the air in their environment, the more water they “sweat”. This means that the water will need to be replaced, either by watering more frequently or to increase humidity by other means. A lack of humidity can dehydrate the chloroplasts, leading to the plant eventually wilting and ding.
Humid environments also help plants to absorb airborne nutrients from the atmosphere, which in the tropical forest often evaporate from the soil surface.
Creating a humid environment – easy solutions for every budget
Creating a humid environment in your home doesn’t just benefit your plants. It also keeps you skin moist and reduces the transmission of airborne diseases. And it doesn’t need to be expensive. Here are five easy and fun solutions for every budget.
Throw a Pool Party!
Many plants love a regular drizzle. Just put your plants under the shower for a few minutes, rinse both sides of the leaves, drenching the soil until water flows freely out of the bottom of the pots. Important: always make sure your pots have drainage holes.
Prepare a Pebble Tray
Fill a plate or tray with pebbles and cover them with water. The tray should be wider than the plant, so that the pebbles keep the plant up and out of the water. Make sure the water doesn’t reach up to the drainage holes. As the water in the pebbles evaporates, it creates humidity for the plants.
If you use a ceramic or clay tray, make sure it is sealed, or you’ll get unseemly water spots on the surface underneath!
The easiest way to create humidity for your houseplants is daily misting with a spray bottle. However, it’s also the most controversial. There is no scientific evidence that it makes a significant difference in terms of increasing the humidity in the air. For it to work, you would need to make misting a habit and spray at least every other day. Nevertheless, it doesn’t do any harm, gives you a good feeling and keeps your plants dust-free and shiny.
Misting is not recommended for plants with fuzzy leaves.
Huddle your plants
Remember what we said about plants transpiring water? While the transpiration doesn’t help the plant itself, it can help others. If you huddle plants together in a corner of your house or room, they can create a beneficial humid microclimate for each other. And it looks pretty, too! 🙂
Get a humidifier
A small humidifier can do wonders in terms of increasing the humidity in a single room, thus helping your houseplants. Though the humidifier is the most effective tool, it is also the most expensive. Still, it might be worth getting, since it will benefit plants and humans alike.