Proper Humidity For House Plants

I finally have everything out of the way next to my bedroom window, and my plants are now basking in the light. 

Most house plants do best at a relative humidity of 70 to 80 percent, while a typical home only has around 20 percent.

I know that the air is dry in my apartment, so I have to find ways to keep the plants healthy and thriving.

If you know the region where the plant is from originally, that’s a good clue about how much humidity it requires. For instance: Is it tropical, sub-tropical, etc.

What you can do to increase humidity to accommodate your house plants:

1. Group your plants together

Plants release moisture through their leaves in a process called transpiration. Grouping plants together creates a humid micro-climate that will benefit all your plants.

2. Put the plants in trays with pebbles

This is a popular way to raise humidity immediately around your plants. Use clean trays and put at least an inch of pebbles in each tray, then set the pots on the pebbles. 

Fill the tray with water halfway up the pebbles, but don’t let the pots sit directly in water.

Every time you water your plants, make sure to empty and rinse the tray. This will ensure that the tray doesn’t become a breeding ground for insects, and it will reduce the concentration of fertilizer salts that have accumulated in the tray.

3. Mist your plants

This is another popular method to increase humidity. Keep a misting bottle filled with clean water near your growing area and spray them every so often. 

4. Use a humidifier

The first step for me was grouping my house plants together. I plan to occasionally mist them. 

You can get your house plants through a season of winter with the heat on if you give them the proper amount of humidity to fight the dry air.

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9 Comments

  1. For some reason I just assumed it was quite humid where you live. We have lots of humidity here being on the lake…especially in the warm months of the year. Our plants do quite well here inside and out.
    Have a good night- xo Diana

  2. Your plants look so nice, Brenda. Your tips for increasing moisture are all good ones. I don't really do any of them with mine except I wash the African violets' leaves under warmish water from the faucet every so often. They seem to love it. You read not get water on the leaves but it's only cold water that causes spots. Even if you only water them with cold water they are prone to spots on the leaves. It shock their little tropical roots!

    I 'm tempted to get a room humidifier, too. But keeping them clean and mold-free seems like more work than I want to have right now.

  3. Too little humidity is exactly why it is hard to grow plants in our house, but I certainly make up for it outside, and bring the flowers in. I could grow cactus, and they are pretty, but I don't want them in my house. Poor Esther, my daughter's pug, received many of those stickers into her foot just from our 75 year plus garden cactus, and it swelled up. Fortunately went down with antibiotics and a cream so they didn't have to operate. xoxo Su

  4. My green-thumbed grandma was big on misting. Some plants don't like direct sun, either. I made that mistake with an orchid. It grew and flowered like mad, but the leaves were burned by the sun.

    1. Hi Marty – start with an ivy. They're almost impossible to kill unless you over-water them and even then I think it might be hard!
      You didn't say you didn't know anything about plants though so hope I didn't offend.