Most plants require humid air to flourish. Humidity affects a plant’s need for water and the health of its leaves. The tiny pores on the leaves allow gas exchange where water vapour is released and carbon dioxide is absorbed. Under dry conditions, which are typically found in most homes, more water is lost through this process. This will then force the need for more water in the roots to make up the difference, but the plant will never be as vibrant if this is the only way it can hydrate, which is why we need to do a little more to keep them happy.
How to increase humidity
High humidity slows water loss. It can be quite tricky to select the correct humidity for all your indoor plants together; growing indoors is not an exact science but rather a mix of art and tender love and care. You need to trial different things to see what works best, but here are some ground rules you can follow:
- Do not place plants in drafty places such as near aircon and heater units, which could dry them out from either of the extremities of hot or cold. Also, best to avoid placing near doors that may attract sudden gusts of cold or hot air.
- Grouping your plants together helps to create a humid microclimate that will benefit all your plants. When a plant releases moisture through the leaves into the air, it can then be picked up by another plant, which is why keeping them closer will help create this environment.
- Keep a spray bottle filled with water near your plants and spray the plants regularly.
- Try to position your indoor plants in areas that get a combination of good filtered light and decent humidity. Some people choose bathrooms as these areas can get quite humid.
- Purchasing a simple humidifier (you can find something under the $100 AUD mark) which should be sufficient in creating the right setting for your indoor plants. The humidifier is not only good for the plants but also good for your health!
- You can also place a saucer with pebbles and some water under your plants to promote a humid environment. The benefit will be as the water evaporates, it will give off humidity to the plant essentially creating a humid microclimate.
- Crispy brown leaf edges usually indicate that the plant is not getting enough humidity. Trim off the brown tips and increase water frequency and humidity of the area around the plant.