and House Plants
humidity is a measurement of the percentage of moisture
in the air. Many houseplants originate from tropical
regions, and as such are adapted to live in high humidity
levels. Most houseplants have evolved in environments
with humidity levels reaching 80%. However, the average
home environment has only about 30% humidity. In winter
months with home heating systems, the relative humidity
in the home may drop even lower.
With low humidity, plants may not be
able to adequately replace moisture lost through their
leaves through transpiration. One sign of low humidity
induced stress in houseplants is brown tips on leaves.
Tolerance for low humidity varies by individual
species. For instance, some houseplants will do fine
in average home humidity levels. However, other plants
require higher humidity levels for optimum health.
Below are some suggestions for raising
the humidity levels around your houseplants:
- Add a humidifier to the room à
Humidifiers add water to the air, and raise the humidity
in a room. This will make the room more comfortable
for both plants and people. Humidifiers are especially
helpful for the dry winter months.
- Group plants together à Plants
release water from their leaf stomatas during transpiration.
This creates a layer of moist air around a plant,
which can benefit surrounding plants.
- Use a pebble tray à To make
a pebble tray, place plants on top of a tray filled
with pebbles or marbles. Then fill the tray with water,
making sure that the plant rests atop the pebbles
and is not sitting in the water. As the water in the
pebble tray evaporates, it will raise the humidity
level around the plant.
- Mist plants frequently à By
spraying water on the plants leaves with a hand-held
mister, you can temporarily increase the humidity
around plants. But note that the effectiveness of
this method can be debated.
Written by Adrienne Kleintop