What Houseplants Need a Humidifier? (Guide)

All plants require an ideal amount of humidity for healthy growth. Optimum humidity levels facilitate the process of photosynthesis, which allows plants to make their own food for future use.

The conditions inside your home may not be as favorable as those in a greenhouse or outdoors. So, if you are planning to bring houseplants to your home, you must make sure the humidity levels are ideal. One way to guarantee this is by investing in a humidifier.

Here is a list of indoor plants that require a humidifier.

List of houseplants that need a humidifier

1. English Ivy

The English ivy is one of the most common houseplants. This woody vine, evergreen perennial houseplant is very easy to grow and maintain. 

The plant prefers evenly moist and humid environments, which means you have to elevate the humidity levels in your home, particularly during winter, for it to survive and bloom all year round.

2. Fiddle leaf Fig

The fiddle leaf fig is another indoor plant that loves to grow in high humidity. If you reside in an area with a very dry climate and you want to grow this fig, then you have no other choice but to invest in a humidifier. This will help supplement the plant with the extra humidity that it requires.

Taking care of a fiddle leaf fig is not easy since you have to keep the soil around the plant moist most of the time. It also likes plenty of light and this means you may have a hard time keeping it alive during winter.

3. Boston Fern

Nearly all types of ferns love moist and humid environments. The Boston Fern, also known as the Sword Fern, is one of the most popular houseplants due to its easy maintenance. Other than its high humidity requirements, the Boston Fern can thrive in any lighting condition without too much of a fuss.

You should water your fern twice a week to keep the soil moist, particularly during very hot weather.

If you don’t have a humidifier, you can mist the plant in the morning using a spray bottle to keep it moist.

4. Prayer Plant

The prayer plant is a very interesting houseplant that derives its origin from the rainforests of Brazil. This indoor plant got its name from its strikingly beautiful leaves that tend to turn upward every evening as if in prayer.

Like other houseplants in this list, the prayer plant prefers very humid environments, though it can survive in low light conditions relatively well.

The only issue with this plant is that its roots are very shallow, which makes them susceptible to root rot. With this in mind, you should consider using a planting medium such as coco coir for easy drainage and aeration.

I recommend you check our coco coir guide for houseplants.

5. Anthurium Plant

The anthurium plant is available in over 1000 varieties, and it is one of the trickiest houseplants to grow as far as taking care of it is concerned.

They prefer environments with at least 80 percent humidity with temperatures above 55 degrees Fahrenheit, meaning they cannot survive harsh winter seasons. Check What Houseplants Go Dormant In Winter?

Then again, you can only use lukewarm water when misting an anthurium plant since cold water will force the plant into dormancy and prevent it from blooming. Keep in mind that anthurium plants do not like direct sunlight, but this makes them ideal for growing indoors.

6. Peace Lily

The peace lily is another beautiful houseplant that thrives in warm and high humidity environments. With proper care, the plant can live for years while glamming your home and purifying your indoor air. 

What makes this adaptable, tropical perennial popular with growers is the fact that it can tolerate low light and it only requires one watering per week. You should place it under a window away from direct sunlight to help it bloom.

7. African Violets

The African Violets are flowering high humidity houseplants that thrive in moist environments. They are relatively difficult to take care of since they require constantly moist soil and they tend to be picky when it comes to watering. 

You have to find the perfect balance when watering to prevent the soil from becoming soggy. Also, you can only use tepid or lukewarm water to water your African Violets.

Since African Violets are quite hairy, you must never mist these indoor plants. The hairs will retain moisture and as a result, make the plants susceptible to fungi and bacteria, and leave spots on the foliage.

Why houseplants need a humidifier?

High humidity houseplants need a humidifier since the humidity levels in your home might not be adequate to supplement the plant’s requirements. These plants require higher humidity than what your home can provide. 

If you live in an area where the climate is very dry, the plants may not survive no matter how many times you water them. For this reason, investing in a humidifier should be your first priority.

With a humidifier in place, you can control the humidity levels in your home effectively in line with the plant’s needs throughout the different seasons.

Where to place the humidifier for plants?

The position where you place the humidifier is crucial to the survival of high-humidity houseplants.

If the humidifier is too close, it will suck in all the moisture from the air around the area, leaving the plant with nothing to survive on. Conversely, if the humidifier is too far away, the plant will struggle to absorb the moisture that it needs.

Ideally, you should place the humidifier 3-6 feet away from the plant. This range allows the plant to absorb the moisture that it needs while allowing adequate space for it to breathe comfortably.

You do not have to buy a whole-house humidifier to give your plants the extra humidity that they need. Placing your compact humidifier in a good position will do the trick.

How long should you use a humidifier?

The duration that your humidifier should be running depends on the season and the humidity level in your home. In an ideal scenario, you should turn on the humidifier from morning until midday. This will raise your indoor humidity to the required level.

Winter has the lowest level of humidity and this means your humidifier should be running throughout the day, until evening, to maintain the recommended level.

Using a humidity gauge, you can monitor moisture levels and turn on your humidifier accordingly. 

More importantly, you should never turn on the humidifier after the sun goes down. The excess moisture produced won’t be able to evaporate, and it will end up settling on the plant or cause the soil to become soggy.

This will stimulate the growth of harmful mold and make the plant susceptible to root rot.

What kind of humidifier is best for indoor plants?

You have an abundance of options as far as selecting the best humidifier for indoor plants is concerned. The type of humidifier you choose depends on the plants you are growing. 

There are two types of humidifiers:

  1. Cool mist humidifiers
  2. Warm mist humidifiers

Cool mist humidifiers work using evaporative mechanisms or ultrasonic vibrations to disperse a comfortable stream of moisture at room temperature.

Warm mist humidifiers work differently by passing water through an internal heating element before dispersing warm moisture throughout the room.

Cool mist humidifiers are great for most indoor plants. However, some indoor plants like the African violets and anthurium plants require lukewarm moisture rather than cold moisture. This makes a warm mist humidifier ideal for such plants.

Examples of cool mist and warm mist humidifiers you should consider for your indoor plants:

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Other ways to increase humidity for houseplants

Maintaining a warm and humid environment in your home is crucial to the health and survival of your high-humidity indoor plants. Here are a few tips on how to increase and maintain a higher humidity for your plants.

Grouping

Grouping high-humidity plants together in a large container will help increase humidity around them and prevent water loss as the plants transpire.

You can also place the plants in more humid areas inside your house like the bathroom or kitchen.

Humidity Trays

Using humidity trays filled with pebbles and water can help maintain the recommended level of moisture for your indoor plants.

As the water evaporates, it increases the level of humidity. The pebbles hold the plants above the water to ensure they do not become soggy.

Planting Medium

The soil moisture content is also essential for plant growth. High-humidity plants require consistently moisturized soil to ensure they do not die during very dry or cold seasons.

You can maintain the humidity level of the soil by using a planting medium such as coco coir.

Misting

Misting is the least effective way of maintaining humidity as it only moistens the plants for a short while. You should avoid misting hairy plants as this can unnecessarily attract harmful mold and mildew.

Final thoughts

Removing high-humidity plants from their native environments to your indoor space means that you have to cater to their needs to guarantee healthy growth.

Your home might not be humid enough for plants to survive. That’s why investing in a humidifier should be your first priority if you want to keep your plants happy and healthy.