There has been an ongoing debate since quite some time between plant experts and enthusiasts regarding how to properly mist indoor plants.
Plant parents and growers like me believe that misting their plants can be beneficial.
On the other hand, informed debate continues about whether misting plants are beneficial or not. Some experts and committed plant collectors are convinced that misting plants actually contribute to pest and disease spread.
The main purpose of misting plants is to increase the humidity levels in their surroundings.
Although some people don’t believe in misting plants, they don’t think misting can actually increase the humidity levels of a plant.
According to their thinking, if plants already exist in a dry environment, misting them will not do much good because the drops of water that land on the leaves will evaporate too fast to benefit the plant at all.
It is true that misting the leaves and the soil provides the necessary moisture for the plant, but misting both the leaves and the soil can also increase the amount of moisture.
In order to avoid going into unnecessary detail, let us discuss which plants should be misted and why. Not all plants in your home need misting.
Tropical and sub-tropical plants that thrive in high humidity can benefit the most by misting.
Tropical plants are hard to maintain in heated and air-conditioned homes, which are usually quite dry. People in dry climates also have a tough time keeping soggy flowers alive. I speak from experience.
Because I see the results and mainly because misting is a grounding and mindful practice for me, I mist my plants despite all the skepticism. During this time I am able to observe my plants closer and pay attention to any problems or trimmings that need to be performed.
People who have plants that tend to have yellow and brown tips, or crisp and brown edges, can greatly benefit from regular misting. Good examples of this would include Peace Lilies, Marantas, and Alocasias.
Symptoms of dehydration are too similar to symptoms of too much water or not enough water: yellow and brown tips and edges.
To date, I’ve discussed only the types of plants that require high levels of humidity and would benefit from misting, but I haven’t discussed the types of plants that do not prefer misting.
As a general rule, all cacti, drought tolerant plants, and most succulents must never be misted!
These plants are not the only ones that enjoy moisture but some plants do not like misting because of the irregular texture of their leaves. Another example is the African Violet.
There are many ways to increase the humidity levels around your plants besides misting!
There are alternative ways, which will be discussed in the following article.
Below is a list of plants that benefit from misting and plants that should not be misted.
This list was compiled based on some research, but mostly based on my own experiences with plants. It is not comprehensive in any way.
PLANTS TO MIST
- Monsteras and other Philodendrons
- Ficus Lyrata, (Fiddle Leaf Fig)
- Norfolk Island Pine
- Spathiphyllum, (Peace Lily)
- Pilea Peperomioides, (Chinese Money)
- Aphelandra, (Zebra Plant)
- Nephthytis, (Arrowhead Plant)
- Alocasia, (African Mask)
- Hoya, (Wax Plant)
- Air Plants
PLANTS NOT TO MIST
- Chlorophytum Comosum, (Spider Plant)
- Any Cacti
- Majority of succulents, but not limited to:
- Aloe Vera
- Crassula Ovata, (Jade Plant)
- Beaucarnea Recurvata, (Ponytail Palm)
- Sansevierias, (Snake Plants)
- Zamiolculcas Zamiifolia, (ZZ Plant)
- Streptocarpus, (African Violet)
WHEN TO MIST
You’d think it would be very easy to advise you to mist your plants every week, because that’s what works for me. But that’s not the case.
Watering accordingly works for me since I adjust my climate accordingly!
Although I have a constant home environment thanks to air conditioning and heating, the humidity varies greatly, and along with it plant watering and misting requirements.
Air conditioning kicks in when it’s hot in the summer, lowering humidity levels in the house drastically; plants need watering once a week and misting twice a week.
It is important to water your plants once a week and mist them twice a week during cold and dry weather in winter.
The humidity in the house stays moderate during the shoulder season, when it’s neither too hot nor too cold; plants barely need watering once a week, more like once every two weeks if I keep up with the misting twice a week for the tropicals.
There’s no standard for how much to apply and when to apply it. It’s all relative to the plant, the location, and the season.
It is easy to tell if a plant needs humidifying; if the top inch of soil feels dry to the touch, you should mist it (or water it, depending on the plant, environment and level of hydration).
Misting plants is not only a means to increase their humidity levels. It is also a much more effective method than overwatering them. Watering your plants too much will cause your plants to die, so just leave the watering can behind and mist them more frequently, covering the leaves as well as the soil surface.
HOW TO MIST
A few important aspects of misting plants are worthwhile mentioning since the practice is not complicated at all;
- Make sure to mist plants in the morning to give them a chance to dry out during the day.
- Make sure that you mist the top and bottom leaves in order to mimic a tropical forest mist.
- Do not use unfiltered or distilled water for the purpose of removing minerals.
- Don’t let drafts enter your greenhouse, whether it’s from heat/air conditioning sources, doors, or windows.
- Feel free to add fertilizer to it throughout the year.
How to increase humidity when you can’t mist, (or if you don’t wish to mist!)
There are situations when you cannot mist your plants, like with African violets, because the fuzzy texture of their leaves will get damaged.
In either case, you should add another strategy on top of misting to really boost humidity around your plants!
The water-filled pebble tray is the perfect solution.
Add enough water to the bottom of a saucer to see through the pebbles and fill the saucer with pebbles.
Make sure the water does not touch the pot when you place your pot on top of the pebbles. You don’t want your roots stagnating in water and eventually rotting!
Additional options for increasing humidity around your plants include:
- The plants should be grouped together.
- I cannot recommend a specific plant humidifier since I do not have one myself.
There are still many recent and interesting articles about Snake Plants..
..as well as other unique information from All Things Gardener..
For further information and other inquiries..
..you can contact us here