It’s widely known that there are two types of houseplant keepers in the world – those who mist and those who don’t. And believe it or not, this is an issue of hot contention. Mist advocates argue that houseplants from tropical climates thrive in mist, since humid climates love humidity; Mist opponents argue that misting does not result in an increase in humidity and, in fact, may cause pests and disease transmission.
Should you mist your houseplants?
The truth is that misting plants can be controversial, and there are people who claim that misting makes them feel humid. Others argue that because you mist the leaves and the water evaporates immediately, it does not have any effect on the plants long term. Even temporarily, it can be beneficial to optimize humidity levels for your houseplants, since most plants (especially ones native to wet and tropical regions) prefer higher levels of humidity than what would be found in a typical home. It’s not always necessary to mist the air around your plant, but getting closer might be beneficial to give it a nice dose of moisture.
Misting foliage provides a bit of humidity without spraying directly onto leaves, and it helps oxygenate the soil, as well. Additionally, she adds, misters can be really helpful during summer, especially during growing season. As the leaves unfurl, a mister is the perfect tool to have handy. I like misting my plants whenever I see them unfurl in order to give them a bit of a humidity boost. You can use misting to get close to your plants and make sure they are getting the water they need. Make sure to check the soil moisture and observe the leaves to ensure they are healthy.
Many popular houseplants come from tropical jungles with moist air and flourish when the humidity is between 30 and 40 percent. Most homes, however, have drier air, and adding some moisture can help them grow. A plant that has leaves curling up, yellowing, and with brown edges and tips may be experiencing a lack of humidity.
Some plants don’t need extra moisture, but here are some that love it: Zebra plant (Aphelandra squarrosa), anthurium, orchids, fittonia, palms, African violet (but see next point), ferns, philodendrons, spathiphyllum, corn plant (Draceana fragrans ‘Massangeana’), ctenanthe, banana, schefflera, arrowhead plant (Syngonium), pilea, caladium, croton (Codiaeum) and begonia.
Do not mist plants with fuzzy leaves, like African violets and piggyback plants (Tolmiea) – water on their leaves will lead to permanent spotting. Here you can use a humidity tray. Fill a tray, plate, or bowl with pebbles, river stones, et cetera and fill with water just below the top. Place the plant on top, being sure that the water isn’t touching the pot.Also, don’t mist plants that don’t require a lot of moisture, like succulents, dragon tree (Draceana marginata), fiddle leaf fig (Ficus lyrata), yucca, pothos, ponytail plant (Beaucarnea recurvata), cissus and spider plant.
How to mist?
Make sure the leaves have a chance to dry out during the day by misting them with tepid water in the morning.
It should appear as if there has been a light dew on the leaves, their tops and undersides.
While some plants will need misting every day, others can come out when the mist is needed twice a week.
The best place for plants that need moist conditions is away from drafts, windows, doors, and heating and air conditioning units.
Group your plants
Plants can also be brought together to create humidity for one another by huddling together. If the plants have enough room between them, they can be placed together, provided they have enough space for air circulation. Alternatively, you can group large and small plants together.
A gentle shower in the bathroom or when outside with a hose along with misting your plants can also be helpful to keep spider mites away from the leaves.
Also, plants that love moisture thrive in a bathroom (provided they have proper light).
How often to mist your plants?
A misting depends on a number of factors, such as humidity, when the plant was last watered, etc. However, crisp leaves indicate a plant could benefit from one.
I recommend misting more frequently throughout the day if you notice some of your foliage is becoming crisp. Getting a humidifier, dome, or dome-shaped air conditioner may also help maintain a more consistent humidity level. Once every two days, mist the plant. Keep track of how it responds, then you can determine whether it needs more or less humidity. Make sure you don’t only mist the leaves; get as close as possible to the soil.
It is possible to overmist?
It is always forbidden to overdo anything, including repeatedly dousing your plants with moisture, so avoid overdoing it. You want to be cautious about how much water may be gathering on your leaves’ surface. In areas that are too wet, fungi can form and damage foliage as well as drawing pests to your plants. That is not what anyone wants!
Other ways to raise humidity
There are many ways to make your plants’ air more humid, including placing a humidifier near plants you suspect need more moisture. If you don’t have a humidifier, there are ways to make the air more humid wherever you are. Grouping plants together in clusters can create a humid microclimate that’s ideal for indoor plants. Their transpiration increases the humidity in the area. I do this every time I go on vacation, and I am always amazed at how happy my plants are when I return. You can also put your plants on a tray of pebbles with water filled to the top of the pebble line. The surrounding environment is also more humid since the plant is covered.
Despite its importance to plant care, misting plants is not the most important part of your routine. It encourages you to feel connected with your plant friends and provide them with extra moisture. Misting may not work for plants that don’t like it, but most plants should be fine once they’re misted. Happy misting!