There are a lot of factors that go into growing your own indoor jungle. An important one is humidity. A lot of the houseplants we own originate from tropical places with a lot of humidity, so it can be beneficial to mimic this in your house. However, plants release their own humidity as a by-product of photosynthesis, so you might also want to lessen the moisture in your home. This article will take you through how to manage your indoor humidity, whether it needs to be increased or decreased.
First, let’s talk about lowering the humidity levels in your home. Too much moisture can lead to unpleasant – and hazardous – things like dampness and mould. If this is something you’re worried about, here are some ways to decrease the humidity in your home.
Getting a dehumidifier is the most common way to do this. It will draw out moisture from the air, lowering the relative humidity. The dehumidifier will have some kind of water tank that will need to be emptied every now and then. Looking at the amount of water that’s been collected is a great way of seeing how effective the dehumidifier has been in removing moisture from the air.
Having additional ventilation helps to keep the air moving and remove extra moisture. Here are some ways to improve ventilation in your home:
- Have your windows open whenever possible
- Use extractor fans in your kitchen and bathroom
- Leave doors between rooms open when you can
- Use fans or air conditioners
Spread your plants out
As plants release water vapour, having a lot of them in groups indoors can raise the humidity in your home. If the plants can handle the conditions outdoors, we recommend moving them outside – mostly just for the warmer months. When it’s colder outside, the air in your home will be drier, and the plants may no longer tolerate being outside – this is when you should bring them back in.
If your plants are sensitive to temperature changes, try moving them away from each other rather than putting them outside. If they’re more spread out around your home, they will produce a less intense humidity than if they’re grouped together.
Having dry air in your home can be bad for the health of both you and your plants. Here are some ways you can increase the humidity in your air.
The most obvious method is a humidifier. These are often recommended to get some added moisture in the air for tropical plants. Humidifiers have a tank to be filled with water, which is then released as water vapour into the air. This increases your indoor humidity. If you have humidity-loving plants, placing a humidifier near them can be great for their health.
Using pebble trays is a quick and easy way to raise the humidity for your plants. Take a plastic or terracotta tray – the kind you place under plant pots – and fill it with a layer of pebbles. Then partly fill the tray with water so the pebbles are sticking out of the top. Placing a plant on top of the tray will give it some extra humidity, with the pebbles propping it up so it’s not sitting in water. As the water evaporates, it will release moisture into the air and give your plant a boost.
Grouping plants together
Considering spreading plants out will lower humidity, the opposite happens when you group them together. As they photosynthesise and release water vapour, the plants will be producing their own humidity and helping out the plants around them. Having more plants in one area helps to make this process more effective.
Spray bottles and misters
A quick and easy way to get more humidity to your plants is by spraying the leaves with water. Not only can you use them on your plants, but you can also spray water into the air around your home to increase the indoor humidity. The water will evaporate quickly and raise the moisture levels in the air. The same will happen when you spray leaves directly, but the plants also benefit from brief direct contact with the water.
Managing the humidity levels in your home is really important for your health and the health of your plants. These tips can help you to increase or decrease the moisture levels in the air, depending on your needs. Click here to keep reading about houseplant care.