Oh humidity. How our hair loathes you, but how our plants love you. Read on to find the happy medium in your home that will keep your plants and your hair content.
What is humidity?
You know how when it’s really hot outside and it’s also “sticky”? Like the air feels heavy? That’s humidity. It feels sticky and heavy to us because the amount of water vapor in the air (more water vapor in the air = higher humidity) actually hinders the evaporation of sweat from our skin. That’s why it seems that we start sweating profusely by just walking out the door in high humidity.
Why is humidity important for plants?
Plants don’t sweat quite like we do, but they do perspire. You see, just like us, plants have pores, called stoma or stomata, in the epidermis of leaves, stems, and other organs, that facilitates gas exchange for important processes such as transpiration (plant breathing) and photosynthesis (plant making energy from sunlight).
When plants have the right humidity, they live their best life. They can open their stoma completely and breath deeply without excessive water loss. When the air is humid, there is little water lost from the leaf during essential plant processes.
How do I provide humidity for my plants?
Providing humidity for plants is actually quite simple and easy. There are a number of ways you can give your plants the humidity they need:
Keep plants in a humid room in your home, like the bathroom. Check out our recent article on the subject.
Make a humidity tray.
Use a humidifier. You can also place bowls of water over your HVAC vents if you don’t want to shell out for a humidifier, though it is slightly less effective.
Mist your plants. Be aware this will only raise the humidity around the plant temporarily.
Huddle your plants. Read more on Brooklyn Homestead.
What plants need humidity?
Most plants need humid air in order to thrive, with air plants and tropical being the thirstiest. As a general rule, the thinner the leaf, the greater its need for humidity. Thick, leathery, or waxy leaves, or those covered with hair, fuzz or spines, are usually easy to keep happy even with dry air.
What are some of your favorite plants that are hungry for humidity? Share with us in the comments below.