How Often Should I Use a Humidifier For My Plants?

A humidifier is great for humidity loving plants, especially in the winter. But it can be confusing how long you should run your humidifier?

You should use your humidifier for your plants 3 to 5 hours every day. Monitor the humidity levels so that they don’t go over the recommended 60%. If the humidity levels are already high, there is no need to run your humidifier.

If you’re wondering how to best use a humidifier for your plants, then you can find all that below.

Let’s get started.

Why do Houseplants Require a Humidifier?

Many houseplants require high moisture in the air to thrive.

Without this moisture, they will not be able to feed themselves and will end up dying.

Elephant’s ear, Anthurium, and Bird of Paradise are some examples of indoor plants that require high humidity to live.

Most plants will enjoy a humidity range from 40-60% while the optimal level for humidity inside of a home is around 30-50%.

These levels can change though depending on preference, and the humidity levels in your home will fluctuate during the differing seasons.

Some plants also require higher humidity levels than are available in your home.

As they are naturally surrounded by high humidity levels in the wild, they also require the same humidity levels to stay hydrated.

Instead of the plants absorbing water through their root system, they absorb water through the environment.

Succulents and cacti are indoor plants that don’t require a humidifier as they store water in their leaves for storage.

While a humidifier is required for some indoor plants, not all indoor plants will require a humidifier.

Best Practices For Plant Humidifiers

1. Monitor the humidity levels

If you find that the relative humidity level is below 40%, then you should turn on your humidifier for your plants.

If the relative humidity level is above 80%, then you want to turn your humidifier off.

The best way to measure the humidity levels is by using a hygrometer.

They are inexpensive and a great way to monitor not only the humidity levels for your plants but for your home as well.

You may find that during the summer you don’t need to use a humidifier.

Too much humidity can also be a problem for tropical plants, so always make sure to monitor the humidity levels and don’t make any guesses.

2. Place your humidifier correctly

Depending on the type of humidifier you have is important for placing it properly:

Cool mist humidifier

A cool mist humidifier should be placed in an elevated area while giving the mist enough room so that the water evaporates into the air.

Otherwise, you’ll get the water on your plants and it won’t be able to increase the humidity in your room.

Warm mist humidifier

One downside of a warm mist humidifier is that it boils water, unlike its cool mist counterpart.

For this reason, you want to put it in a place where it isn’t in danger of being knocked over by anyone passing by.

Give warm mist humidifiers enough space to properly disperse the mist throughout the air.

Ultrasonic humidifier

Ultrasonic humidifiers also need to be raised off the ground, otherwise, the water will end up on the floor resulting in a mess.

Give your humidifier enough space from your plants so that the indoor air can become saturated with humidity and let your plants grow.

3. Only use distilled water

Only use distilled water in your humidifier for your plants.

It’s going to prevent any “White dust” from collecting in your room.

Some people recommend also putting in filtered water, but if you’re going to be breathing in the air, then you should only be using distilled water no matter if you have a warm or cold mist humidifier.

4. Clean your humidifier often

Clean your humidifier once every week with vinegar, baking soda, or white vinegar.

While distilled water is clean, it may end up being contaminated by the water tank of your humidifier.

For this reason, it’s best to clean it every week and let it air dry before using it again.

Do not leave any cleaning agents in the water tank. Proper cleanings will prevent mold and any smells that may occur.

5. Use your humidifier in the morning

By running your humidifier for a few hours in the morning, you allow your plants to fully absorb the moisture in the air.

If you run your humidifier at night, it may lead to your plants not absorbing as much moisture and result in mold growth.

Can a Humidifier Kill My Plants?

Just like high humidity can be harmful to humans, high humidity can kill plants.

If you aren’t using distilled water, you may also run into issues with the high mineral content in the water like magnesium and calcium.

You’ll also find that eventually, these minerals will start to dry on your plants leaving a dry crust and potentially harming them.

For best practice, monitor the humidity levels in your home with a hygrometer.

If you have plants that don’t like high humidity, then separate them in a different environment so they can flourish on their own.

Each plant will be different, so do some research into the plants that you own and find out if you need a plant humidifier or not.

How to Choose the Best Humidifier for Your Plants

With cool mist, warm mist, and ultrasonic humidifiers it can be hard to decide which is right for your plant.

Cool mist humidifiers are going to be a safer option as they don’t boil water to increase humidity levels.

You’ll also want to look for a humidifier that has humidity sensors so that it can shut itself off when your desired humidity levels have been achieved.

Remember, too much moisture in the air can lead to your plants dying, so it’s important to monitor the humidity in your home.

For these reasons, that’s why I recommend this humidifier for plants:

LEVOIT Humidifiers for Bedroom Large Room Home
  • Essential oil diffuser
  • Built in humidity monitor
  • Nightlight
  • Quiet
  • Cool mist

It comes with a 6-liter tank, which will be much less maintenance than smaller humidifiers in this price range.

The price is affordable and you also get a 2-year warranty too!

What I like most is that you won’t need to buy a hygrometer, it has a built in humidity sensor.

You won’t have to monitor your humidity levels, just set it and forget it.

The smart features are cool as well allowing you to control the unit with Alexa and integrate it into your smart home system.

It’s also ultrasonic, doesn’t use boiling water and is lightweight, and won’t take up a lot of space.

With it having such raving reviews, amazing features, and a 2 year warranty, this is the best plant humidifier I could find.

Final Thoughts

Most houseplants will require that you maintain a relative humidity of around 40-60%.

During the winter months, you may need to run your humidifier for 3-5 hours depending on how low the humidity levels are in your room.

If you’re purchasing a humidifier for your plants, a cool-mist humidifier is the way to go.

You will be able to take care of the dry air and replicate a tropical climate all way staying safe without any boiling water.

About Roy Cohen

Roy Cohen has a burning passion for heating, cooling, and ventilation. He aims to help you save money on expensive repairs and bring you the best HVAC products. He has years of experience behind him in HVAC repair and garage maintenance.

You can find Roy at his LinkedIn or his email: [email protected]

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