If you’ve just got into houseplants, you were probably surprised when your first found out that a lot of them needed high humidity levels to survive. While that isn’t really a problem in tropical countries where it’s warm and humid almost 24/7, that ideal climate for houseplants is rare in other parts of the world. Though there are different methods to increase your home’s humidity level to meet the needs of your houseplants, one of the most convenient ways is the use of a humidifier. But do you know what are the best humidifiers for plants?
Since most humidifiers are made for people, there is really no one best plant humidifier to rule them all. What’s best for you might not be the best for other plant collectors, as what’s ideal varies depending on the kinds of plants you’re taking care of, the size of indoor space they are placed in, and several other factors. But if you’re planning on buying plant humidifiers, there are a number of features that you should definitely look for.
The most common houseplants need a 60% humidity level and the one thing you don’t want to do is release too much or not enough moisture into the air, so it’s important that you choose a humidifier with a built-in sensor that automatically adjusts mist temperature output based on the target humidity level you set. One of the best humidifiers with that feature is the Levoit Classic 300S, which was recently named the Best Smart Humidifier at the Popular Mechanics 2021 Home Awards.
A plant humidifier’s moisture output must match the room size it’s in. If you get a small humidifier for large rooms, you won’t likely achieve the desired effect and dispersion level. A large humidifier in small spaces, on the other hand, will just add too much moisture to your plants, which may promote mold and bacteria growth that can cause your plants to die. If your houseplants are placed in a space of 20–47 m² (215—505 ft²), then the Levoit Classic 300S humidifier is a perfect choice for you.
Large water tank capacity
The Levoit Classic 300S humidifier also features a compact 6-liter/1.59-gallon tank that allows the equipment to run uninterrupted for up to 60 hours. If you find frequent water refilling inconvenient, then you may want to get a humidifier with a huge water capacity.
Easy to clean
Like any kind of home appliance, humidifiers for plants defeat their purpose when not cleaned properly. Good thing this Levoit humidifier has a top-fill design that makes cleaning and refilling quick and spill-free.
App and hands-free control
As mentioned above, the Levoit Classic 300S is a smart humidifier. It can be connected to the free VeSync app, which serves as a remote control. If the water level is low or the water tank is lifted, it will send an alert to the app on your smart phone. Like most Levoit smart devices, the Levoit Classic 300S humidifier can also be set up with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant for hands-free control.
Other notable features of the Levoit Classic 300S include an essential oils diffuser and an optional night light, which lets you sleep soundly with its soft glow that can be set to 50%, 100%, or off.
Priced at around $70, the Levoit Classic 300S cool mist humidifier is currently available at Amazon.
Where to place humidifier for plants
Expert plant owners suggest placing your humidifier a few feet away from your plants, preferably in the center of the room. Putting a humidifier too close to the plants could cause too much water to condense on the leaves and soil. And as plant care specialists know, excess moisture on the leaves is an invitation for mold and fungus.
Avoid placing your humidifier near air vents, in direct sunlight, and close to any electronic device. Since humidifiers vaporize water and expel it in the air, placing it near electronic devices can cause short circuits, which in turn can ignite fires.
How often should I use a plant humidifier?
It is recommended to use your plant humidifier every single day to keep your plants healthy and hydrated. But if you feel like the room is too humid, taking a day off won’t harm your plants. But generally speaking, you can run your humidifier for your plants for 3 to 5 hours every day, especially if it’s the only source of adequate moisture in the room.
Do plants need humidity at night?
Yes, plants need humidity at night. In fact, some plants prefer higher humidity levels at night. Relative humidity of less than 75% at night is actually not desirable for certain house plants. This is because, during extended periods of dark weather, plants will shed their roots.
But if you’re being extra cautious, avoid running your plant humidifier too late into the afternoon as it may leave extra moisture in the air overnight, which increases the risk of mold growth or fungus formation.
What plants love humidity?
Most indoor plants from the tropics are moisture-loving plants. The humidity level of the average home’s indoor air is about 40-50%. That is fine for most plants, but many tropical plants like humidity in the 50-75% range. Some of the humidity-loving plants include:
- Air plants
- Ficus, or fig plants
- Hoya, or wax plants
- Spider plants
Are ultrasonic humidifiers good for plants?
There are three main kinds of modern humidifiers that you can get for your plants: warm mist humidifier, evaporative humidifier, and ultrasonic humidifier. All these different types of humidifiers work well for plants and picking one among the three is just a matter of what works best for you as well.
Is an evaporative humidifier good for plants?
For those who don’t know, an evaporative humidifier passes airflow using a fan through a wet wick filter or pad to create water vapor. This is best for a small grow room. Though evaporative humidifiers have a higher noise level than other humidifiers because they use a fan for pushing air, they tend to use less energy than other types.
Warm-mist humidifiers vs cool-mist humidifiers
You can use a warm mist humidifier and a cool mist humidifier for your indoor plants. The biggest difference between the two is that a cool-mist humidifier uses a filter system, which is more energy-friendly than the evaporation method of a warm-mist humidifier. But in general, it doesn’t really matter if your plant humidifier puts out a cool or warm mist.
What kind of water do you use in a plant humidifier?
To ensure that only pure water is being vaporized into your grow room, the best practice is to use filtered water or distilled water in plant humidifiers. The use of distilled water also keeps algae and bacteria from growing in the water tank for longer, meaning you won’t have to clean it as frequently. While tap water can also be used in plant humidifiers, some tap water contains high mineral content that can cause mineral build-up.
How to clean a humidifier
Unplug your humidifier. Fill the base of its water tank with 1 cup of water and 1 cup of white vinegar and leave it to sit for an hour. If your humidifier has a thick mineral build-up, you can soak it in the vinegar solution for several hours or overnight. Vinegar is a natural cleanser that helps loosen any residue. While it is still soaking in the vinegar solution, you can take a soft-bristled brush and scrub off any minerals on the humidifier. Lastly, empty the humidifier and rinse it thoroughly with water.