Are you the brown thumb in your family who breaks out in a sweat anytime your Aunt Susan buys you a fancy fern or a delicate orchid? If you have trouble growing indoor plants, the real problem may be the poor humidity and not you. The humidity level in the average American home is typically below 30 percent, while the Mayo Clinic recommends families ideally keep the humidity level inside their homes between 30% and 50%.
Even desert plants such as cacti prefer humidity levels of at least 40%. This problem can be particularly noticeable during the winter months when we have the heat turned up, and humidity is low. This is the time of year when your skin might crack and dry while the plants on your window skill start turning crispy brown: you both need a moisturizer. And one of the easiest ways to increase moisture indoors is to buy a quality humidifier for your home.
What Is a Humidifier?
A humidifier pumps extra moisture into your home environment. Most humidifiers use a wicking filter to absorb water from a basin. A fan then blows air through the wet filter releasing either warm or cool mist into your home. However, not all humidifiers use replaceable filter systems.
The Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier 6L generates a silent mist in the air using sound vibrations instead of the filter-and-fan technique. The cool vapor boosts the humidity in your home without changing the room’s temperature or the dangerous risk of burning yourself on hot mist.
The humidifier is self-regulating, meaning its water-vapor output increases or decreases based on your home’s existing humidity. The added moisture pumped into the air can help revitalize your plants and restore your own mood. In addition to absorbing toxins from the air, studies have shown that indoor plants improve concentration and productivity, reduce stress, and boost our spirits.
It is important to fully consider all your choices before purchasing a humidifier and to clean and monitor your humidifier appropriately. Be aware that too much humidity can be harmful to both your family as well as to your plants. You can test the humidity levels in your home by purchasing a hygrometer. This thermometer-looking device, which can be found at any hardware store, measures the amount of moisture in the air.
How Does a Humidifier Work?
Warm-mist humidifiers use a plate to heat water to its boiling point, creating steam. Due to its mechanism, warm-mist humidifiers tend to use more electricity than a cool-mist humidifier, which only needs power to humidify the air as the water stays at room temperature. A cool mist humidifier is a great tool to raise a room’s humidity without increasing the temperature.
Most brands on the market work by utilizing a fan to evaporate water that has been pulled into its system, also called a wick. Wick humidifiers are generally loud but offer multiple fan speeds. Ultrasonic humidifiers are the quietest option you will find, as sound vibrations break water into small particles and disperse them through the air. The gentle hum of ultrasonic humidifiers is very calming to many and can quickly put you to sleep at night. If you decide to buy a cool mist humidifier, check out our humidifiers.
We are one of the top brands on the market producing humidifiers at an affordable price, and our ultrasonic humidifier is no exception. Its sleek, compact body and quietness make it almost unnoticeable in any room. This unit has a 1.6-gallon water tank with strong mist output that lends itself well to larger rooms in your home and can last for 50 straight hours between refills. If the Ultrasonic Cool Mist Humidifier does run out of water, it comes equipped with automatic shut-off to prevent damage to the unit. In addition, its nozzles can be rotated 360 degrees, allowing you to direct the mist at any angle. This product also comes with a two-year replacement guarantee since we are so confident about the quality level of this product.
How Can a Humidifier Help With Plants?
Most homes are too dry for most indoor plants to thrive. You can either choose to grow only plants that can tolerate dryness, such as succulents, or increase the humidity level in your home. If you enjoy growing plants of all kinds, purchasing a humidifier is an obvious solution. Depending on where you live, you may not need to run your humidifier often during the summer months.
However, during the dry winter months, it is best to turn on your humidifier virtually every day, particularly in any room of the house where you have humidity-loving plants. To avoid concerns about the possibility of generating mold, consider placing your humidifier above your plants, perhaps on a small table or shelf, and not directly on the floor. If you decide to run your humidifier on the floor, make sure it is at least 4 to 6 feet away from your plants.
Grouping plants together can also be beneficial since moisture released by one plant can then be picked up by another. In addition to humidity, plants also need good air circulation to avoid disease. Try to give each of your plants its own breathing room so that none of its leaves touch another.
How Do Indoor Plants Benefit Us?
Although growing household plants can be personally enjoyable and even calming, there are other important benefits to having them in your home. Try to name some of the largest sources of air pollution. Your first thoughts probably would include things like manufacturing plants or car exhaust.
As it turns out, indoor air is as much as 30 times more toxic than the air we breathe outside. Indoor air pollutants can include building materials such as newly installed flooring, upholstery, carpeting, furniture made of certain pressed-wood materials, household cleaning products, and even your HVAC system. In addition, most wall paints, rubbers, vinyl, laminates, computer parts, and plastics break down over time and release compounds into the air we breathe. A 1989 study NASA found that certain houseplants improve indoor air quality by filtering out harmful toxins and pollutants such as formaldehyde, benzene, and ammonia.
Household plants absorb these toxins into their roots and surrounding soil, breaking them down into harmless byproducts, and storing them to use later for food. Studies have also shown that indoor plants improve concentration and production by up to 15 percent. As one Chinese proverb says, “All the flowers of all the tomorrows are in the seeds of today.”
Other Tips to Help Your Plants
Make sure to spray your indoor plants frequently with a fine tepid mist on the tops and bottoms of leaves. Be sure to do your misting in the morning so that the plants have a chance to dry during the day. If you mist your household plants during the evening, they will remain wet and are more susceptible to disease.
Remember that some plants require warm humidity while others require cool. This tends to correlate with where they are placed in your home. If you find the areas your plants are located are cooler, you might consider a warm mist humidifier. Likewise, if the spot where your plants are located stays warm, a cool mist humidifier is the key to their happiness. Wondering what level of humidity is the best fit for your philodendron or ficus tree? Here are the ideal humidity levels for most houseplants:
- Orchids: 40-70%
- Ferns: 40-50%
- Most other flowering plants: 40-60%
- Most other vegetative growth plants: 50-70%
It is important to research indoor plant choices and evaluate the lighting levels in your home before you head to the plant nursery. Place your plant near a decent light source, whether it’s natural or artificial light. Make sure your potting soil remains moist but not too wet or too dry. Ensure that the plant pot has adequate drainage holes in the bottom.
If your plant outgrows its original pot, be prepared to plant it in a larger one with additional soil. If your plant is getting too tall or spindly, you can prune it back but go easy. The most common reasons household plants die are either getting too little or too much light, too little or too much water, or being completely neglected. Some of the top choices for indoor plants include:
- Aglaonema: Also known as the Chinese evergreen, this plant’s color variations range from dark green to silver. It tolerates low light and does not grow too quickly.
- Aspidistra: This flowering plant native to Southeast Asia requires little water, needs infrequent attention, and handles low light well.
- Succulents: Because these are desert bloomers, you need to give them bright light.
- Dracaenas: These indoor shrubs come in 120 different varieties. But be careful: They are poisonous if ingested.
- Philodendrons: Probably the most familiar of indoor plants, philodendrons require little sunshine, a light watering, and fertilizer to grow their heart-shaped leaves for years to come.
As you can see, incorporating a quality humidifier into your home won’t just benefit your plants but you as well! This is especially true in low-humidity environments or during the winter when humidity levels are lower. So if you want to take care of your plants and yourself this winter, make sure to get a humidifier before the cold air starts to take its toll.