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How To Use a Humidifier for Houseplants: Tips to Keep Them Healthy

Houseplant Humidifiers

Keeping your houseplants alive during the winter is not easy. They require special care to keep their leaves green and stay healthy. A humidifier for houseplants can be a helpful tool in this process.

There are many benefits of using a humidifier, but primarily, it helps them retain moisture, which they cannot do on their own as they lack roots and soil that can retain water. 

You may have seen humidifiers in hotels or doctors’ offices, but you probably never thought about why they are there. This device uses water vapor to add moisture to the air around it. Houseplants respond positively to humidity because it helps them grow by retaining moisture in their leaves and stems.

What Is a Humidifier?

A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air in your home. It does this by adding water vapor to the air through a process called evaporation. You can use humidifiers to combat dry air in your home during the winter or in dry climates like Arizona or Nevada.

 They’re most often used to comfort patients with colds or other respiratory illnesses, but they also have benefits for plants. By raising the relative humidity in your home, you can reduce the risk of your plants dropping leaves and curling up as a result of low humidity in your home during winter.

How to Use a Humidifier for Houseplants

Before the winter, you should place your houseplants near the humidifier. This will help them get used to the water vapor in the air and prepare them for when you turn the humidifier on a full swing during the winter. If you live in a warm climate, you can humidify your plants even during the summer.

 The benefit of adding humidity to the air is not necessarily for the plants themselves, but for you and other people who may be in the room. By humidifying the air, you can reduce your risk of skin, nose, and throat irritation from allergens such as pollen, dust, and pet dander. You can help relieve irritation from seasonal allergies by increasing the humidity in your indoor spaces.

8 Ways a Humidifier Helps Your Houseplants

  • It improves the quality of the air you breathe. Humidifiers help remove allergens from the air and improve the quality of the air in your home. If you suffer from seasonal allergies, you can benefit from the added humidity in your indoor spaces.
  • It prevents your soil from drying out. During winter, the air is dry and can suck the moisture out of your potted plants. A humidifier can prevent this.
  • It prevents wilting. If your plant’s leaves start to droop, you probably need to add more moisture.
  • It prevents the growth of fungus. Humidity is essential to keeping fungus at bay, especially if you live in a dry climate or have a heating system that dries out your indoor air.
  • It prevents leaf drops. If the air around your plants is too dry, their leaves will start to shrink and fall off. Having the right humidity level for your plants can prevent this.
  • It supports the plant’s natural process of transpiration. Transpiration is the process by which plants release water vapor through their leaves. A humidifier can help plants retain their water content by increasing the humidity around them.
  • It’s good for the roots. The roots of your plants are usually covered in a layer of soil. This soil helps retain water, feeding the roots. Without it, the roots would quickly dry out. By raising the humidity around your plants, you can help keep the soil around their roots moist.
  • It’s good for the plant’s health. The right humidity level is essential for the well-being of your plants. It’s especially crucial during the winter when the warm air indoors may not be enough to keep them hydrated.

3 Important Tips When Using a Humidifier for Houseplants

  • Research the ideal humidity levels for your plants before you start using a humidifier. You can consult your plant’s tags or do an internet search to find out what humidity level your plants need.
  • Don’t humidify indoor plants that don’t need it. Some houseplants like the peace lily and African violets actually prefer to grow in dry soil and air. If you put those plants near a humidifier, they may get too much water and it will damage their roots.
  • Keep the humidifier clean. Fungus and bacteria can grow in the water reservoir of your humidifier. Because these are living organisms, they need to be periodically cleaned out.

4 Mistakes People Often Make When Using a Humidifier for Houseplants

  • Not reading the instructions. Many humidifiers come with instructions on how to operate them and what kind of settings are best for certain plants. Make sure you read those instructions before you start using the humidifier.
  • Over-humidifying the plants. If your plants start growing mold or you see signs of root rot, you may be putting too much water into the air.
  • Using the wrong type of humidifier. There are several types of humidifiers. Some are meant for indoors, while others are designed for outdoors. Make sure you use the right kind for your plants.
  • Forgetting to clean the humidifier. If you don’t clean your humidifier, bacteria and fungus can grow in it, posing a health risk to anyone who uses the humidifier.


Houseplants help make any space feel alive and more inviting. They can, however, be fussy and finicky. Fortunately, humidifiers can greatly help maintain a houseplant’s health. They do this by adding water vapor to the air around them, which helps them retain moisture.

A humidifier is typically used during the winter when heating systems in the home draw out moisture from the air, which can cause indoor plants to shrivel up and die. You can also use a humidifier during the summer if you live in a warm climate and want to keep your houseplants hydrated.

Written by Chris Buckland

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