Pothos aka devil’s ivy being a tropical plant prefers a warm and humid climate. Humidity plays a vital role in the growth of such plants; thus, some people often suggest misting your pothos to raise the humidity level. But does pothos like to be misted? Or is it just a myth? Let’s find out!
You shouldn’t mist your pothos as misting raises the humidity level for a short span of time, which is not beneficial for your pothos. On the other hand, the chances of pest infestation and fungal diseases increase drastically. Instead, you can consider adding a humidifier or moss pole to raise the humidity level.
Maintaining the right humidity level is crucial for most tropical houseplants. You can use a hygrometer to measure the relative humidity of your home.
Pothos thrives when the humidity level is at least 50% or more. If you beleive that your living environment is on the dry side, consider adding some humidity to the environment.
Keep reading till the end to find out some practical ways to do it, and we shall also bust some myths about misting your pothos.
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Should I mist my pothos?
You can mist your pothos occasionally, but if you live in an area with an arid climate, then misting alone will not help.
In fact, if you live in an area where the humidity level is above 60% and air circulation is poor, you may end up with leaf damage and pest problems in your plant as water doesn’t move around much and stays in the leaves for longer period of time.
I reached out to different houseplant communities to get some expert opinion, but what I heard back was not something I was expecting.
People on the thread were divided into two groups. One was pro-misting, and others were against it. I have tried presenting their thoughts on the table below:
|Helps with humidity||Humidity last’s for just a few minutes and doesn’t help much.|
|Helps clean the foliage and leaves||Can spread pests and diseases|
|Misting with a mix of neem oil can help prevent pest infestation||Misting can lead to leaf damage.|
After listening to the mind of different people and doing some of my own research, I found that misting your plant to raise the humidity level doesn’t always work as we thought it does.
In fact, if you want to increase the humidity and reach the optimum point, you need to mist your plant every few minutes, which doesn’t make sense at all. Thus, we need to find better alternatives and that’s what we will discuss below.
Also read: How often should you water your pothos?
Do pothos like humidity?
Pothos are naturally found in tropical and subtropical forests worldwide. They grow and thrive in a warm and humid environment.
Thus, even when we bring them indoors, a warm and humid climate would be ideal for them to succeed.
Humidity is a crucial factor, especially when we are growing these plants indoors under a limited and controlled environment.
But why is all this so important, and why is humidity such a major concern? Let’s dive into the basics to understand it simply.
Plants use humidity as an indicator to transpire. Now, what does that mean, and how does it work? Let’s simplify this.
Plants have their stomata below the leaves surface. They use these small holes to exchange air from the environment.
If the humidity level is too low, the plant doesn’t open up their holes as they will lose a lot of water. So, in order to conserve water, they don’t transpire.
It affects the process of photosynthesis, leading to poor growth and will affect your plant health.
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How to check humidity level of your room?
The most reliable and straightforward way to check the humidity of your room is by using a hygrometer. It is a small portable device that can measure the relative humidity of the room.
Now there are a few things you need to understand while measuring the humidity of your home. The moisture of some part of your house is going to be higher than others.
For example:- Bathroom, kitchen, basements will have relatively higher humidity than your bedroom, living room, etc.
The humidity level will also fluctuate depending upon your living place, temperature, weather, and season.
I would recommend you to get a few of these hygrometers. It is really affordable and most reliable way to track humidity and maintain your houseplants.
Signs pothos need humidity
Some of the common signs that your pothos needs more humid environment are:
- Brown edges on your pothos leaves
- Droopy leaves
- Your pothos begins to wilt.
- Leaves turn yellow
- Crisp leaves and foliage
Although these signs may also indicate other problems in the plant, but if everything else is right, then humidity can be a significant factor to consider.
Also read: Why is my pothos dying?
How to increase humidity for indoor plants?
If you live in an area where the humidity level fluctuates a lot or where there is low humidity at all times, you might need to take some additional steps to ensure your plants remain healthy and thrive.
Often people suggest adding pebble trays and misting your houseplants for raising the humidity level.
While it may work for a short span, it definitely doesn’t do much in the long run.
Thus, I decided to try out many things and dig deeper to find out other ways that actually work. So here are 7 effective ways to increase humidity for your indoor plants:
Add a small indoor greenhouse in your home
When I first discovered this, I was fascinated. A mini greenhouse box made up of plastic or glass looks terrific and helps a lot retain moisture around the plants. I personally loved this small glass box, as it works as a decor as well as serves the purpose.
If you have plants like Orchids, Was begonia, Nerve plant, Alocasia, Boston fern, etc., you need to get one of these, especially if you live in a dry and arid environment.
These mini-greenhouses that also looks like a terrarium helps create a small environment on their own. It really helps these high demanding plants thrive.
You can also get a larger size wooden framed terrarium like this. It works like a charm as well.
Consider adding an aquarium to the room
Adding a small to medium size aquarium in your room can help with the humidity level as well.
As the water in the aquarium evaporates naturally and slowly, it increases your room’s humidity level and thus creates a perfect environment for your plants to thrive.
You can also use the water from your aquarium to water your plant as it is rich in nitrogen and other minerals that our plants need the most.
A reptile terrarium like this one will also serve the purpose but it may cost you a lot more.
Group your plants together
Grouping a bunch of plants together can add a little bit to the humidity. When plants transpire, they do release a small amount of moisture into the air.
Grouping many plants together can raise the humidity level of that spot by a small margin, which could be beneficial when coupled with other ideas.
However, you need to make sure you don’t group low humidity plants with that of the higher one.
Use a humidifier
Investing in a good quality humidifier for your plants will go a long way. I personally love this amazing humidifier that I found on amazon. It is affordable and efficient as well.
You need to get an appropriately sized humidifier as per the size of your room.
Humidifiers can add a relatively higher humidity level that remains in the environment for a more extended period.
By far, this is the most effective way to raise the level of humidity if you live in an area where humidity is below 50%.
Keep a few bowls of water in the room
Keeping a few bowls of water in the room works similarly to the aquarium.
The water evaporates naturally and raises the level of humidity in the room.
You can also boil the water and let the steam rise in the room as it will marginally increase the air’s moisture level.
But be careful, if there is no appropriate ventilation, you may have molds in the walls and other parts of the room.
Lower the temperature of your room
Lowering the temperature of the room can also help with the humidity.
Considering the amount of moisture in the air is equal, warmer air retains less moisture, whereas colder air retains more moisture.
Thus, lowering the room temperature can help with the humidity levels as the air needs less moisture to become saturated.
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Adding a moss pole
Moss pole can hold a fair amount of moisture around your pothos.
It also helps in developing aerial roots that further enhance the overall growth of your pothos.
It also supports the plant, which can add a lot of height and overall development of the plant.
You can try this moss pole on amazon, it comes in different sizes as per your requirement.
While pothos can survive against all odds, adding a small amount of humidity during those dry and colder months can make a huge difference.
Most pothos will do fine even if the humidity level drops below the optimum level, but adding that little additional moisture can make them thrive.
You need to keep in mind that pothos loves moisture doesn’t mean they should remain wet at all times.
Wet foliage can lead to several problems in your pothos. You can adjust your watering regime during those dry months, and your pothos shall survive through.
However, if you want to make it a little easy on your plants, do consider some of the ideas we discussed earlier to ensure your plants thrive and remain healthy.
Source: Analysis of plant function as bio-thermal-conditioner using Pothos, A Foliage Plant Research, Antitranspirant, water stress, and growth retardant influence growth of golden pothos
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