Philodendrons thrive in humid environments, but do Philodendrons like to be misted, or are there better alternatives?
Misting isn’t a bad thing if you have good air circulation around your Philodendron, but it only increases humidity for a short period of time. Other options, like using a humidifier, are better at raising humidity consistently.
There are also issues that misting can cause if there isn’t good circulation around the plant, so keep reading to learn all about these as well as the alternatives that I prefer to use.
Philodendron Humidity Requirements
There are over 450 varieties of Philodendron in the world, but most of the common varieties can be found in rainforests in places like Africa and South America.
They tend to prefer higher humidity between 60 and 70%, which is much higher than the typical humidity in houses, which tends to be nearer to 40%.
What Happens If The Humidity Isn’t This High?
It’s quite likely that the humidity in your home isn’t at the 60-70% level, but I wouldn’t worry too much if it isn’t.
I’ve kept Philodendrons at a humidity level between 40 and 50% for several months, and there weren’t any noticeable changes.
You might not get the ideal growth rate at a lower humidity level, but it isn’t like your plant will die or anything like that.
Why Misting Is Not A Good Idea
You may hear a lot of people saying that misting is a good idea for your houseplants, and in some cases it can be effective, but I prefer not to mist my Philodendrons for a few reasons.
Firstly, misting only boosts the humidity for a short period of time, and there’s a good chance that you’ll forget to mist very often anyway.
This isn’t like the spray humidifiers that you find in Botanical Gardens that work on a timer.
Secondly, misting can increase the likelihood of fungus growing on the leaves if there isn’t good air circulation around your plant.
This is much more common than you would think, especially if your Philodendrons are kept inside like mine.
Finally, moisture on the leaves can also attract pests like spider mites and mealybugs that can quickly damage the leaves and other parts of the plant.
If you have good circulation around your Philodendron, then misting isn’t going to have much of a negative impact; it’s just not going to consistently increase the humidity, which is the ideal goal.
Alternatives To Misting That I Prefer To Use
So, you’re probably wondering what you can do to increase the humidity around your Philodendron properly.
Here are a couple of options you can try.
Let’s get the obvious one out of the way first.
Using a humidifier is a great way to increase the humidity to a desired level (if you buy a good model) consistently.
They are, obviously, more expensive, and this is something I recommend if you have several plants that also require high humidity so you can get the most use out of it.
Humidifiers also require the air circulation around your Philodendron to be good – there is no point purchasing a humidifier if your circulation is bad, as this can lead to pests and fungal problems like before.
Use Other Plants
As each plant transpires, it will create a mini-climate where the local humidity is higher than the surroundings.
If you’ve ever walked through a tropical greenhouse, you’ll know just how much humidity can increase when plants are grouped together.
Change Of Location
There’s a very high chance that some places in your house are going to be more humid than others.
In my case, I quickly realized that my bathrooms have higher humidity than other areas of the house, and it’s become a great place for humidity-loving plants like my Philodendrons and Pothos.
Ideally, you will want to double-check this with a hygrometer. You can find a pretty good model for less than $10.
Another great option is to use a pebble tray.
These can be a bit tricky to set up correctly at first, but once you’ve got the hang of it, they are a great alternative.
A pebble tray is simply a tray full of pebbles that your plant pot can be placed on top of.
Water is added to the tray so that it comes to about 50 – 75% of the height of the tray, and as this water evaporates slowly, it increases the humidity above for the plant.
It also helps if you accidentally overwater your Philodendron, as excess water will flow out the drainage holes and into the pebble tray, eventually evaporating and benefitting your Philodendron by increasing the humidity.
If you’ve been misting your Philodendron for a while and haven’t noticed any side effects, then you probably have good circulation around the plant.
Unless you’re misting regularly, it is very likely that it isn’t having a noticeable impact on the humidity level.
I recommend using a hygrometer to check the humidity before and after misting, as there’s a good chance you are wasting your time.
If you’re looking for a more sustainable way to increase the humidity of your Philodendron, consider using one of the four options I listed above.
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