How to increase humidity for plants

You often read or hear that certain tropical plants need higher humidity. However, especially in winter, the dry heating air can also affect conventional houseplants. Typical signs are brown leaf tips and leaf edges.

But how can you increase your humidity? In this article, you will find out!

Houseplants with a hygrometer to measure air humidity
(Image: © Дарья Сахарова –

Use a humidifier

Probably the most reliable and accurate way to increase humidity is to use a humidifier. Depending on the model, you can enter your desired humidity level, and the humidifier will reach and maintain it.

Since humidifiers come in different sizes, you can use them for entire homes on the one hand or small spaces like terrariums on the other.

For more information about humidifiers, check out our post, Humidifiers for Houseplants!

Dry your clothes in the flat

Instead of putting your clothes in the dryer or drying them in a boiler room, you can dry them near your plants, space permitting. Water evaporating during the drying process will increase the humidity in the room.

Leave the bathroom door open

If you like hot showers, this method is for you. Just leave the bathroom door open the next time you take a shower. That will allow the moist air to spread throughout the home and increase the humidity.

Place bowls with water near heat sources

One method which works well for me is to place bowls of water near radiators. To increase the surface area, I fill them with expanded clay. After about half a day, I noticed an increase in humidity from about 50% to 59%. If you want to, you can also use pebble trays*.

Evaporator on radiators

I first saw this trick used by my grandparents. Since the heating air was too dry, they mounted evaporators* on the radiators. They then filled them with water, evaporating when they heated the radiators. 

So this method works just like the one before, except the water is closer to the heat source. 

Group your plants

Grouping plants is also often recommended. The grouping is supposed to create a micro-climate with higher humidity. What sounds good in theory, unfortunately, hardly works in practice. Although I could notice a difference, it was only 3% above the average humidity in the room.

Use a terrarium

For all those who have plants that need a humidity of over 70 %, a terrarium is a must. In the closed glass boxes, you can reach 95 % and higher values without problems. While these can be achieved in a flat, the likelihood of mould is far too high. 

Keep substrate moist when the plant allows it

Some plants prefer their substrate to be kept evenly moist. These plants also lend themselves to raising the humidity a bit. The plant absorbs not all water. Some of it also evaporates.

Bag your plants

A popular method for smaller plants is bagging. Here, a transparent film or bag is placed over the plant. If the water evaporates now, it is not distributed in the room. It is bound by the film and dramatically increases the humidity.

This method works incredibly well with cuttings but can also be applied to larger plants. 

Change the location

If nothing else helps, you can change the location over the winter or in general. Rooms that usually have higher humidity are the kitchen and bathroom.

If they meet your plant’s other location requirements, moving it to one of those rooms may be an option until you adjust the humidity in the other rooms. 

Spray your plants

Spraying your houseplants is a common and popular method. It is said to increase the humidity around the plant. In some cases, it is also advised to spray the plant several times a day.

Unfortunately, this method is not suitable for increasing humidity. Strictly speaking, it increases the humidity of the air, however, only for a short time and very closely around the plant. 

The damp leaves are a welcome playground for various bacteria and fungal spores. Stains can also appear on the leaves. I, therefore, advise against this method. 

Measure your humidity

Whenever you take a measure, you should check afterwards if it worked as intended. In this case, we want to check whether the humidity has increased.

The easiest way to do this is with a hygrometer. I use the No products found..

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About the author
Richard Schmidt
Hey, my name is Richard! In my spare time, I write about the care of indoor plants on this website. Indoor plants have long fascinated me. That's why there are many plants in my little urban jungle - from the mainstream Syngonium to true rarities. Besides my passion for houseplants, I'm a real sneakerhead.

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