If you Google “plant care”, or “Should I mist my plants”, probably 90% of results will be that you absolutely need to mist your humidity loving plants, otherwise they’ll die!
We as plant parents were also completely sold on misting! We would walk around our houses with a bottle, spraying those plants away, feeling completely happy with ourselves, knowing that we provide our plants the best care we could.
Until one day we stopped and thought - by how much can 50 grams of water raise that humidity level and for how long? The gut feeling told us that it was not much, especially when it’s winter, and we're using heating several hours a day!
But why trust the gut feeling, if we can make things much more fun, and see what actually happens with the humidity levels, when we spray our plants!!
So we took a simple humidity tester, spray bottle, and a gorgeous syngonium as our test plant. We measured the initial humidity level, generously misted the syngonium, then re-checked it 5 mins later to see if there was any increase, and then checked it an hour later again.
And this is what happened!
1. Our starting point is 60%, which is already pretty good, and the vast majority of plants will thrive under these conditions.
2. Five minutes later and you see, that the humidity raised to 67%, which is actually a pretty decent increase!
3. It’s 1 hour later, and the humidity dropped to 63%. Some of the anti-misters say that the humidity levels will go back to the initial number already a couple of minutes after water droplets fall, but as you can see the humidity is still a bit higher than the initial %, so one myth is already debunked!
If you have a bunch of plants together, the humidity levels are probably gonna stay a bit longer, than with a plant that stands by itself, but probably only by a couple of hours.
The outcome - yes, misting raises the humidity levels for a couple of hours, and then it goes back to your default conditions. If you have time and dedication to mist your plants every couple of hours - kudos to you, however you can probably use it in a much better way.
In addition to not being very effective in raising the humidity levels, misting can actually contribute to disease spread - if you have several plants in one place, and one plant is sick, the excess water from it can drip on other healthy plants and contaminate them :(
Ok, so if misting doesn’t really help with humidity, what can we do to help our plant babies thrive?
First of all buy a humidity meter - you need to know what your actual conditions are. They’re really not intimidating, and quite cheap, and we’re gonna be including them in our stock very soon.
If your humidity is anywhere above 50% - you can relax, the vast majority of your plants are already happy with that!
If it’s lower - invest in a humidifier, and run it for a couple of hours a day - this is the best way to consistently raise the humidity for your plants! In addition it’s good for your respiratory health - ever so important during the pandemic!
You can also try a water tray with pebbles, but since we never tried it, we can’t fully recommend it. Should we do another experiment?;)
In the very end, we have to make a confession - we still mist our plants from time to time, cause we just love the process!! It helps us to stay connected with our plant babies, and actually be more attentive to their needs! So if you really really love misting - don’t stop it! Just be mindful of the reasons why you’re doing it, and probably avoid misting groups of plants where you’re not 100% sure of their health!