An Essential Guide To Misting Your Indoor Plants

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Photo by Kaffeebart on Unsplash

Misting is an effective process that boosts the humidity of air surrounding your plant through using a simple water sprayer. It doesn’t put your plant at risk of overwatering and promotes good habits like inspecting the health of your plant’s foliage.

This article will attempt to cover all the bases involved with misting, particularly dealing with how often you should plan to mist your plants and what factors influence the optimal misting frequency. 

Here’s a condensed list of the topics we’ll explore:

  • What does misting do?
  • Which plants require the most misting and which do not : The Mist List
  • How to tell if your plant requires misting
  • How often should you mist your plants?
  • How to mist your plants
  • Alternate methods of misting
  • Takeaway tips

This article explores how to approach misting your indoor plants. If you want to learn of a more passive, hands off approach to creating humidity surrounding your plants,  check out our guide on  pebble trays here

What does misting do for houseplants?

Where moisture is primarily absorbed by a plant through its root system, the logic behind misting is that it helps to increase the humidity levels of the atmosphere surrounding the foliage.

This slows down the plants’ tendency to lose water through their leaves and where spray lands at the base of the plant helps to oxygenate soil. 

Photo by Wayne M. on Unsplash
Photo by Wayne M. on Unsplash

The mist list

There are certain factors other than simply the amount of humidity presently in the air that helps dictate just how often you should be misting.

If your plant has thinner leaves, there is a good chance that it will likes an extra little humidity.

Tropical plants and plants that are naturally sheltered by canopies will definitely appreciate a good misting. Think ferns, rubber plants, philodendrons, anthuriums, caladiums, orchids, aloe vera, spider plants, and bromeliads.

How often should you mist houseplants?

To mist or miss, that is the question. Jumping from Hamlet to herbology, I’ll admit that misting is a rather controversial practise that often draws a dividing line between believers and the non-believers (anti-misters).

While most people swear that misting helps the plant thrive and flourish, others believe that it is of little benefit and is unsustainable in the long run (as once the moisture wears off, your plant will continue to lose water through its leaves as usual). 

The latter camp also argue that misting increases the chance of over-indulging the plant and giving it too much unwelcome water, potentially inducing rot. 

So when do you mist a plant and when should you refrain from misting?

This completely depends on the plant in question, along with other deciding factors such as the amount of moisture and humidity present in the surrounding  environment in which it is kept. 

If you keep it in a small room, like your shower room, there is more chance that it will be exposed to high humidity and moisture, negating the need for misting. In a large, drafty and open room, it might need a little help obtaining a drink.

On an average, plantsmen and women advise that you start by misting your plant up to two or three times a week, and reduce the frequency if they begin to look a little washed out.

How to mist indoor plants?

Now you know which plants you can mist, and which ones to avoid, along with how often it needs to be done. So let’s get down to how to mist plants.

Fill up a spray bottle with tepid, lukewarm water—use filtered or rainwater that does not contain any fluoride, chlorine or other chemicals.

Adjust the nozzle to the finest spray-mist setting and proceed to mist the water on the top and underside of the leaves, allowing it to sit on the surface.

Misting houseplants with filtered water has been reported to prevent calcium deposits from forming on the leaves. It also helps to wash away dirt and dust off your leaves, along with any insects, pests or fungal spores.

Alternatives to misting your houseplants

  • An alternative to misting is to create a naturally humid environment. You can achieve this by grouping plants that require more moisture together in a little huddle. This will let the plants create humidity for one another. Just remember to leave enough room for a little air to circulate. 
  • Keeping your plants in a small, humid room—your shower room, for example, will also naturally mist them. 
  • You can also take advantage of the moisture trapped in the soil and construct a tent with a clear plastic bag placed over a recently watered plant. Cover all parts of the plant with the bag and bring the edges down to below the rim of the pot. Make sure you secure the ends- either use a rubber band or tie a length of twine to keep it firmly in place. Make sure you cut little air slits or tiny holes to allow the excess moisture to escape and also to allow air to circulate. This way you are virtually creating a mini-greenhouse for your plant.

Takeaway misting tips

Here a list of some of the important things we have discussed in this article, along with some useful tips to keep in mind and help with your misting.

  • Use water that is tepid, lukewarm or at room temperature. Water that is scolding hot or ice cold could do more harm than good.
  • Spray both the top of, as well as the underside of the leaf when misting. It needs to look dewy, not droopy with water.
  • If you’re wondering if there is a time of day during which misting will be more beneficial, you’re right, Misting plants in the morning will allow the plants to remain moist and retain humidity for longer, while allowing the plant to dry out by night. 

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