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Houseplants are an excellent way of bringing the outside in and making your home feel comfortable. The hard part for most homeowners is figuring out how to water them correctly and there is more than one black thumb in every family. Misting plants is not only an easy way to water but effective.
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What are the Benefits of Misting Plants
Misting plants keeps most people from overwatering their plants. Plants typically prefer a constant and level amount of humidity and water in their soil. They do not appreciate cycles of too much water followed by droughts with not enough.
You can also use misting if you tend to skip plants when you water. Misting plants is usually done with all of the plants grouped together so all of them get watered evenly. This way, you don’t have that plant in the living room that never gets water.
Finally, you can add fertilizer to your misting water so that your plants get a small amount of food with each watering. This way, they never run low on nutrients.
How Often to Mist Plants
Most successful gardeners mist their plants once or twice a week. This allows your plant to use the water up and keeps fungus from becoming a problem. If you wait too long, the soil becomes very dry and the plant will become stressed.
Can You Overmist Your Plants
Yes! If you mist your plants too often or too much at one time, your plants will develop fungus or bacteria infections. Fungus typically shows up first in the soil as white threads on the top. Your plant will eventually begin to turn yellow and mushy.
Other Ways to Raise Humidity
You can keep the humidity high in other ways besides misting plants. It isn’t always easy to mist plants in a group or you may not have the right equipment. Remember, one of the major benefits of misting plants is to keep the humidity high.
Group plants together
If you have several plants in one room, consider putting them on the same shelf or table together. When plants are grouped together, they can retain their water a little bit better.
Plants can also share the humidity between themselves slightly. If one plant still has damp soil, the next door plant will benefit slightly from having humidity nearby.
Group plants together to increase humidity for each of them
Get a humidifier for the room
If you can’t group your plants, you could always get a humidifier for the room they are in. There’s a reason why greenhouses are always humid in general. Not only does it help reduce the amount of watering needed but the plants prefer constant humidity in the air as well as in their soil.
Keep water in the saucer below the plant (not flooded, but a little bit)
You could also put small pebbles underneath the pot, inside the saucer of the plant. Water can sit between these pebbles and help to maintain the moisture of the soil over time. This way, the plant benefits from a higher humidity without developing fungal diseases.
Misting Plants in Hot Weather
When the temperature gets higher, you will want to mist your plants more often. Check your soil daily to see if your plant still has some water in it. If it is dry to the touch, you need to mist again. This may mean misting plants every day. You can use a moisture meter to help tell if the soil is too dry.
Depending on how hot the temperature is, you can use misting to prevent sunburn or scalding as well. Even plants inside can get damaged through the window. If you mist the leaves slightly, it will help them to resist this damage.
How do You Properly Mist Plants
When you mist your plants, spray the top and underside of the leaf so that it looks just barely wet. You may also spray the plant evenly across the surface of the soil so that the entire top is damp.
If your plant already has damp soil when you touch the top, do not mist it that day. Instead, let the plant use the existing water up first.
Which Plants Like Misting
Houseplants that appreciate misting as a watering style are those from tropical regions. They are usually the plants that are marketed as “houseplants” in the local hardware stores.
Most have soft leaves and most flower. Good candidates include pothos, ferns, orchids, begonias, and more.
Which Plants you Should Not Mist
You should never ever mist succulents or cacti. These plants are designed to survive with a lot of water all at once and then long periods of drought. If you mist a succulent, you will quickly kill them by destroying their cell walls as water bursts the cells.
Best Products for Misting Plants
Misting plants is not complicated and you can probably mist plants with what is in your home already. However, if you are trying to become an “expert” gardener, you may look into getting some specialized equipment.
Water For Misting Plants
You should always use room temperature water when misting plants to avoid shocking the roots. There are some hardliners that say to use specific water, such as deionized water, however, this isn’t necessary. Plants actually appreciate the minerals in regular tap water.
Spray Bottle for Misting Plants
If you are just starting out, you could use just a basic spray bottle like you use for spraying cleaners in the bathroom. However, if you have several plants, you will love using a small hand pump sprayer.
These spray bottles have a small pump that pressurizes the container and you can then mist several plants without having to grip a trigger over and over again.
Can You Mist Outdoor Plants
Misting plants outdoors is not recommended. Most plants that are adapted to survive outdoors are designed to survive some amount of variation in humidity. Of course, if you happen to have a rainforest garden, your plants are the exception.
For all other gardeners however, outdoor plants will actually appreciate being watered a moderate amount once a week, maybe twice in warm weather. Outdoor plants are more prone to developing fungal infections if they are misted. Keep an eye out for white powder on the leaves.
There are many home growers who mist their plants regularly. Of course, there are an equal number of home growers who believe that misting plants is not only a waste of effort but also a waste of water. Try it out on your houseplants and decide for yourself.