How Often Should I Use a Humidifier For My Plants?

Using a humidifier is a simple but effective way to increase indoor humidity. It can help relieve your dry skin, parched throat, nasal congestion, and many respiratory issues. A humidifier is not only conducive for us but our plants. 

When it comes to using a humidifier for plants, you may have a lot of questions to ask. Many of my friends often get confused about how often they should use a humidifier for their houseplants. 

They also have no idea if their plants need a humidifier, where to put a humidifier, etc. 

Don’t worry! I will answer all of these questions in this post. You will better understand “humidifiers and plants” by reading it.

In a short, using a humidifier every day is recommended in arid areas or winter months. You can stop using it on humid summer days.

Should I get a humidifier for my plants?

It depends. Not every plant will need a humidifier. But most tropical plants do. Therefore, you need to understand the characteristics of your plants.

Some plants like to thrive in dry climates, such as cacti, aloe, and jasmine. Some enjoy a more humid environment, including canna and ginger lily. The right humidity level for each plant is different, but most of them fall from 40% to 60%.

In addition, the humidity level changes from month to month. In general, humidity in summer is much higher than the humidity in winter. The heating system will suck up the moisture further in the winter months. In this case, you may need to use humidifiers for plants in some specific climates. 

Using a diffuser as an alternative is also applicable for plants that ask for a relatively lower humidity level. 

Signs that your plants need more humidity

If you are still unsure about whether your houseplants need a humidifier or not, a few signs show it has low humidity.

1. Curling leaves. Too much water or too less water can both cause leaves to curl.

2. Browning edges on leaves. Low humidity and too much salt can cause leaf edges to become brown. 

3. Wilting leaves. Leaves will wilt when there is not enough water to be sucked up in the root.

4. Leaf scorch. Similar to wilting leaves, leaf cells will die when roots can’t bring enough water to compensate for the transpirational loss.

You can install a hygrometer to monitor the humidity level to turn on the humidifier in time. 

When should I use a humidifier for my plants?

when should i use a humidifier for my plants

In some areas, the humidity level can drop to 20% in the winter months. Therefore, most people will need to turn on a humidifier for their plants in winter.

But in summer, you can put away your appliance if the humidity level is over 40%. Again, you can check the hygrometer to see if a humidifier is necessary.

On top of it, you should only keep the humidifier on between sunrise and midday because the air that is too humid will interrupt the transpiration process, which is critical for your plants. 

How often should the humidifier be on for my plants?

On dry and cold days, it is advisable to use a humidifier every day to keep your plants in a good state. 

If the hygrometer indicates the room was too humid the other day, you can take a day off. 

How long to run a humidifier for plants?

In general, running a humidifier for 3 to 5 hours per day should be sufficient for your plants. However, the situation varies, so you should watch the change in humidity level to decide how long your humidifier should be on.

After all, living in an over humidified environment is not beneficial for plants either.

Where to put the humidifier for plants?

humidifier placement for plants

The best humidifier placement for plants is in the middle of the room. Ensure it is high off the ground to prevent the moisture particles from condensing on the floor, causing mold. 

Don’t place the humidifier too close to the plants since the humidifier will form a condensed area, leading to mold growth on leaves and soil.  

How to use a humidifier for plants?

Until now, we already know when and how often we should use a humidifier for plants. Now let’s explore how to use and maintain it correctly.

Fill with distilled water

Like pets and us, plants are susceptible to mold and bacteria; therefore, the amount of germs in the air shouldn’t exceed a certain level. 

Distilled water is free of mineral buildup. When filling the water tank with distilled water, it has less likelihood of becoming a breeding ground for mold and bacteria. In addition, it will not produce white dust, which is hard to remove while landing on the leaves. 

So it is better to use distilled water in a humidifier for plants.

Change out the water every day

Even if you only turn on a humidifier for 3 to 5 hours per day, you should change out the water in the water tank daily. Mold spores will start to grow after 24 hours, and the stagnant water is a great residence for them.

Clean and sanitize it regularly

Every three days, you are recommended to clean and disinfect your humidifier to remove buildup and other impurities. You use many products to kill bacteria in the water tank, like vinegar and hydrogen peroxide.


Using a humidifier for plants is necessary for most plants, especially in cold and dry winters. In most cases, it is recommended to use a humidifier every day and use it for 3 to 5 hours from sunrise to midday. 

Just remember that you should never put your plants in a too humid area. It is essential to monitor the indoor humidity level through a hygrometer or a built-in humidistat. 

Moreover, you should place it in the middle of the room and clean and sterilize it regularly to avoid mold and bacteria growth.

About The Author

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Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested dozens of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.

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