5 Plants That Naturally Increase Indoor Humidity - Backyard Boss
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5 Plants That Naturally Increase Indoor Humidity

All indoor plants add a touch of nature, life, and greenery to your space. Some can even increase indoor humidity, positively affecting your overall health and well-being. What’s more, many make great companions for humidity-loving plants!

Besides helping humid-loving plants thrive, indoor humidity can help prevent dry skin, throat and nasal irritation, and itchy eyes, among other health concerns. While these plants won’t blow indoor humidity sky high, they will make a subtle difference in your home. So, if you’ve tried different ways to increase humidity, you’ll want to read this.

5 Indoor Plants That Increase Humidity

Good health depends on various factors, but the right houseplant can significantly improve your mood, reduce stress levels, help you sleep, and improve the air you breathe. Discover which plants you need:

1. Areca Palm (Dypsis lutescens)

Small Areca Palm in a Pot
Image credits: Liam Huyberechts via Pexels
USDA Hardiness Zone 10 to  11
Propagation Strategy Division
Size at Maturity 8 feet indoors
Plant Problems Yellowing leaves and root rot

Also known as the butterfly palm, the areca palm is a tropical beauty that can transform your indoors, especially if you want to mimic the wild. Native to Madagascar, areca palm can reduce total volatile organic compounds (TVOCs), carbon dioxide (CO2), and carbon monoxide (CO).

According to NASA scientist and author Dr. B.C. Wolverton, for every 100 square feet area, a 6-foot areca palm releases approximately 1 quart of water into the air daily! So, depending on how humid you want your home, add a couple of 6-foot areca palms to enjoy tropical humidity year-round.

2. Devil’s Ivy (Epipremnum aureum)

Full foliage on a pothos plant
Image credits: Feey via Pexels
USDA Hardiness Zone 9 to 11
Propagation Strategy Stem Cutting
Size at Maturity 0.6 to 0.8-inch height, 13 to 40 feet wide
Plant Problems Susceptible to root rot from overwatering

Commonly known as golden pothos, this evergreen plant is low-maintenance and the perfect addition to your indoors. Altogether, the plant trails 6 to 8 feet as a ground cover, but when you plant them in hanging containers, they can grow up to 40 feet!

According to NASA experiments that used Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy, devil’s ivy increased chamber humidity, which prolonged the usage of dehumidifiers. Apart from increasing indoor humidity, devil’s ivy significantly reduced volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and formaldehyde compounds from the air.

Note: Keep your kids away from this plant because the sap can cause skin irritation. Additionally, accidental leaf ingestion can cause mouth or throat inflammation and difficulty breathing and swallowing.

3. Chinese Evergreen (Aglaonema commutatum)

Image credits: By Kittiwut via Canva
USDA Hardiness Zone 10 to 11
Propagation Strategy Division, Stem Cutting
Size at Maturity 1 to 1.8 ft height, 1 to 1.6 feet wide
Plant Problems Spider mites, root rot, can become leggy

Also known as the poison dart plant, the Chinese evergreen is a perennial you can grow indoors. As a matter of fact, it is particularly resistant to high humidity and heavy shade. Moreover, they make excellent container plants for small spaces and patios.

Additionally, according to a 2016 study by The American Society For Horticulture Science, the Chinese Evergreen and other Peperomia varieties increased an office’s humidity by up to 30 percent. Also, in a residential study that aimed to measure plants and their influence on airborne microbes, researchers discovered that plants increased relative humidity by over 10 percent and decreased airborne microbes by over 30 percent.

Note: Keep kids away from this plant’s sap because it can cause irritation, burning, and swelling.

4. Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)

spider plant houseplant combination growing indoors
Image credits: Lucian Alexe via Unsplash
USDA Hardiness Zone 9 to 11
Propagation Strategy Division, plantlets, seed
Size at Maturity 1 to 1.6 ft height, 1 to 2 feet wide
Plant Problems Spider mites, root rot from overwatering

Also known as the ribbon plant, the spider plant is somewhat drought-tolerant and excellent for containers and hanging baskets, which allow their leaves and stems to flow downwards.

For context, you’ll need 25 plants in 4-inch diameter pots or three plants in 10-inch diameter pots to increase relative humidity from 20 percent to 30 percent under bright light conditions. Apart from increasing humidity, spider plants clean indoor air by reducing airborne compounds, including formaldehyde, xylene, and benzene.

5. Jade Plant (Crassula ovata)

jade plants
Image credits: Marina Kaiser via Shutterstock
USDA Hardiness Zone 11 to 12
Propagation Strategy Leaf cuttings, stem cutting
Size at Maturity 3 to 6 ft height, 2 to 3 ft wide
Plant Problems Powdery mildew, white spots, root rot

Also known as the Chinese rubber plant, jade is easy to grow and makes excellent indoor ornamental plants with their bright green, fleshy leaves and stunning star-shaped flowers. Moreover, jade plants can increase indoor humidity, especially when paired with spider plants.

The American Society For Horticulture Science also found that jade plants, in conjunction with spider plants, can increase relative humidity by up to 30 percent. However, to increase humidity by 2.3 percent, you’ll need 20 jade plants to work their magic. So, pair them with spider plants, and you’ve got the perfect tropical climate for humidity-loving plants!

Understanding Ideal Indoor Humidity Levels

Thermometer in the interior, among houseplants, indoor plants
Image credits: D.L.Sakharova via Shutterstock

Humidity is a double-edged sword because high levels of it encourage mold, dust mites, and mildew. In contrast, low levels can cause skin dryness and eye irritation, in addition to significantly impacting your plant’s health. The secret is to strike a balance and keep yourself and some of your humid-loving plants happy. But what’s the ideal indoor humidity level?

For comfortable living, indoor humidity levels should be between 30 and 60 percent. That said, some plants require high or low humidity levels to thrive. For example, maidenhair fern, caladium, and croton thrive in low humidity levels (below 20 percent). Conversely, ponytail palms, spineless yucca, and cast iron plant require high humidity levels (over 50 percent) to thrive.

So, invest in a reliable hygrometer, like AcuRite’s Pre-Calibrated Humidity Gauge, to test your indoor humidity level so you can adjust as required.

Hot and Humid

If you want to improve indoor humidity to combat dry air, consider growing plants that naturally increase indoor humidity levels. You’ll need to add several plants to your home for a noticeable impact. Although, if you lack space, bring a couple of large plants indoors — it can increase indoor humidity.

It’s essential to strike a balance between high and low humidity if you want to keep your indoor structures and plants happy. Therefore, investing in a reliable hygrometer can help you keep humidity levels in check.

Leave your experiences, thoughts, and questions in the comment section, and as always, please share!

Happy Gardening!