Does Misting Plants Actually Help them {it’s not what you think}

a child misting a plant to help increase their humidity level

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As a newbie plant mom, learning the basics of misting 101 has probably helped me save a ton of plants. The other handful of plants…. well that’s a different story that I wish I could take back.

Does misting plants actually help them?

Yes! Misting plants will actually help them, especially for those high loving humidity plants. Due to the fact that most of our indoor plants are from the tropics, plant misting is attributed to the idea of adding extra humidity back into the plant. Additionally, it is a vital aspect of the process to deter from overwatering.

Plant misting can either be seen as a much-needed aspect of owning houseplants or as a rather unnecessary aspect of the responsibility altogether. Similar to the difference in the kind of rain that waters plants in the outdoors, there is a purpose in giving a gentle misting to indoor plants as well. 

While the idea of misting may sound super simple, there are several surefire ways that plants should and should not be misted. Additionally, some plants shouldn’t be misted at all. Read on to understand more about the purpose of plant misting.

Please note that this article contains affiliate links, and that means that I may earn a commission if you buy something.

Does misting actually raise the humidity in the room?

Yes, misting plants will actually help raise the humidity level around the plant, not the room. BUT the effects don’t last as long as you think. And depending on many other factors, misting is only a temporary solution. It’ll provide some moisture for your tropical plant friends but not enough to last a full day.

Misting works better when plants are grouped with their plant pals. The effects of misting and humidity will last a little longer as well as make a bigger impact on the houseplants.

If you add a pebble tray to your plant, that will also help increase humidity to plants. As well as giving a nice aesthetic look to your surroundings. 

Adding this spray mister wouldn’t hurt the aesthetic look either. It tends to add a nice touch to my succulents table and providing me a reminder to mist my plants.

Does misting plants do anything?

It can be a little surprising knowing that when dust gathers on your houseplant, it makes it difficult for photosynthesis to occur, as Greenery Unlimited explains. Because of this, misting your houseplants is of high benefit to you and the plant itself. 

Your green friend will get an extra dose of humidity while keeping their leaves dust free and shiny.

a lady misting plants that are grouped together to help raise humidity levels

Most houseplants require a specific amount of humidity to thrive. Especially tropical plants. And misting plants will help provide that extra moisture in the air that your plants may need.

Misting is a very efficient way to increase the humidity that they need. Especially when the air is drier in the winter months. This will keep your houseplants happy and, in turn, you happy as well.

Below are a few houseplants that require a good misting:  

Which plants should I mist?

Here are a few plants that like misting:

  • Peace Lily
  • Fern
  • Indoor Palms
  • Orchids
  • Banana Plant
  • Spider plant
  • Zebra plant
  • Air plants
  • Nerve plant
  • Caladiums
  • Begonias
  • Monstera plant
  • Anthurium
  • Birds of Paradise

Who not to mist?

Never mist any plants that have fuzzy-like leaves. It will only further damage their appearance. Some examples of plants that should not be mist are:

  • African violet
  • Bear Paw Jade
  • Green Goddess (Echeveria)
  • Namaqua Crassula
  • Piggyback plant

How often to mist your plants

How often you mist your plant will depend on what they need. For the high humidity loving plants, I like to mist daily. Sometimes I’ll even mist a few times throughout the day. I also make sure to mist in the morning, so that the water has time to evaporate throughout the day.  For the medium to low humidity plants, I’ll mist every other day. And it’s been working fine so far.

But if I just watered my plant, I would usually wait a day or two before misting again.

Are you supposed to mist plants?

Yes and no. There are certain plants you can mist and there are certain plants that you can’t mist. 

A rule of thumb when figuring which ones you can’t mist is that any plant that has fuzzy leaves should NEVER be misted. 

You may be encouraging water stains when misting plants with fuzzy or hairy leaves, like the African violet plant or the Bear Paw Jade, which is so gorgeous when in the sun by the way. 

An exception to this rule of thumb is the succulent plant. Even though their leaves aren’t fuzzy, they do not like to be misted. Succulents are known to store water in their stems and leaves. But if there is too much water for it to be stored, the succulent would basically be sitting in a puddle of water, which would lead to root rot. 

The only time you can water a succulent is when you’re propagating them and they’re not fully grown just yet. 

Is it possible to over mist?

Yes it is possible to over mist. But does it happen often? Probably not.

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as misting your houseplants too much. After all, we want to help them, not hurt them. Just like there is a way that you can drown your plants by overwatering them, you can rot them by “over-misting” too. 

Some helpful tips on how to mist appropriately include:

  • Cover the leaves in the mist (top and under the leaves); pretend as though there was a light rain that occurred in your living room
  • Make sure that the plants that are needing the misting are away from drafts and air ducts
  • Misting plants in the morning is the best time so that they can dry out throughout the day
  • Not all plants are created equal, so be sure to know which ones need a daily mist and which ones only need a weekly misting 
  • Use tepid or room temperature water (use rainwater if possible, but if not, allow the water to sit aside for at least 24 hours)

Plant TIP: Misting is much more effective when you group plants together. Because all of the plants are hurdle together, the humidity level will be higher and will last longer. 

a desk size greenhouse with a mister to help raise humidity levels

Is it okay to mist plants at night?

No, it’s never ok to mist your plants at night. And I’ll give you 3 reasons why:

  1. Misting at night will increase their chances of root rot as well as the spread of bacteria and fungi. When you mist at night, the excess water has no way of evaporating without the sun being involved. Without evaporation, your plant will pretty much sit in a pile of water throughout the night.
  2. Unless you’re planning to leave your grow lights on all night, your plant’s environment will also become a little colder than it was in the daytime. Especially with everything being turned off, like the lights and perhaps the heater (in the wintertime). By giving your plants extra water at night, they’ll most likely suffer. 
  3. With your soil being wet or overly damp, their chances of developing bacteria and fungi or even pests will be much higher since they’ll thrive in that type of humid environment.

When to mist plants

It is best practice to mist your tropical houseplants in the morning. This will give the water plenty of time to evaporate from the plants. And an additional benefit to watering in the daytime is that the sun can help the water absorb into the soil more efficiently, thus providing the roots with what they need. 

Misting in the morning will also allow transpiration to occur when the sun is out. Transpiration happens when the stomata on the leaves release the water vapor. Imagine what would happen at night if the stomata can’t open or close to release the water vapor due to a lack of lighting?

Pathogens would happen. And that is definitely not fun for either you or the plant.

Some other signs of when to mist indoor plants are when the humidity level is low. Your plant will tell you when they need more humidity by the color on their leaves?

  • yellow leaves
  • dried leaves
  • leaves curling
  • brown tips/edges on leaves
  • new growth issues (such as difficulty with unfurling)

The Tools to Use

It is evident that humidity is a plant’s best friend and, arguably, the most essential tool for plants to grow. For a plant to grow well (especially if they’re from a tropical climate), they require a lot of humidity. 

steam from the humidifier to help raise humidity level for an orchid plant

Just like it is important to have multiple tools while working on projects, it can be helpful to have numerous tools for misting your plants. 

If said tools are hard to come by, there are other ways to increase the humidity to assist with your plant’s overall health. 

The Advantages of Misting 

As stated, plants can seemingly have a specific need for water. Some may require more than others, while some may not need much of any. To know which plant needs what is a learning process, but luckily it doesn’t need to break the bank either.

We All Have to Start Somewhere

If you’re working towards becoming a “plant-mom” (or dad) and want to learn how to take care of your one plant before moving on to caring for multiple, misting your plant is the best option. The LA Times notes that once you can take care of them more, you can group them together to help them help each other get the humidity that they need rather than worrying about when to mist them. 

Helpful for Our Well-Being

Not only do the plants benefit from said misting, but so do we. If you’ve ever heard the saying about how talking to your plants helps them to grow, yes, misting your plants helps you grow too. It’s true. Not only is it obvious that they help us by providing oxygen and food for us to eat, but, as noted by TreeHugger, they generally assist us with our well-being. 

Interacting with plants offers a kind of cardiovascular change that is uplifting and encouraging. One does not necessarily have to talk to the plant to have an encouraging experience but, as long as we’re clear about the misting being for them and the talking / general interaction being for us, everyone wins. 

Alternatives to Misting

Surprisingly, there can be other ways to go about misting your plants that are just as effective. 

grouping plants together so that misting can be more effective to raise humidity levels
  1. Rather than having to go out and buy a humidifier for indoor plants, you can simply mist your houseplants and watch them react to their benefits. 
  2. In addition to a handheld mister, the DoitYourself Staff have noted the usefulness of a greenhouse misting system (which is on my never-ending to-do list).
    1. Naturally, in order for this to work, you must have a greenhouse, and sadly, not all of us have the moolah to do that. 
  3. Just like a handheld mister, the greenhouse misting system provides humidity (no surprise there) and favorable temperature conditions.
  4. As mentioned above, you could group your plants together to increase the humidity.
  5. Another option is to gather pebbles and place the plants on the tray of pebbles, adding water. This would help the process to raise the humidity. 

Final Thoughts on Does Misting Plants Actually Help Them?

Most people do not live in homes that operate under the same jurisdiction as a tropical atmosphere. This would deem it necessary to know how to assist in the growth of the houseplants. Because of this, our plants not only need our help by getting a few veils of mist a day from our hand misters (or greenhouse misters), but they also require us to pay general attention to their overall needs. 

It is important to note that not all houseplants are created equal. Thus, it is a vital part of taking care of said plants that one knows the advantages of misting their leaves, why it is even important to do so, how to mist them, and knowing what the right tools are that are needed.

Additionally, keep in mind that there are plenty of resources that can assist in both the literal growth of the plant as well as the literal growth of the person taking care of it. Being able to remember that being attentive to one’s plants leads to their development can also create an awareness of taking care of oneself as an essential aspect of life. After all, (like most things in life) when we help others, they help us. 

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