When it comes to taking care of your plants, there are a lot of myths and misconceptions out there. One of the most common myths is that you should mist your plants daily.
The reasons are mostly related to increasing humidity to improve the growing conditions for your plant.
While it usually won’t harm your plants, the benefits of misting are somewhat overstated. Let’s discuss what they are and what they aren’t.
Is it Necessary to Mist Your Plants Every Day?
Generally speaking, misting your plants daily is not necessary. As long as you’re watering and caring for your plant properly, misting isn’t necessary to maintain the health of your plants.
While it does have some benefits, you can usually get those benefits using other means. If you live in an arid climate, there probably isn’t any harm to misting your plants.
If you live in a humid climate, though, itb could come with some risks. Let’s discuss.
What are the Benefits of Misting Plants?
Misting plants is a great way to provide them with the water they need to thrive. It’s also said to keep the humidity levels up, which is great for tropical plants. Misting plants also helps to keep the leaves clean.
Watering Your Plants
The first point is true, misting your plants is a good way of watering them – if you mist them enough. A quick spritz isn’t going to be enough to provide any meaningful amount of water.
Also, though, for plants that like to dry out in between waterings, this may not be the best idea. If the soil is kept moist daily, it could cause issues for plants that like dry feet in between waterings.
For plants that do like moist soil, a self-watering planter may be a better choice, however.
This is actually a bit of a misconception. Misting your plants doesn’t increase the humidity around them by any meaningful amount – and even if it did, the effect would only last for a few minutes.
If your plants require more humidity than what you have in your house, there are some better ways to provide it to them.
Here are a few:
- Make a humidity tray by getting a plastic tray from your garden center and filling it with pebbles or pea gravel. Set your plant on the pebbles, then fill the tray up with water to just below the tops of the pebbles. As the water evaporates, it’ll increase the humidity around your plant.
- Put your plants together to increase the effects of the tip above and also increase the humidity in the area as they traspire.
- Put your plants in the bathroom.
- Run a cool mist humidifier and connect it to an indoor humidity controller. This is a bit high tech but is more reliable than the above options.
- Put your plant in a terrarium, and combine with some of the above steps.
Keeping Your Plants’ Leaves Clean
Misting your plants’ leaves to the point where water starts running off can be a good way to keep dust off of your plants’ leaves, but there is a caveat.
If you’re going to do this, it’s best to do it with distilled or reverse osmosis water. Otherwise, you may leave unsightly white mineral stains on your leaves. This is especially true if you have a plant with dark leaves, such as the Raven ZZ plant.
(I have one of these, and the white stains do detract from the beauty of the plant if they’re not cleaned off.)
Alternatively, you can use a feather-style duster to quickly clean the leaves off.
What are the Risks of Misting Your Plants?
The main risk of misting your plants is that it may cause the growth of fungus on the leaves and in the soil – especially if you live in a more humid environment.
This can cause a number of problems. First, the fungus and mold that can grow on the leaves could harm the plant. It can also get on other things near the plant that are in the path of the mist spray.
It may also attract fungus gnats, however. Moist soil with fungus growing in it is the perfect environment for them to lay their eggs in, and once you have them, they’re not easy to get rid of. I am working on a guide for plant pests such as them, however.
In a more arid environment, this may not be an issue, since the humidity in the environment is already so low.
In conclusion, while misting your plants has a number of benefits, it is not necessary to do it every day. It can also come with its own downsides. Make sure to weigh the risks and benefits before deciding whether or not to mist your plants.
You may also want to examine the reason you’re misting your plants and consider some of the alternatives I’ve provided in this post.