Keeping plants indoors poses a different challenge than outdoors. Certain plants require specific levels of moisture and humidity to grow and thrive.
Dehumidifiers may seem like a good option to many for regulating moisture for indoor plants, but in some cases this can backfire and damage plants that require higher humidity levels.
Dehumidifiers may or may not damage plants depending on the circumstances. Some indoor plants can cope with lower humidity levels, while others may not cope so well. It can depend on the plant and levels of humidity present in its designated space.
It’s good to take into consideration your indoor plants when choosing to use a dehumidifier and it’s important to know your plants and what they need to be healthy.
We’ve found that plants located in the same room as our dehumidifier don’t fare too well in the reduced humidity.
By taking the necessary information into account, you’ll know whether your plants need a dehumidifier or not, or whether they can cope with lower humidity levels.
Keep reading to learn about dehumidifiers and in what conditions dehumidifiers benefit or damage plants.
As the name implies, dehumidifiers take moisture out of the air and lower the humidity levels in the spaces they’re placed in.
Whether a dehumidifier damages a plant or not, then, depends on whether the plant requires higher or lower humidity levels.
For some plants, such as ferns, a dehumidifier can be harmful since these plants thrive in humid environments.
However, plants such as cacti benefit from lower humidity, so a dehumidifier would be beneficial in this case.
Ultimately, whether a dehumidifier damages a plant or not depends on the plant itself and the amount of moisture the plant requires to stay in peak condition.
There’s no straightforward answer here, as this depends on certain factors.
In general, plants will need certain levels of moisture in order to grow and remain healthy. Levels of moisture needed will vary plant by plant.
When considering a dehumidifier, keep the following in mind:
- Plants will operate on either high or low moisture levels.
- Plants gather moisture through pores in their leaves called “stomata”.
- Certain plants will require specific moisture levels and will become unhealthy if these moisture levels are not met.
- Dehumidifiers siphon off moisture from the air, which can be detrimental for some indoor plants.
Dehumidifiers can damage plants that need high levels of moisture.
Since a dehumidifier is designed to take out moisture from the air, where many plants get their moisture, this can cause adverse effects.
That being said, dehumidifiers don’t harm all plants.
There are indoor plants that do not require large amounts of moisture. In fact, high moisture can be detrimental to certain types of houseplants. Some may be curious to know what levels of moisture are bad for plants where a humidifier is needed.
Pay attention to your plant’s specific moisture levels in this case.
As mentioned, many indoor plants need certain levels of moisture to thrive. In fact, most common houseplants need medium to high levels of moisture.
There are many plants that may not need a dehumidifier such as the following:
- Peace Lilies
- Boston Ferns
- Spider Plants
This is just a shortlist of potential houseplants that do not need a dehumidifier. These plants thrive in high humidity environments.
Therefore, it’s not necessary to keep a dehumidifier for these types of plants. Having one available can still be useful to help regulate moisture levels, however.
Most houseplants need medium to high levels of moisture in the air to grow and remain healthy. This humidity has to be regulated, however.
There are also certain indoor plants that can be harmed by higher levels of humidity. Dehumidifiers can be good for plants in the following circumstances:
- High levels of humidity make it difficult for plants to evaporate excessive moisture which will ultimately affect their growth.
- Plants saturated with excess moisture will have their growth stunted and can even lead to infections in the stems and leaves.
- If your home or growing space is very humid, it is recommended to look into a dehumidifier to help regulate moisture in the air.
Dehumidifiers are useful for people who live in wet and humid areas. The humidity outside will often transfer inside.
While medium to high levels of moisture is good for most indoor plants, they can harm others.
Moisture levels should also never be too high. Even plants that love moisture can be oversaturated.
Dehumidifiers can be placed on certain settings to optimize the moisture levels your plants need. Caring for houseplants can be challenging, especially when it comes to regulating humidity and moisture levels.
Some plants will actually thrive in dry environments. It may seem counterintuitive, yet it is true nonetheless.
While most indoor plants need medium to high levels of humidity, there are exceptions that will be unhealthy in humid environments. The following plants, for example, do well in dry climates:
- Palm Plants
- Pothos Vines
- Jade Plants
These houseplants will do well with a dehumidifier, especially if you live in humid climates.
These plants barely need to be watered and will actually be harmed if it is overwatered.
Root rot, for example, can occur in plants such as cacti if they are oversaturated in moisture. These plants usually have fleshy roots and leaves, making them susceptible to too much water.
As mentioned, indoor plants will require certain levels of moisture in order to grow and thrive. A dehumidifier is a good option to help regulate moisture levels in the air.
This needs to take the specific plants into account, however. Consider the following if you think of using a dehumidifier for your houseplants:
- 60-80% humidity levels is considered the best for the majority of houseplants
- 80-90% humidity is considered the best for tropical plants and greenhouses
- 40-60% humidity is the average level of most homes and will require regular misting to maintain proper moisture
- 10-40% humidity is low and will only be good for plants such as cacti and other succulent plants
For average houseplants, 60-80% humidity is the recommended level.
A dehumidifier can be used to help maintain these specific levels, yet with caution. If you have plants, such as cacti, then a dehumidifier can be used to keep moisture in the air low.
Dehumidifiers are not universally bad for all houseplants. They can be harmful to many, however, if you are not careful with its use.
It’s best to use a dehumidifier to help maintain specific moisture levels from time to time, but not too often. Regular use of a dehumidifier should only be for plants that need low levels of moisture to be healthy.
There are signs to look out for when gauging whether a dehumidifier is hurting your plants.
Look for the following signs when using a dehumidifier to regulate moisture:
- Tips and edges of leaves change to a brown or black color
- Buds cease growing properly
- Flower petals begin to wilt
- Plants stop growing at the rate they should
- Leaves begin to fall off
- Yellowing occurs in the leaves or stems
If you notice any of these signs early on, act immediately.
Using a dehumidifier can cause any of these symptoms, especially in plants that need specific levels of moisture regularly. If you use a dehumidifier and see these symptoms, there are steps that can be taken to remedy the situation.
- Regular misting with a spray bottle can help reverse the lack of moisture in a plant
- Move the plant into a room with higher humidity levels such as a kitchen or bathroom
- Check the temperature of the room to assess whether it is too hot or cold for your plant
It’s also recommended to reassess the use of a dehumidifier (if being used) in this case.
It is best to stop using it temporarily until the plants are nursed back to health and proper moisture levels have been established.
Dehumidifiers are not universally bad for all indoor plants. It depends on the plant and the environment it’s being kept in.
Most indoor plants do require certain levels of moisture, however. Usually 60-80% is the recommended level.
Using a dehumidifier to lower humidity may be detrimental to an indoor plant that needs higher moisture levels.
There are other plants, such as cacti, that need low levels of humidity to remain healthy.