Like any tropical houseplant, Monsteras prefer a warm, humid environment for optimal growth. But, the inside of your house doesn’t typically, naturally have the optimal humidity. Many people attempt to solve this lack of humidity conundrum by misting their plants. But does it actually work?
Misting is unnecessary for a Monstera’s growth. It does not significantly increase the surrounding humidity levels because the water droplets evaporate too rapidly into the air. Also, accumulated droplets on the leaves can become potential breeding grounds for pathogenic spores.
Below, I talk about the phenomenon in detail, along with other ways to help your Monstera grow better:
(As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)
Table of contents
Is Misting Helpful for Monsteras?
As mentioned in the introduction, misting does nothing to improve the surrounding humidity around your Monsteras. On average, indoor settings have relatively low humidity levels, about 40 to 50%. It could also go as low as 20% with the heater or radiator switched on in the winter.
So here’s what you need to understand about humidity: it’s basically the amount of water vapor, i.e., the gaseous state of water, in the air. So it’s not liquid water, like what is coming out of your mister. This distinction is crucial to understanding the difference between humidifying and just making things wet.
The moment you spray a stream of very fine water droplets into the air, it lands on your Monstera’s leaves as droplets. One of two things can happen:
- If the temperature is quite warm, the droplets will evaporate and temporarily increase the humidity levels within the area. This happens because there is now more water vapor added into the air. BUT, these will disperse into the open space. As a result, the immediate area’s humidity levels fall back to their initial percentage.
- If the temperature is quite cool, the droplets will remain as liquid water on the plant’s leaves. As I’ve said, these wet spots can catch fungal spores or bacteria which can grow and latch on to the plant eventually causing disease.
So unless you’re going to stand by your Monstera and mist 24/7, you’re not doing yourself any favors. However, that doesn’t mean it is entirely useless. Misting can help get rid of dust off the Monsteras’ leaves, followed by a wipe-down with a damp cloth. It’ll keep your plant nice and clean while maximizing its surface area for more sunlight absorption.
If you’re worried about the low humidity levels in your home possibly affecting your Monstera, hop onto the next section for reliable ways to increase humidity levels.
Should I mist my Monstera plant?
As a whole, misting Monsteras may be helpful to clean the leaves of dirt and dust. But this can be easily achievable with a damp cloth. Otherwise, misting isn’t beneficial in any other sense.
How Can I Increase the Humidity Levels for my Monsteras?
There are three ways you can increase the humidity levels around your Monsteras. The first two are a bit more manual and depend on having space to put/move your plants and the 3rd solution is plug and play (and the one I use to keep my plants happy). All 3 of these methods can be applied to any tropical indoor plant:
- Group your Monstera with other plants that thrive on medium to high humidity levels. The collective plants’ transpiration allows them to raise their surrounding humidity and benefit the others. Think of it as your plants coming together like in a football huddle and blasting their breaths in each other’s face. An unpleasant thought, for sure, but it does work. Note: Do not put drought-tolerant plants in this grouping because, unlike Monsteras, they like dry air.
- Create a pebble tray.
- Use a dish or tray that can fit your Monstera’s pot. If it already has a saucer, you can use this instead.
- Fill the dish/tray/saucer with a layer of pebbles.
- Pour water over the pebbles, just enough to cover the bottom of the dish/tray/saucer. Note: Don’t let the water flood over the rocks. Otherwise, you risk oversaturating your Monstera’s soil as it seeps up through the drain holes.
- Place your pot with the Monstera over the pebble layer. The water will evaporate and significantly increase the humidity levels around the plant.
- Refill the dish/tray/saucer with water as needed.
- Get/Use a humidifier. Sometimes, we just can’t be bothered with doing all the extra work of making our Monsteras surroundings more humid. And that’s ok! At least with a humidifier, you can just add in water, press some buttons, and you’re good to go. Also, if you’re an avid collector of tropical houseplants, this will be your best friend to keep your plants happy in the long run. I recommend getting the AquaOasis™ Cool Mist Humidifier to help you get started. Why? I own it myself, it runs for 24 hours on one tank and you can adjust how fast you want the water vapor produced. Pair this with the ThermoPro TP55 humidity gauge/thermometer and you can gauge how fast the vapor needs to be produced to maintain the optimum humidity of 50-70% for your plants in that specific room. Boom. Science!
All in all, Monsteras are pretty adaptable and can tolerate most conditions like low humidity levels. As most people say, misting is more helpful in making us feel better, not our plants. But if you like it, feel free to keep doing it but with moderation. Happy planting!