Which Indoor Plants Like Humidity?


Humidity might not be your favorite thing in the world because it makes the air sticky and hot, but some indoor plants love it. If you have a bathroom or kitchen windowsill you’d like to put some of your plants on, you’ll want to ensure you choose humidity-favoring houseplants. Which houseplants are these?

Which indoor plants like humidity? The following indoor plants favor and will thrive in humid conditions:

  • Bamboo
  • Philodendron
  • Fiddle-leaf fig
  • Tillandsia
  • Devil’s ivy AK.A. Pothos
  • Chinese evergreen
  • Swiss cheese plant
  • Bromeliads
  • Calatheas
  • Areca palm
  • Orchids
  • Bird’s nest fern
  • Western sword fern
  • Snake plant
  • Golden bird’s nest
  • Peace lily
  • Spider plant

Ahead, I’ll discuss each houseplant species on the list above, covering such pertinent info as how much humidity they like and where in your home (or office!) to put your plant. I’ll even offer suggestions on how to induce humidity, so you’re not going to want to miss it!

17 Houseplants That Need Humidity to Thrive

Bamboo

The bamboo in the Poaceae family, which is also referred to as the Bambusoideae, will most enjoy the spring and summer seasons since that’s when the mercury begins rising. To keep your bamboo happy even in the autumn and winter, you can spritz or mist some water on the growing bamboo every two or three days as needed.

As you know if you read this blog, I usually don’t advocate for misting plants, but in this case, it’s okay since the bamboo doesn’t need it all the time.

If you don’t have a spray container or you’re lacking the time for misting, then using a humidity tray is just as good, if not better. You should fill a humidity tray with water and some stones and then put the plants that need humidity atop the tray. Your bamboo will love it!

Philodendron

Okay, so maybe you’re not going to fit certain species of philodendron in your bathroom considering a few of this indoor plant species can grow to at least 3 feet tall and its width is twice its height. That said, in other rooms that get a lot of sun and humidity, many of the philodendron species are a great choice.

Which Species of Philodendron like Humidity?

The Philodendron Hederaceum A.K.A. the Green Heartleaf Philodendren absolutely loves humidity and while they’re known for thriving in both, low light as well as partial light, they make fantastic plants for a humid rooms including a bathroom as long as there is a window that offers at least partial light into the space throughout the day.

During the day, maintain temperatures of 70 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit with relative humidity for your philodendron. When the sun sets, temps can go as low as 55 degrees, but no colder than that.

Cleaning the philodendron’s leaves with water can induce humidity, and this habit prevents dust from accumulating. This is a good thing, as too much grime on the philodendron’s massive leaves can make photosynthesis less effective.

Fiddle-Leaf Fig

You’re going to see a handful of figs on this list of houseplants that like humidity, with the fiddle-leaf fig the first. This Moraceae family member, scientifically referred to as the Ficus lyrata, comes from western Africa, where humidity is never in short supply. You can recreate the heat at home for your fig by maintaining humidity at 30 to 65 percent.

Yes, that’s a pretty big range, so let me explain a bit. If where you live is already pretty moist, then less humidity indoors is ideal for the fiddle-leaf fig. Increase the humidity if your environment is drier, such as the desert, by using a humidifier.

Tillandsia

The tillandsia is a succulent species that looks great as part of an indoor garden, hanging in a glass bowl or simply growing on a bathroom windowsill. Its Bromeliaceae family includes roughly 650 different species, giving you plenty of tillandsia variety for your indoor garden!

Also known as the air plant, tillandsia grows natively in 65-percent humidity. They need that hot air out in nature, or else they become dry from the intense heat of the sun. Try to replicate the humidity to the same degree when growing this plant in your home or office for the best results.

Devil’s Ivy AK.A. Pothos

Has a friend recently given you a container of devil’s ivy also known as pothos or Epipremnum aureum? If you want this houseplant to meet expectations for growth, extending its long vines 40 feet out or more, then you’ll need to get into a good care routine right away.

The temperature range the devil’s ivy most likes is 60 to 80 degrees with average to high humidity depending on how dry the air is where you live. Some indoor gardeners have reported that their devil’s ivy did just fine with lesser humidity, and that’s mostly because this is a patient and somewhat durable plant species.

Just don’t starve the devil’s ivy of humidity altogether or it won’t last long.  

For more on the Devil’s Ivy / Pothos you might want to read: Why Pothos Drips Water (Sweats) And What to Do About It or 15 Easiest Vines to Grow Indoors

Chinese Evergreen

A great ornamental plant that will spruce up any bathroom or sunny hallway, the Chinese evergreen is an Araceae family that sprouts oversized, sometimes-colorful leaves. Considered a tropical plant, humidity is one of the most important pillars of a Chinese evergreen’s care, so make sure you warm up your home or office when needed.

If left in your bathroom, the humidity you generate from showering should be enough to satiate the Chinese evergreen.

Maybe once a week, you can mist the plant to enhance its humidity even further. Some indoor gardeners opt to use a pebble tray to crank up the humidity a notch, so that’s another good option.

Swiss Cheese Plant

The Monstera deliciosa is one of the most popular houseplant species for a reason. It’s even bigger than the philodendron, often reaching heights of 10 feet if the houseplant is happy. Its leaves are just as appealing, what with their large holes throughout.

Unless you have a ginormous bathroom, then you likely can’t squeeze a Monstera in there, so you’ll have to get creative about how you create humidity for the Swiss cheese plant. A humidity tray will work, as can a humidifier.

I’d also suggest misting and cleaning this plant’s leaves at least twice a month and maintaining temperatures of no lower than 65 degrees.

Bromeliads

Let’s talk about a flowering plant species now, the bromeliad in the self-named Bromeliaceae family. Their appealing flowers grow in neon shades such as orange, red, pink, and yellow.

They’re a distinct member of any indoor garden, and in a warm room such as the kitchen or the bathroom, bromeliads will be in the ideal conditions for growth.

Maintain your relative humidity between 40 and 60 percent. In the case of this flower plant species, I would suggest using a humidifier over misting, because another facet of bromeliad care is good air circulation.

Calatheas

Marantaceae family members the calathea come from the tropical Americas, which explains this houseplant’s predilection for heat and humidity. Depending on your variety of calathea, your houseplant might have darker green leaves with light green stripes across, lighter white patches, or even thick, dark borders and bright green centers.

The latter is an especially rare variety!

Make sure you do check which variety of calathea you have before inducing humidity. Most varieties can get by with a humidity of at least 50 percent while some varieties demand even more humidity, 60 percent and up.

Humidity trays and humidifiers are the best ways to add more heat to a calathea’s environment.

Areca Palm

The golden cane palm or areca palm will add a tropical feel to your bathroom or other warm space in your home. This Arecaceae family member known as the Dypsis lutescens comes from Madagascar, an East African country. You can only imagine then that the areca palm is quite accustomed to humidity.

For more about indoor palms you’ll want to read Can Indoor Palm Trees Come Back to Life?

You can set up great growing conditions for this palm at home by adjusting the thermostat to no lower than 65 degrees and generating at least moderate humidity. The areca palm can also act as its own humidifier.

As it sends water into the air in your home or office, the heat in that room will naturally begin crawling up. You’ll also have fewer toxins in the air thanks to the areca palm.

Orchids

Another flowering species that loves humidity, the orchid or Orchidaceae produces stunning flowers that smell as nice as they look. Most orchid varieties grow in hues like maroon, neon pink, purple, pale pink, and white, but if you’re lucky, you can get your hands on a blue variety.

You won’t find many houseplants on this list that go as gaga for humidity as orchids. During the day, feel free to raise the humidity between 50 and 70 percent.

In the summer, the orchids don’t mind being transferred to a humidity tray or a pebble dish to enhance their humidity even more than what the summer temps already do. It’s hard to provide orchids too much humidity.

Bird’s Nest Fern

I told you there’d be a lot of ferns on this list, and the next is the bird’s nest fern or Asplenium nidus. This epiphytic fern species in the Aspleniaceae family calls many hot parts of the world home, including eastern Africa, Hawaii, and Australia.

Yet if you want to lower the humidity, say 30 to 50 percent, the bird’s nest fern is okay. That said, the higher the humidity, the happier this houseplant will be.

The fern appreciates misting if you have the time for it; otherwise, using a pebble tray or this humidifier we found on Amazon that’s worked wonderfully for us. I would recommend using distilled water when using any humidifier or you might find yourself cleaning it more often than you’d like.

Western Sword Fern

Another fern to consider for the warmer areas of your home is the western sword fern, aka the Polystichum munitum. This western North American evergreen grows rapidly in that area.

You’ll know this fern for its long, blade-like leaves and bright green color.

Like the bird’s nest fern, the western sword fern will thrive if its humidity reaches lower levels of 30 to 50 percent. Natively though, this fern species is used to a relative humidity of at least 70 percent, so it’s best if you can provide the same level of heat.

I think it’s also worth mentioning that I know a few indoor gardeners put their western sword fern in two pots to boost its moisture, which you might also consider trying.

Snake Plant

Here’s a well-known contender for a bathroom houseplant, the good ‘ol snake plant, which grows throughout tropical West Africa. As I wrote about in my snake plant 101 article, the snake plant likes relative humidity of about 40 percent, which should be very doable in your home or office.

The snake plant is another humidity loving plant that will thank you by growing faster and taller if you place a humidifier in the room with it.

Maintaining the room temperature for the snake plant is also important. By day, the temp range you want to aim for is between 60 and 80 degrees. After dark, the temperature range decreases, as it’s now 55 to 70 degrees.

Peace Lily

The peace lily may be a flowering plant, but that white bloom it grows isn’t technically a flower. In that regard, the peace lily isn’t actually a lily, either.

That doesn’t make this houseplant any less fun to grow though, be that in your bathroom or another warmer room of the home or office.

The minimum humidity requirement for the peace lily is 50 percent, but I wouldn’t recommend you linger that low if you can help it. Without enough humidity, the Spathiphyllum’s leaves will begin browning at the ends.

Also, you’ll hinder your chances of seeing that faux white flower as plant blooming stops.

If You Like Peace Lilies, You Might Like: Why Your Peace Lily Flowers Turn Black or Brown or Peace Lily Too Big? Here’s What to Do

Spider Plant

Last but certainly not least is the spider plant, a long, dangly-leaved plant that’s also appropriately called the ribbon plant. Growing beautifully in either a planter or a hanging basket, you have lots of options for putting your spider plant around the house where it can get some heat.

When it comes to the spider plant, make sure you’re keeping the temperatures at 65 to 75 percent and maintaining at least moderate humidity. If you see the tips of the spider plant’s distinctive leaves becoming brown, that’s a sign you need to up the humidity. Get a humidifier in the spider plant’s space, place a pebble tray underneath it or move it to a bathroom, ASAP.

For more about dealing with droopy or browning tips on the leaves of your spider plant, you can read: Spider Plant Looking Pale & Limp? Here’s What to Do!

Conclusion

People generally tend to think of humidity only in the summertime when the weather gets hot, but many species of houseplants need humidity all year long. The 17 plants I covered in this post can grow in a bathroom, kitchen, or many other warm spaces.

And remember, you can also use a pebble tray, humidifier, or even a spray bottle to mist these plants to help create a humid environment if you have the time.

If the required humidity of these houseplants has always eluded you, I hope this post clears things up. Once you get the basics down like lighting and watering, figuring out your plant’s humidity will help it grow and thrive even more. Best of luck!

Fred Zimmer

I'm a lover of plants, animals, photography, & people, not necessarily in that order. Currently, I'm focused on photographing indoor plants & chachkies. I write & rewrite articles about creating an environment where indoor plants can thrive. I'm good at listening to music but bad at shopping to muzak.

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