Which Houseplants Should Be Misted and Why
You’ve heard it’s important to mist your houseplants, but not all of them. That makes you wonder if yours is one that needs the extra attention. What’s the point of misting your indoor plants anyway? We did lots of digging to bring you the answer.
Which houseplants should be misted and why? Make sure you mist the following houseplants:
- Arrowhead plant
- Dwarf umbrella tree
- Banana plant
- Corn plant
- Peace lily
- African violet
- Indoor palms
- Zebra plant
As for why it’s important to mist the above houseplants, it’s because they require humidity of at least 30 percent, some even 40 percent. Misting provides the moisture and temperature these plants need to survive.
In this article, we will elaborate on the above houseplants, telling you a bit more about them, including the environments they prefer. We’ll also fill you in on how often to mist these indoor plants so they’re happy and healthy.
18 Houseplants That Need to Be Misted
Let’s begin with the beautiful begonia. This perennial flowering plant genus includes over 1,800 species. The Begoniaceae family is quite a cramped one, then. Like all the plants on this list, begonias prefer tropical environments. They can do well in subtropical ones as well. Depending on the species, some begonias can even withstand cooler weather, and these are typically the kind grown indoors.
Be careful to check which species of begonia you do have before you begin misting it. Rex begonias can develop mildew if you spritz them with too much water. You would want to use a humidifier in the room with your rex begonias, then.
The humble garden croton or Codiaeum variegatum adds a dash of color to your indoor garden. It’s resplendent with its large, teardrop-shaped leaves in hues like neon green, bright yellow, pale orange, bright red, and maroon. It’s part of the Euphorbiaceae family and Codiaeum genus. You can find croton in parts of the world as the Pacific Ocean islands, Australia, Malaysia, and Indonesia, where it mostly favors scrubs and open forests.
You’re safe misting your croton, but how often does depend. Some gardeners say to do it at least twice a day while others say you can go a day, sometimes even two days, between misting. If the leaves feel very dry, then give them a spritz of water. The garden croton can also spend some time sitting in your bathroom, lapping up the natural humidity there.
Similar in color and style to the garden croton is the caladium. This Araceae family member has more than a thousand cultivars. Caladium is actually its scientific name. Many call this plant the Heart of Jesus because of its striking appearance. That is, this plant has heart-shaped leaves with a dark green border and a pale red/pink inside.
The Caladium prefers being positioned beneath a saucer with water and pebbles inside. You can also adjust your thermostat when you’re not home, turning it way up. If that’s out of the question, then misting works fine for the caladium. Just make sure you’re maintaining a temperature of at least 65 degrees Fahrenheit for this plant through your misting or other means.
We’ve touched on the pilea before on this blog, but it’s been a minute. Thus, here’s a recap. The Pilea peperomioides or Chinese money plant also has amusing nicknames like the mirror grass and UFO plant. It’s a member of the Urticaceae family, which includes other nettles. The pilea itself has small, circular leaves in a bright green with a smooth texture.
You only want to mist your pilea maybe twice every week and water it just once in that same time. The Chinese money plant can develop root rot if you overdo it, so limit how much water it gets.
The arrowhead plant or Syngonium podophyllum is an indoor delight that some people like to call the arrowhead vine. It’s not really a vine, though, just a bright green plant with leaves that taper off to a point like arrows. This Araceae family member likes hot environments like those you’d find in Hawaii, Texas, Florida, the West Indies, Bolivia, Mexico, and other parts of Latin America.
You have two methods for delivering the necessary humidity to your arrowhead plant. The first of these is to use a tray or container with water and pebbles, putting the plant on the tray. You can also do some good, old-fashioned misting, getting into an everyday habit if you go this route. In the winter, you might mist the arrowhead plant even more often.
Dwarf Umbrella Tree
You probably remember the schefflera if you’ve read this blog before. As a reminder, it goes by the name the dwarf umbrella tree. Its whole scientific name is the Schefflera arboricola. It’s part of the Araliaceae family and looks a lot like the Schefflera actinophylla or standard umbrella tree, just smaller.
In the case of the dwarf umbrella tree, misting it does more than just add to its humidity. It also keeps away spider mites, which love this plant. They’ll try to get in and chomp on your lovely houseplant whenever they can, but water will send the spider mites running. Get into a regular misting habit, then.
Banana plants, as the name may tell you, are indeed where everyone’s favorite yellow fruit comes from. They’re the biggest herbaceous plant of their kind. While they look like trees, they aren’t. It’s easy to see why people get them confused though, especially since they can stand at more than 26 feet tall at their biggest. It’s actually the banana plant’s pseudostem that gets super tall.
If you’re adding a banana plant to your home or apartment for a tropical feel, then make sure they have that tropical environment they need as well. Mist often to keep the leaves from getting too dusty, since they are quite long and large. Misting will also keep the temperature up and hydrate the plant.
Next up, we’ve got the ctenanthe. This very old plant first got classified in 1884, so who knows how much longer it existed before anyone found it. It’s a Maranthaceae family member and is described as a type of flowering plant. The leaves stand out since they have marble striping in a dark green hue. The base of this plant is lighter green while the leaves themselves are long and rounded at the edges.
There’s no hard and fast rule for misting your ctenanthe. If it’s been more than a few days or upwards of a week, then it’s probably time, but always see how moist your plant is first.
In one of our more recent articles, we introduced you to the corn plant or Dracaena fragrans. As we mentioned then, despite its name, this plant grows fruits and flowers but no corn. When tended to outdoors, it can get very tall and does look like a cornstalk. In fact, the resemblance is so clear that the corn plant also goes by the name cornstalk dracaena.
Those long leaves need care, so make sure you mist them from time to time. You also want to mist the plant’s soil, maintaining its moisture without waterlogging. You’ll know the soil needs some water if it’s dry to the touch. Otherwise, leave it be, as the corn plant could then develop root rot.
A favorite of this blog, the peace lily needs no introduction at this point. It’s called the Spathiphyllum and is a type of monocotyledonous flowering plant. What does that mean? It refers to a plant classified as an angiosperm that has a cotyledon in its seed. A cotyledon is part of the plant embryo and appears before any other leaves.
The leaves and the soil of a peace lily can both do with some misting, especially when either begins to dry out. There’s no need to touch the soil to tell when the peace lily has reached that point, by the way. Instead, look for a slight sag.
If the tropical leaves weren’t a dead giveaway that the philodendron has specific humidity requirements, then take the fact that philodendrons were first found on a variety of tropical islands. These include Venezuela, Colombia, and the West Indies. That was way back in 1644 when the plant was originally discovered.
Since they’re used to temperatures of 55 to 90 degrees outdoors, try to maintain your home or apartment temperature at 65 to 70 degrees overnight and up to 85 degrees during the day if you can stand it. Misting, like it does with many other large-leafed plants, will keep those beautiful green philodendron leaves looking healthy and pretty.
What kind of fern do you like? Perhaps you favor the sword fern, which looks great in a hanging basket. You could be a fan of the bird’s nest fern, which has long, jagged leaves. There’s also the lady fern, elkhorn fern, hart’s tongue fern, western sword fern, and so many more we’ve covered on this blog before.
While it can vary depending on the species you choose, ferns like misting a couple of times a week. You should avoid misting them every day, though. To maintain your fern health, also make sure they have mood moss with plenty of moisture. You want to position them far from fans and air vents as well.
The African violet, which has come up quite a lot lately, is a great houseplant for your indoor garden. The attractive flowers with their purple petals and their yellow centers will jazz up any garden that needs a pop of color. Scientifically, these are referred to as the Saintpaulia. The African violet may have as little as six species and as many as 20.
This plant doesn’t really need high temps to grow at home, so you can leave your thermostat where it is. Instead, mist it at least two times a week if you feel it needs it. Once weekly misting is a-okay, too. Just whatever you do, don’t douse the African violet, as you don’t want water sitting on the plant’s leaves. A fine spray suffices.
It can always feel like you’re near a sandy beach if you have some indoor palm trees at home. You have all sorts of choices here, such as the trees we’ve discussed on this blog and even some we haven’t yet talked about. These include the Phoenix roebelenii or pygmy date palm, the Caryota mitis or fishtail palm, the Howea belmoreana or sentry palm, and the Howea forsteriana or Kentia palm.
Besides just misting your indoor palm trees, make sure you’re fertilizing them, watering when needed, and providing lots of light, too. Also, keep your eyes peeled for spider mites, as they like indoor palm trees almost as much as dwarf umbrella trees. Mist to keep them at bay!
Also going by the moniker the nerve plant, fittonia is a type of flowering plant that can dazzle you with its color richness. Some fittonia have green leaves with red veins while others are pale purple or pinkish-red. This Acanthaceae family member likes very hot environments like the South American rainforests.
Those awe-inspiring leaves can sadly begin wilting and looking limp without the right care. Namely, you have to get into a misting habit, at least once daily, sometimes even twice. Misting does not replace watering the fittonia, so make sure you’re doing that as well. Otherwise, the leaves will continue to look sad.
Another pick you should consider for your indoor garden if you’re a fan of color is the orchid. We’ve written about these before, but we’ll cover them again in case you missed it. Orchids, which fall under the Orchidaceae umbrella, are part of a family has the majority of flowering plants as members. In fact, the Asteraceae family rivals them, but they’re the only ones.
Get your spray bottle ready if you’re growing orchids in your apartment, home, or office. They need misting each day. This will keep the roots moist but not too wet so they don’t get root rot. You’ll also maintain the right humidity the orchids need to thrive.
In the same vein as the orchid is the laceleaf or Anthurium. It’s part of the Araceae family, which has the biggest genus of flowering plants, with more than a thousand species in existence. The laceleaf sprouts a flower with a red leaf-like appendage and a green or yellow stalk. The plant can grow in other hues depending on the species you choose.
Its foliage does well with regular misting, as does the plant’s aerial roots. In the colder months, even though it’s indoors, limit your misting to one time each week. When the weather warms up, mist the laceleaf more often weekly. Never let the temperatures at home or at the office get lower than 60 degrees.
If you own the zebra plant or Aphelandra squarrosa, then you’ll have to mist it as well. This Acanthaceae member can be found in Brazil’s Atlantic Forest, where it thrives among other tropical vegetation. The oversized triangular leaves have white stripes against a dark green base, leading to them resembling zebras. Some zebra plants can sprout appealing yellow flowers.
When you do mist this plant, avoid getting the flowers wet. You also don’t want to mist the leaves too much, because if there’s standing water left, the zebra plant could develop diseases, including root rot. That’s why some gardeners decide to forego misting the zebra plant entirely and just give it a container with water and pebbles.
Is misting the most effective way to provide humidity to a plant?
Misting certainly acts as a source of humidity for your houseplants, but only for as long as you’re doing it. Since you more than likely have a full-time job and other life responsibilities, you can’t spend your time at home around the clock misting your houseplant.
This has come up already on this blog, but a humidifier can provide the required humidity your houseplant needs when you can’t mist it. Should the humidity get too excessive for your indoor plant, make sure you have a dehumidifier handy. This will remove the heat from the air.
How do you know your houseplant is getting enough humidity?
If you own one of the houseplants we discussed in this article, you already know you’ll have to get into a misting schedule. How often will vary, but how can you tell if you’re not misting often enough?
Your houseplant will tell you, of course. The leaves may become brown, especially at the tips and the edges. Further, they’ll turn yellow and curl up. With some houseplants, this is a very obvious symptom, and with others, you really have to keep your eyes peeled. Either way, increase the humidity in your home or apartment to turn around the condition of your houseplant.