Plant Care - Temperature and Humidity
If you feel comfortable with the air temperature your
plants probably will too. Most houseplants enjoy the same
temperatures we live in.
Relative humidity is another matter all together. Indoor air tends to
be extremely dry during winter months when central heating bakes the
moisture out of the air.
indoor plants are happy with the same temperatures we
enjoy. You can easliy tell whether a room is hot or cold by just
standing in it.
Understanding temperatures from a plant's
perspective isn't quite that simple however.
Temperatures in a typical room vary quite a bit.
Most rooms have areas that get more or less sun and
more or less heat or air conditioning.
These small spaces are called "micro-climates".
For example, temperature close
to a window can be much different than the temperature in the room.
When the weather outside drops below freezing in the winter,
the temperature in your windowsill could be in the 40's.
On a hot summer's day the temperature that same spot
can soar to 120 degrees or more!
A good way to identify micro-climates is a "minimum/maximum"
thermometer. It not only shows the current temperature, but
also the highest and lowest temperatures over time. We
use them regularly.
Humidity is moisture in the air. Most indoor plants come from the
rainforest so they welcome humidity. The ideal
humidity range for indoor plants is 40-65% range.
Humidity levels are closely tied to air temperature. To help maintain higher humidity
during the winter, turn down the thermostat. Your plants will
gladly trade cooler temperatures for the hot, dry air from the
furnace. Don't worry about your plants getting too cold - you'll get chilly
long before your plants will.
Likewise,in the summer, indoor plants enjoy the natural,
warm, humid air from outside. Air conditioners not only cool the air, they also remove moisture,
lowering the humidity. One of our biggest challenges taking care of plants in
corporate offices is cold air drafts from air conditioning. Plants just
don't like it!
Don't confuse humidity and water in the pot. Humidity is moisture in the
air. Watering your plant more to compensate for dry air is a sure
way to kill it.
How to increase humidity:
misting only increases humidity temporarily and is of little help.
Ways to increase
humidity at home:
1. Grow plants on a humidity tray
2. Group plants together creating a "micro-climate".
3. Invest in a humdifier