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.



Most 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!

humidity tray

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
Plant Care - The Basics
Plant Care - Light
Plant Care- Temperature

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