Should you mist your plants?
Dominik Šperka gets to the bottom of the controversy.
Most of the plants that we keep inside come from the areas that generally have higher humidity than our houses or apartments can provide. So naturally, it makes sense to mist the hell out of them, doesn’t it…?
The answer is no, or at least, not necessarily…
Let’s go through some points together and see why misting your plants might not be as beneficial as you might expect.
Excess water on the leaves can lead to some leaf malformations, root, mold or fungi. It also can help spread diseases – if your plants are grouped together and one is affected by a disease or pets, the excess water from a freshly misted plant can drip down from the affected plant onto your other healthy plants, carrying harmful particles along the way.
Misting also raises the soil’s moisture which encourages mold growth and can attract fungus gnats. Many plants such as Ficuses, Monstera, Calathea, Ferns and many more really do not need or like to be misted. On the other hand, plants like Bromeliads, Tillandsias, Orchids and Carnivorous plants love to have that excess water on their leaves and roots.
Consider some quick facts to help illustrate the idea. In probably more than half of all plants, exposure to rain or misting can rapidly suppress the photosynthetic mechanism. Leaves are normally full of water vapor, which diffuses through the stomatal pores according to the air humidity.
Excess water on leaves (from the rain or misting) slows down the transpirational loss by closing stomata which also slows down the photosynthesis.
Even misting for as little as two minutes with insufficient air flow can slow down the transpirational loss by 30 to 40 percent, which can result in slowing the photosynthesis for nearly an hour! And that’s not a very good thing now, is it?
If you keep the air humidity around your plants at an adequate percentage the water transpiration will take place naturally and your plants remain happy.
At the end of the day, what’s most important is keeping your plants happy. If you have a system that works for you then feel free to continue doing what you’re doing because what works for me does not have to work for you!
Feel free to comment below and let us know about your plant misting preference.