Misting…?

Misting…?

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.


If you wanted to raise the humidity level around your plants, you would have to mist the air surrounding the plant every few minutes to actually make a difference. Spraying the plant’s leaves is not going to help with this issue.

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?

To solve the problem with dry air in our homes its better to invest the time in more efficient methods such as using pebble trays, placing boiled water near the plants, placing containers of water on your heaters, or even investing some money in air humidifiers.

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.

WRITTEN BY:

Dominik Šperka

After finishing my studies from Psychology and English language and literature, I have decided to start something new. I have started with aquatic plants during my previous employment at a pet shop, where I worked as an aquarist. Later on I mixed in terrariums and vivariums which led me to this new kind of obsession - house plants. I am an enthusiastic self-taught plant owner now and I am always willing to help anyone who decides to green up their home.

2 Comments

  • Liz

    I misted my monstera everyday and it is getting yellow brown spots… I think it’s time to stop and just stick with my humidifier 🥺I’m so sad .

  • Ittai

    Hi Dominik, the explanation about misting and the stomata pores makes sense, however many plants only have their stomata pores on the underside of the leaves. In that case, do you see a negative impact if someone was to only mist the top side of the leaf?

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