How to Correctly Mist Plants: Misting and Humidity Explained

Misting Plant leaves

Misting is the process of applying water in the form of tiny droplets from spray bottles or canisters in order to temporarily increase the humidity surrounding a plant.

Both the top and bottom of plant leaves should be misted in the early morning hours of 7 am to 9 am and in the late afternoon hours of 5 pm. This is so that water can more easily enter the plant when the stomata are open at these times.

Understanding the effects of misting and how plants utilize the tiny water droplets can help us offer the ideal environment for our plants.

In reality, plants only consume a very small portion of the applied water for photosynthesis, the movement of nutrients and minerals, and other purposes.

Approximately 95% of the remaining water is lost through transpiration through the stomata on the underside of the leaf.

When a tropical plant needs more water, misting works as a quick and easy top-up since most tropical plants store water in their leaves.

The Science Behind Misting

Numerous apertures, plant cells, and transport systems can be found on a plant’s leaf. Together, they produce and provide the food needed by the plant to continue growing healthily.

Cooling, plant hydration through humidity, and soil hydration are a few advantages of misting. Cooling is analogous to what happens when plant leaves perspire. Read more about what makes plant leaves sweat in this article. Cooling is analogous to what happens when a plant exudes perspiration.

These fascinating misting facts will be explained, along with how they help your plants.

Do you need to make the air more humid around your plants? This Plant mister spray bottle astonished me with how inexpensively I was able to purchase it from this Amazon listing, and it works incredibly well. To view it, visit this link.

Cooling

As the water evaporates off the surface of the leaf, it gives the plant a way to cool down somewhat.

As the water transforms from a liquid to a vapor, cooling takes place. The water molecules need energy (heat) to accomplish this, which is taken from the leaf’s surface and used by the water molecules to cool the leaf as it evaporates.

The circulation of fluids in the xylem and phloem throughout the plant causes this cooling effect to spread throughout the entire plant.

Misting is therefore crucial on hot days to lessen heat-related stress on plants.

Increases Humidity

Misting makes the area around the plant more humid. Despite the fact that some contend that this is only temporary. Humidity has the overall effect of facilitating a plant’s ability to absorb water.

In their natural habitats, tropical plants are typically exposed to humidity levels of 88%, but the typical houseplant needs humidity levels between 30% and 40%.

Other elements including the season, wind, and equipment like air conditioners, radiators, and fans can also have an impact on interior humidity.

In actuality, what does humidity mean, according to the National Geographic dictionary?

The amount of water vapor in the air is known as humidity. The humidity will be high if there is a lot of water vapor in the atmosphere. It feels wetter outside as the humidity rises.

Relative humidity is typically used to explain humidity. The amount of water vapor that is actually present in the air is known as relative humidity, and it is measured as a percentage (%) of the maximum amount of water vapor that air at a given temperature can hold.

It is not practical to replicate the entire tropical climate for plants because the extreme humidity can lead to the growth of mildew and fungus inside of our homes, which can lead to serious health issues.

However, by spraying the area around the plant or using a humidifier—which we’ll explain later—we may temporarily raise the humidity levels.

Additionally, you can raise the humidity level surrounding the plants themselves by grouping them together inside.

This is due to the fact that as plants transpire, the water that is lost into the air will raise the humidity, which may be advantageous for nearby plants.

Increases Soil Moisture 

The National Center for Biotechnology Information conducted an experiment that demonstrated that when the environment is humid, the plant’s ability to absorb water is mostly carried out by the leaves that are transferred to the soil.

It consequently directly raises the amount of moisture in the soil where the plants were planted. The following table displays this.

Type of SoilEquivalent Moisture% moisture 24 hours later% moisture 48 hours later
Little Soil12.518.520.2
Middle Soil22.725.027.0
Strong Soil36.839.547.2

If you’re interested in learning how to manage your soil moisture better, we’ve written a thorough post on the subject here.

Misting the Underside of the Leaf is Important

For the process of photosynthesis, which is how plants produce their food, water is necessary for plants.

We frequently sprinkle plants, spraying the tops of the leaves. The water can only cover the surface thanks to this misting action.

The underside of leaves reveals a new aspect of how fluid and gas exchange occurs in plants. Small apertures called stomata make this easier.

Depending on how much water and carbon dioxide the leaf requires, the stomata open and close with the help of guard cells.

For this reason, spraying the underside of the leaf in addition to the top will aid the plant in more effectively absorbing the moisture it requires.

Should you Mist the Soil?

Misting the soil won’t provide the plant with any helpful water because the water won’t be able to get to the roots where it can be absorbed.As a result, it shouldn’t become standard practice.

The soil’s surface would only be dampened by the mist for a brief amount of time before the water evaporated into the air.

Water in the soil is necessary for the dissociation, or breaking up and dissolving, of minerals in addition to providing water for the plant through root absorption.

The dissolved minerals are subsequently taken up by the plant through its roots, which carry them to various sections of the plant where they are required for growth.

How do Plants Absorb Water from the Leaves?

When the leaf-water potential is high, that is, when the moisture in the air is more than the moisture in the leaf, water is absorbed from the leaves into the plant through the stomata.

A 2009 experiment [Google Scholar] demonstrated that]

By either providing a direct water subsidy that can be accessed through foliar uptake and raises tissue water content, or by reducing leaf water loss to the atmosphere and enabling more effective foliar hydration with stem xylem water from the rooting zone. Leaf wetness can increase plant hydration in two different ways.

The rise in leaf-water levels The foliar water intake is increased by differential.

Do Plants Absorb Water Faster through Roots or Leaves?

Yes! The roots of a plant are much more efficient in absorbing water than the leaves. This is due to the roots’ unique hairs, which enhance their surface area and facilitate the simple absorption of water, minerals, and nutrients.

The rate of water absorption by the roots is nevertheless influenced by osmotic pressure, but less so than that of the leaf and associated leaf-water differential.

According to the preceding explanation, water is absorbed through leaves when the amount of water inside the leaf is less than the amount of water in the surrounding atmosphere.

The lack of water in the soil and plant leaves is what is causing this difference in water concentration.

Therefore, misting will be a fantastic way to offer water for the plant if you haven’t watered it in a while and it starts to exhibit indications of dehydration.

However, you shouldn’t wait to mist or even water your plants until they begin to exhibit indications of dehydration like limp leaves or wilting.

Misting more frequently would mitigate any negative consequences of underwatering and hence save the plant’s life.

Can you over mist a plant?

Plants only take up the water they require, thus you cannot over-mist them.

To take in the necessary amount of water for the plant to operate correctly, the stomata will open.

Plants will like the extra water that will drip onto the soil where the roots will have access to it while it is over-misting.

You must take into account how the higher humidity would affect the neighboring furnishings from a human perspective.

Furniture and floors that are not resistant to high moisture levels will be harmed by over-misting.

A lot of mist can also cause other problems like moss, mold, and fungus on the walls and surroundings.

On the other hand, if you mist your plant too slowly, you might want to think about watering via the soil to hasten the water absorption process.

This is due to the fact that the plant’s stomata will naturally close when under stress from a severe water shortage in order to prevent any water loss, which makes it difficult for the plant to respond quickly to the application of foliar spray.

Even if your plant is typically watered by misting, watering via the soil will be a quicker solution to the dehydration issue and should be taken into consideration.

You can resume sprinkling the plant regularly once it has recovered to its regular and contented state.

Amazon’s Geniani portable humidifier offers the perfect level of ambient humidity for strong plant development. Clicking here will take you there.

Houseplants that Should be Misted

Here is a list of indoor plants that need misting and those that don’t.

PlantBe sure to mistIdeally not to mist
Orchids  
Plant arrowhead  
the fiddle leaf fig  
palms inside  
Plant zebra  
Pothos  
Black violet  
Venomous plants  
Calm lily  
Succulents  
Philodendron  

On the other hand, some plants, such those with fuzzy leaves, shouldn’t be misted.

They are:

  • black violets
  • tagging-on plants (Tolmiea)

Inadvertent mold and fungal growth brought on by the mist on top of the leaf can harm the leaves.

Best Time to Mist Plants

Misting can be done all day long, especially on hot days when the humidity can drop dramatically.

Nevertheless, offering constant misting would not be practical during the day, given that the majority of individuals probably have busy schedules and other responsibilities like work or school.

based on research showing that plants absorb fertilizer more readily in the morning and evening.

When misting plants is most effective,

  • mornings from 7 to 9 a.m.
  • evenings after 5 o’clock

Placing the Plant in the right space

Bathroom

If you only have a few plants that can be moved easily, putting the plant in the bathroom is a terrific option.

Shower steam will raise humidity levels and create ideal circumstances for the plant to survive, especially during the winter.

Less misting would be necessary overall in terms of hydrating plants.

Corners or in a closed room

The plant will retain more water if it is placed in a well-lit location or even close to a window because the environment will make it difficult for moisture to be removed quickly.

Where not to place the plant

Front doors

A high airflow location for the plant, such as next to a front entrance, can greatly reduce humidity and associated consequences.

Even if the plant and soil are regularly misted, they will shortly dry out.

Radiators, heaters, Air Conditioners and fans

Due to the increase in temperature caused by radiators and heaters, the humidity level around a plant might be drastically reduced.

When plants are placed next to these devices, evapotranspiration increases, quickly drying up the plant.

The result of both transpiration and evaporation combined is called evapotranspiration. where moisture or water is lost through the soil and leaves.

Should you Mist and Water at the Same Time?

At least once each week, misting and watering should be done simultaneously.

This is why:

One method of rehydrating plants is through misting, which should be done often to prevent the plant from becoming dehydrated.

However, watering the soil directly adds water to the roots, allowing them to take up both the water and any dissolved nutrients.

Less frequently watering the soil causes the water to stay in the soil for longer. The plants are able to absorb the water they need over a longer duration.

Therefore, while only providing water to the soil, less care is required.

The plant can get all the hydration it requires by applying water to the soil once a week and to the leaves once or twice a day.

Additionally, giving your plants regular attention and watering them will strengthen your relationship with them and aid in the early detection of pests and nutrient deficits.

Misting vs Soil Watering

Mistingsoil irrigation
Must be carried out more regularlyPossibly once each week
rapid uptake of the leavesenables the soil’s nutrients to be absorbed
More focus is required.detectionLess focus is needed.
can aid in early pest controlLater pest detection results from less attention.
Overmisting can encourage the growth of mold and fungiRoot rot and leaf yellowing can be brought on by over watering.
You can dust-off the leaves.If dust is not manually cleared up, leaves might accumulate.
calls for a misting bottle.calls for a watering can.

Should you add fertilizer while misting 

When the plant is experiencing a specific type of deficit, soluble fertilizers can be added to the misting mixture to provide the nutrients it needs.

Potted plants need to have nutrients added on a regular basis because being in a plant pot only supplies a limited number of nutrients for a limited amount of time.

You should consider the time of day while applying foliar fertilizer.

The best times to apply foliar fertilizer are late afternoons after 5 pm or early mornings between 7 and 9 am.

The stomata on the underside of the leaf open during these times and easily take in nutrients.

As a result, it is advised to spray foliar fertilizer mostly on the underside of the leaves.

Research by the Atomic Energy Commission in the late 1940s and 1950s revealed that fertilizer applied to plant foliage was absorbed 8 to 10 times more quickly than fertilizer administered using conventional methods.

When using foliar fertilizer, it’s important to keep in mind that the spray container shouldn’t clog.

Small, insoluble particles can simply become lodged in the nozzle’s perforations and obstruct the flow outward.

This is taken into account in the design of some misters, which also feature a detachable strainer to prevent plugging.

Misters

Types of misters –

Squeeze nozzle Misters

These are containers that may hold rainfall or tap water and are used to spritz plants when a trigger is squeezed at the top of the container.

You don’t need to buy a special mist container; you may reuse any detergent spray bottle you may already have.

When utilizing these bottles, care must be given because they need to be completely cleaned before use.

In order to properly clean the straw and nozzle of any chemical residue before putting it on the plant, the initial few sprays should be carried out in a sink.

Pressurized Misters

These misters can be manually or electronically pressured.

A pump handle is included with the manually pressurized bottle, which is used to raise the pressure inside the container.

The bottle has a relief valve to release extra pressure when not in use and is constructed of sturdy food-grade material.

The nozzle may spray up to half of the bottle’s contents under pressure before needing to be repressurized.

You can spritz your plants even more easily with the electrically pressurised bottle because it eliminates the need for physical labor.

A little air pump inside the bottle builds pressure as you spray, enabling you to spray the full bottle’s contents by simply pressing a button.

A humidifier is yet another practical misting choice.

Humidifier (Misting Alternative)

If you don’t have a spray bottle or mister, this is useful.

Having a humidifier for your plants might be helpful when it comes to caring for them when you’re not around because misting and humidity go hand in hand.

One approach to achieve this is by placing the humidifier on a timed switch that can be activated remotely via an app or according to a predetermined schedule.

If you don’t have this misting apparatus, you can employ the above-mentioned approach of putting the plant in the bathroom.

Amazon’s Geniani portable humidifier offers the perfect level of ambient humidity for strong plant development. Clicking here will take you there.

Summary

Although misting is a fantastic approach to provide plants water, it should be done often to avoid any diseases that may result from underwatering.

Plants can temporarily rehydrate themselves by misting since, at low humidity, water can also evaporate fast from the leaves.

Therefore, if you plan to leave your plant for more than a day before misting it again, you should spray it in addition to watering the soil.

Until you can water again, the soil moisture will linger longer because it won’t evaporate as quickly.

FAQ

What does it mean to mist a plant?

Misting is the process of applying water in the form of tiny droplets from spray bottles or canisters in order to temporarily increase the humidity surrounding a plant.

Why shouldn’t you mist your plants?

Avoid plants that mist and have fuzzy leaves. They have a texture that collects moisture, which can cause decay and pests.

How often should you mist your plants?

once or twice a week.

Should I mist my plants daily?

Each plant should be surrounded and covered with a fine fog of moisture as a result of misting. Leaves should appear to have a fine coating of dew on them. Some plants prefer daily misting, while others are OK with twice or thrice per week.

Should you mist your plants?

“Their leaves will dry out if you don’t provide them with moisture. Mist the plants if you want new growth and leaves. Many indoor plants are native to subtropical and tropical climates, and “Reader’s Digest Success With House Plants” states that they require a “relative humidity of at least 40%.” Mar 8, 2020

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