Misting: What is it actually useful for? – House Plant Journal

Misting: What is it actually useful for?

In my book, I stated that misting is about as useful to raise humidity as it is to light up a match to warm up a room: the effect on ambient humidity is minimal and temporary.

And I don’t use a humidifier anywhere – my ambient indoor humidity in the winter goes down to 30% but all of my houseplants are fine – just look at this Ctenanthe burl-marxii:

Look, if you enjoy misting your plants, go ahead and do it for your plants with waxy leaves (leaves that are hairy, like Begonias and African violets, may develop fungal spots) – I’m just saying you shouldn’t feel obligated to do it for raising humidity.

But there are some situations where spraying water is the optimal way to deliver moisture to a surface. Here are three great uses for misting:

1. Moistening a Moss Pole

The Rhaphidophora crypantha’s moss pole doesn’t stay moist for longer than a day – a daily misting helps!

In order for a climbing plant to root against a moss pole, the moss should be moist. Unfortunately, sphagnum moss exposed to air dries out within a few hours – especially if it’s just a thin layer of wrapped moss. If I’m watering the plant in the shower or in the sink, I can also moisten the pole, but when it dries out in between waterings (which basically happens within a day), taking the whole plant to the sink just to moisten the pole is a hassle and you wouldn’t be able to use a watering can without getting water everywhere. Misting to the rescue!

The fine water droplets can be directed to the moss without getting too much water elsewhere – a few other surfaces are bound to get a bit wet but not nearly as much as if you tried to pour water onto the moss.

2. Helping an Unfurling Leaf

Even inside my Ikea Greenhouse Cabinet where the humidity is 60-70%, I still get Philodendrons struggling with unfurling without kinks (I’m looking at you, P. melanochrysum!) Instead of trying to raise the humidity of the entire cabinet even further, you can just spritz the unfurling leaf, which seems to help it slide out as it grows. You don’t have to actually pull it out unless the bend is really bad.

3. Air Plant Pick-Me-Up

The usual way to water air plants is to soak them on a weekly basis (assuming they get enough light), but I noticed that the ones growing under my grow lights and near the fan got dry rather quickly. Instead of increasing the frequency of soaking, I just spray them with water in between the full soaking to help them along. These guys live in the same cabinet as a Rhaphidophora crypantha on a moss pole – so I just spritz the air plants while I’m moistening the moss pole!


With my newfound use of daily misting, the automatic mister by Mossify came in super handy! When activated, it sends a steady fine mist of water to whatever needs a little spritz.

My friends at Mossify are offering you a 15% discount through my code: HPJ15


Simple do’s and don’ts won’t help you understand the WHY.

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