Humidity is the quantity of water vapor in the air.
For most individuals, high humidity may be quite uncomfortable which is why many people invest in dehumidifiers especially during the summer.
Instead of spending hundreds of dollars on equipment to reduce humidity in the air, you can actually spend a fraction of the cost by buying plants that reduce humidity instead.
In this article, you will learn about how some plants work as a natural dehumidifier, the variety of plants that thrive in humid air, and how to care for them.
From the hundreds of indoor plants that are available in the market today, there are dozens of options to choose from. Here are the popular plants that crave moisture and would be excellent in reducing humidity: Peace Lilies, English Ivies, Parlor Palms, Boston Ferns, Spider Plants, and more.
Why Do We Need to Reduce Humidity?
Ideally, the normal range for humidity is between 30 to 50%.
Too much moisture in the air is uncomfortable and would cause a series of problems in the long run. If you are easily getting allergies or having respiratory concerns, you may live in a humid atmosphere.
Allergens thrive in humid conditions, dust mites, mold, and mildew are the top causes of allergies.
Small living spaces with poor ventilation are places where humidity is abundant. Adding plants in areas like these would be a great idea.
Here are some signs that you would need to do something to reduce the humidity of your home:
- There are obvious water stains on the walls and ceilings of your home.
- There is little or absolutely no source of ventilation like windows, exhaust units, or openings.
- There is evident condensation. You can see these on the windows. If there is any moisture build-up, this is a big sign.
- There are small black spots on your walls or ceilings. These are actually mold.
- There is a strong smell of must. This is a sign of mildew.
It is very important to reduce the humidity of your home especially when mold and mildew are present. These microorganisms may cause harm to your health since they travel through the air.
Even if you constantly clean your home, these microorganisms will still be present because of the humidity.
Being able to control the amount of moisture in the air would definitely be beneficial to your entire family in the long run. Choosing to have plants that are good at reducing humidity can definitely help out with this problem.
Plants are quite beneficial in any setting, more so, indoors. They have been proven to eliminate toxins and improve air quality by tenfold.
A study conducted by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1989 was able to quantify the effectiveness of these plants against a variety of chemicals including formaldehyde. Eventually, all scientific research done on plants has been inspired by NASA’s initial study.
In addition to the mountains of benefits they provide, they are also able to absorb and reduce humidity in the air.
As mentioned, having a high amount of humidity can be quite uncomfortable which is why people do make an extra effort to regulate its amount especially indoors.
High moisture is also associated with respiratory problems, the formation of mold, and possible structural damage.
Plants, in general, love moisture and absorb it through their leaves, but not all plants are efficient in absorbing the humidity.
Dew, fog, or even water vapor is absorbed by the plant through its foliar uptake. The stoma of the leaves takes in the moisture, and this travels down to the xylem and eventually reaching the roots of the plant.
Plants That Reduce Humidity and How to Properly Take Care of Them
The end goal is to reduce the amount of humid air in your home, and improve air quality in general.
If you are not ready to spend money on a dehumidifier, plants are definitely the best option for you. They are easy to buy, they cost way less, and it is fairly low maintenance.
Here is a list of plants that would be great as a natural dehumidifier, and how you need to take care of them.
- Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum spp.)
Commonly found in the shady, cool and damp areas of the forest, these tropical evergreens are quite fond of moisture. By being able to copy the environment they have in nature, you can be sure that they will do better at home. They need low-lit spaces, ample amount of nutrition to bloom in the summer and all throughout the seasons. The Peace Lily can grow up to 16 inches in height indoors, and even taller when outdoors. They are versatile and can adapt to any environment.
In order to keep you Peace Lily happy and healthy, here are some tips you may want to follow:
- Do not overwater your Peace Lily.
They may like moisture but over watering your plant will cause the roots to
rot. However, you should not let your plant dry out either. Once the leaves
start to brown and the soil is bone dry, you need to water it immediately.
- When watering your Peace Lilies,
you must avoid using tap water. Tap water has fluoride and chlorine which is
not really good for plant growth. Use room temperature filtered water to be
- Mist their leaves every now and
then to make sure they get the right amount of moisture should your home not be
as humid as the plants would prefer.
- Do not place your Peace Lily under direct sunlight. This will burn the plant’s leaves. Keep them in a low-lit area, with just the right amount of indirect sunlight.
Lilies are excellent at removing chemicals from the air. Toxins like
formaldehyde, carbon dioxide, and benzene are some of the compounds that have
been proven to be easily absorbed by the plant.
- English Ivy (Hedera helix)
There are dozens of ivy varieties available in the market. However, the English Ivy is one of the more popular options. They are one of the easiest plants to care for indoors. Just provide them with the bare minimum, and you’ve got a happy plant in your home.
Unlike the Peace Lily, Ivies actually love light. They thrive in well-lit areas. If you are planning to keep an English Ivy, you would need to keep it right by the window sill to help it thrive. Here are some tips to help you care for your English Ivy:
- Before watering your plant, check
the topsoil. If it is still moist, put off your watering. These plants like
moisture but will not like a pool of water in their pot.
- To keep it lush, you can add
fertilizer every now and then.
- If you do have pets at home, keep
these plants away from them. It is highly toxic to animals.
- Use and airy soil. Avoid using
clay-type soil since these do not drain well.
- Maintain the vines, and keep them short. If they get near walls or furniture, they will grow on it since the vines are equipped with tiny root hairs that would latch on other surfaces.
grow fast and more aggressively compared to other indoor plants, and is quite
easy to maintain.
- Parlor Palm (Chamaedorea elegans)
These plants are known for their long lives that people would actually pass these on from one generation to another. Compared to a regular palm, these are smaller in stature and is absolutely fond of moisture.
- Keep your plant out of direct
sunlight. Most people would place them in inner rooms. As long as they got a
little amount of sunlight, they would do fine.
- They thrive at 50 degrees
Fahrenheit. Keeping the temperature within this range would be ideal.
- Being low-maintenance, watering is
a non-issue. Depending on the weather, the amount of water needs to be
adjusted. During summer, you would need to water it more compared to cooler
conditions like Spring or Fall.
- To prevent infestations and improve hydration, you must mist the leaves every other week.
easy to care for, these plants are definitely ideal for any home.
- Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata)
Known for its hassle-free maintenance, these plants are great for humid conditions and low-lit homes. They are often used as decor and recommended for beginner gardeners.
- If your home were not as humid as
the plant would prefer, it would help out to mist the leaves every now and
then. When you notice that the leaves are drooping and yellow, your Boston Fern
- Although they thrive in moisture,
they are not aquatic plants. You need to avoid overwatering them. Having them
sit in stagnant water will not be great for them.
- It is not required to fertilize your fern, but it will keep it lush. Just add fertilizer every year.
the right environment, Boston Ferns will grow well and reduce the humidity in
the area it is placed in.
- Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum)
One of the most adaptable plants, these are practically the most plant to keep in your home. They are not too picky with their environment making them excellent for beginners and even children.
- They do enjoy bright light, but it
would be best to keep them in indirect sunlight. The standard hours of 4 to 6
hours should do them well. Keep them by the window, and you’re good to go.
- Moist soil is what ferns like.
They are not too happy with wet soil which makes your watering schedule quite
light with these plants. If your fern’s topsoil isn’t dry, do not water it.
- The ideal temperature to keep
these plants in is between 55 degrees F to 65 degrees F. In the event you
cannot control your environment to be cooler, you can mist the leaves often to
freshen it up.
- Being sensitive to fluoride, avoid using tap water. Instead, use filtered or distilled water in room temperature.
- Orchids (Spathoglottis spp.)
One of the most commonly grown houseplants, they are easy to take care of and great at reducing humidity. They are great accents to your home and just need the bare minimum to thrive.
- It is important to let your
orchids dry out between waterings. If the soil is still moist, leave it alone.
As much as they like humid locations, overwatering will not work well with an
- Fertilization is key to helping it
bloom. Add fertilizers every week or every two weeks in monthly intervals until
- They are prone to mealy bug and
aphids. If infested with parasites, wash the plant with insecticide soap.
- Air Plant (Tillandsia spp.)
These plants are quite versatile. It can be grown both outdoors and indoors. If you live in humid areas like Florida, you wouldn’t need to water these plants at all. If you do place them indoors, it’s important to keep them hydrated.
- If the atmosphere in your home is
dry, misting the plant truly helps. During cold days, it would be great to give
them a plant bath in order for it to adapt well indoors.
- Provide them with bright but
filtered light. Keep them in areas with ample light, but not directly exposed
- Keep them in warm temperatures. They do not do well in frosty climates. If you do use air conditioning, be sure to keep your plants far from the unit or in places where you rarely use the AC.
- Submerge the plant in water for at least 2 to 3 hours every two weeks. This is what we term as the “bath”. If your plants were infested with parasites, a medicated bath would do well.
These plants prefer dry soil but moist leaves. It is important that you have an airy soil, the wet soil will rot out your air plant.
- Cactus (Cactaceae spp.)
Cacti are filled with water, but they thrive in incredibly dry conditions. The reason they are good at keeping water within their bodies is that they actually absorb them in the form of moisture. Keeping these plants at home are actually great if you are aiming to reduce humidity in the air.
- One thing is for sure. You
wouldn’t need to keep on watering these plants. At most, you just need to water
them every other week. Check if the soil is moist if it leaves it alone.
Watering your cactus too much will cause it to rot faster and die.
- If they are the flowering kind,
fertilize your cactus every week to promote blooming. Cactus blooms are
absolutely beautiful, making them excellent decorations.
- Provide it with ample air and
ventilation. Do not place them in a crowded space. You can also rotate these
plants to keep it in motion.
- Repot your cactus plant every year.
These plants are low-maintenance and quite amusing to care for. They’re great for people who have a busy schedule or are hardly at home.
Other Ways I Can Reduce Humidity in My Home
If you are not keen on taking care of plants, there are a variety of things you can do to reduce the humidity of you home.
Use Your Air Conditioner
Using an AC unit will reduce humidity since it is introducing cold air in a specific area. As we know, humidity is technically warm air. Using your air conditioner at the right time would definitely be beneficial. Be sure to clean out the filter every now and then. This will keep your air free from dust particles.
Have More Ventilation
If air conditioning is not an option for you, the next option you should have is electric fans, exhaust fans, and big enough windows. Whenever you are cooking or showering with hot water, keep this one to drive away the hot and moist air.
Choose to Take Cooler Showers
One main source of humid air is hot showers. Instead, opt to take warm ones. This would definitely reduce the amount of humidity in your home greatly.
Use Charcoal Bricks
Aside from using them while grilling your steak, charcoal is actually efficient in dehumidifying your home. All you need to do is place them in a basket or container where it is quite humid. A single piece of charcoal brick can absorb a lot of moisture. You would just need to replace these bricks every 2 to 3 months.
Get a Dehumidifier
One sure fire way to reduce the amount of humidity in your home is getting an electric dehumidifier. It literally removes the moisture in the air and lessens the amount of time you use the air conditioner.
At the end of the day, the reason you would want to reduce the amount of moisture in the air is to create a comfortable environment for yourself and others in your home.
Even if there are other options to reduce humidity, we would highly recommend choosing to invest in plants. They may need a little bit of your attention, but they are definitely cost-effective and much more affordable.