Do Houseplants Cause a Humidity Increase?

Houseplants are fantastic for brightening up a home and bringing a bit of nature indoors. They have fantastic esthetic appeal but can they also increase your home’s humidity levels? 

Houseplants cause a humidity increase if there are enough of them. However, the amount of plants necessary to increase the humidity significantly in your home is a lot. In addition, if you have good airflow in your home, increased humidity is extremely unlikely without many plants. 

In the rest of this article, I will discuss what humidity is, why plants need it, how much they raise humidity levels, and a few commonly asked questions about humidity concerning houseplants. So, if you want to learn more about the effects of humidity on indoor plants, read on. 

What Is Humidity?

First, it’s essential to understand what humidity is. You have probably heard the word many times, especially when watching a weather forecast depicting rain. But what exactly is humidity, and what effects does it have? 

Humidity is the presence of a gas known as water vapor in the air. These microscopic water particles are in the air we breathe, but the amount of humidity is highly dependent on the temperature. Therefore, humidity in the air can alter the current temperature making it cooler or warmer. 

Though you can’t see the humidity in the air, it’s all around you and necessary to life on earth. Plants especially enjoy humidity and need it to thrive. However, the humidity they require depends on several factors, which I will discuss next. 

Why Plants Need Humidity 

Humidity is simple enough to understand since it’s essentially water particles in the air, but what purpose does this water serve? How does humidity aid in plant growth, and why do plants need humidity to survive? 

Plants need humidity because humidity helps them to photosynthesize. Water is essential for plant growth, both in the air and soil. Increased humidity prevents plants from drying out and improves their rates of growth. 

However, each plant will require different humidity levels. For example, plants from tropical climates prefer higher humidity. In contrast, desert plants need warm and dry air to thrive. 

How Much Can Plants Raise the Humidity?

The process by which plants release humidity back into the air is known as transpiration. Water from the plant evaporates from leaves, stems, or flowers and into the air. The water lost in the air becomes a gas known as water vapor, mixing with the air to create humidity. 

How much a plant can raise the humidity depends on the size of the plant, how many plants you have, the temperature, and air quality in your home. Generally, the slight rise in humidity houseplants cause is undetectable. However, larger plants can make humidity more noticeable. 

Generally, indoor plants won’t noticeably alter the humidity in your home, especially with today’s air conditioning systems, which improve airflow. Airflow in homes is good and often filters out most of the humidity. Many plants are needed to create a noticeable difference in the humidity levels. 

However, if you wanted to, you could raise your home’s humidity levels by purchasing an obscene amount of plants, essentially making your home a greenhouse. Unfortunately, though, that is ill-advised as humidity can damage the structural integrity of your house. 

Is High Humidity Good for People?

It’s common knowledge that humidity can be good for your skin since the water particles help your body retain essential moisture. But what about high humidity? Are high humidity levels good for people to live in and breathe?

High humidity is not good for people. Humidity that is too high can result in lung problems, lethargy, and fatigue if it’s too high. Humidity mixed with heat is especially dangerous. However, regular amounts of humidity can be beneficial for your skin and body. 

Balance is crucial when it comes to humidity with people and plants. Plants and people can benefit from some humidity. For example, tropical plants benefit from higher levels, while humans do well when the humidity is somewhere in the middle. 

Do Houseplants Improve Air Quality?

Houseplants can certainly add small amounts of moisture back into the air, but how else do indoor plants affect our air quality? Does keeping plants indoors help improve our home’s air quality? 

Houseplants improve air quality, though the improvement is minor. The number of plants needed to significantly improve your home’s air quality would be many. Plants use the carbon dioxide in your home and release fresh oxygen into the space. However, many plants are needed to create an effect. 

That said, even if plants don’t substantially increase the air quality in your home, they are still aesthetically pleasing. Plus, houseplants can make you feel surrounded by a bit of nature. They add a fresh earthy smell to your home, and who doesn’t love that?

You can find the 16 most oxygen-producing indoor plants in my other article: 16 Most Oxygen Producing Indoor Plants (Complete Guide)

Plants That Can Increase Humidity

If you want increased humidity levels in your home, there are several types of plants that can help you achieve this. All plants release water vapor into the air, but some release more than others. So let’s learn a little more about the best plants for increasing humidity. 

Indoor plants that increase humidity levels include:

  • Spider plants
  • English ivy
  • Golden pothos
  • Areca palm
  • Rubber plant
  • Boston fern
  • Date palm

The above-mentioned plants are just a few of the many indoor plants that can increase humidity in your home. For example, plants with large green leaves are likely to release more moisture into the air, thus creating extra humidity. 

Signs Your Houseplants Need More Humidity

Plants need humidity to thrive because moisture is a crucial component of photosynthesis. They do best when they can draw on water from the soil and air. If your home is a little dry, it’s only natural to worry about your houseplant’s humidity. So, what are the signs your plants need more moisture in the air? 

Signs your houseplants need more humidity include: 

  • Wilting 
  • Pale discoloration 
  • Brown or burnt leaf tips 
  • Crunchy leaves 

The best way to ensure your plants have the proper humidity levels is to check. A thermometer or meter that can sense humidity is a great way to know what your plant needs. 

Using a humidity gauge, you can quickly get to the bottom of your plant’s problems. Many of the symptoms listed will also be present if your plant is suffering from other problems, such as:

  • Over/under watering
  • Too much/little sun 
  • Disease 
  • Pest infestation 

It’s, therefore, essential that you inspect your houseplants when these signs appear and begin diagnosing them as quickly as possible. For example, using a humidity gauge, you can instantly rule out humidity being the reason for your plant’s sudden decline in health. 

How To Increase Humidity Levels for Houseplants

For some, increased humidity in their home is a good thing and something to strive toward achieving. After all, plants greatly benefit from raised humidity levels. Most plants enjoy humidity levels of 40-50%, and there are some simple ways to raise the humidity for your plants. 

Ways to raise the humidity for your indoor plants include the following:

  • Using a spray bottle to mist your houseplants. 
  • Placing a humidifier near them. 
  • Grouping your houseplants to trap in more moisture. 
  • Moving your plants into a more humid room like the bathroom.
  • Placing a plastic bag over your plants to trap the moisture in the air around them.
  • Placing them in a terrarium to create more humidity.  

Raising the humidity around your plants is an excellent way to promote healthy growth. However, it can be challenging to detect humidity levels in the air without help. As I previously stated, each plant requires different levels of humidity, and it’s essential to research what these levels are.

If you need a way to measure the air’s humidity accurately, I recommend using a humidity monitor for indoor use. By using a humidity gauge, you’ll get an accurate reading of your home’s current temperature and humidity.

How To Decrease Humidity Levels for Houseplants

Finally, raising humidity levels for your houseplants is generally beneficial. However, plants can also get too much humidity. It’s, therefore, vital to know how to drop the moisture levels in the air when this happens. 

Ways to decrease the humidity in your home for your indoor plants include:

  • Using a fan to circulate fresh air. 
  • Using a dehumidifier. 
  • Turning on your air conditioner. 
  • Taking shorter showers and opening a window when showering. 
  • Limiting the number of high moisture activities in your home.
  • Avoiding overwatering your houseplants. 

All houseplants require proper care to live and thrive. The humidity is an essential step to keeping your houseplants healthy and happy. High or low humidity levels can be unpleasant, so aiming for balance is critical.

To learn more on keeping your houseplants healthy, you could check out my other article here: How to Care for Houseplants (The Ultimate Guide)


Houseplants cause a slight humidity increase. However, the amount of moisture they put into the air is minimal. 

You would have to purchase 50 large houseplants or more to substantially alter your home’s humidity using just plants. Luckily, there are ways to increase and decrease humidity levels in your house as needed.

Alexander Picot

Alexander Picot is the principal creator of, a website dedicated to gardening tips. Inspired by his mother’s love of gardening, Alex has a passion for taking care of plants and turning backyards into feel-good places and loves to share his experience with the rest of the world.

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