Care - Humidity
tropical creatures that
they are, orchids
grow best with at least 40%
If you live in a cold climate and your home has central
heating, maintaning 40% humidity
levels can be a challenge
in the winter.
The problem is your furnace. As it heats
the air, it's also baking out the moisture.
Growing healthy orchids in dry air is nearly impossible. If
your humidity levels are less than 30%, you're going to have to make
some improvements. I'll show you 5 ways to increase the
humidity in your growing area below.
Both you and your orchids
be more comfortable during the winter winter with higher humidity
levels in your
are comfortable with the same temperatures we
live in. Humidity is another matter however.
You can easily tell whether a room is hot or cold by simply standing in
it. Understanding temperature and humidity from a plant's perspective
Temperature and Humdity
Plant's Point of View
Temperature and humidity can vary a lot in a typical room. Most rooms
have areas that get more or less sun, more or less heat, and more or
less air-conditioning than the rest of the room. This is
especially true near windows where
plants grow. These small spaces are called "micro-climates".
Conditions in micro-climates can
from the rest of the room.
good way to identify
the humidity range in micro-climates
is with a Hi/Lo Thermometer (also called
thermometer). Our Hi/Lo Thermometers not only show the current
temperature and humidity, they also record the highest and lowest
levels over time. I use
guessing and start measuring - you'll instantly become a better grower!"
Orchids need humidity!
Humidity (moisture in the air) is a vital ingredient in growing
healthy orchids. 40-70% relative humidity is ideal.
To keep room temperatures comfortable
in winter, central heating systems push out
hot, dry air hour after hour. Maintaining 40% humidity under these
impossible without help. Many homes in cold climates have
humidity levels as
low as 10-20% during winter months!
||Low humidity makes
life difficult for orchids.
(10-20% humdity levels are normally found in the
confuse humidity (moisture in the air) with water in the pot. Watering
your plants more to compensate for dry air is another sure way to kill
On the other hand, plants tend to dry out faster when exposed to dry
air. So some of your plants might require more water when
humidity levels are low. With hydroponics this is easy because the
water gauge tells you when to water - you don't have to guess.
5 Ways to Increase
Humidity (Moisture in the Air)
||1. Misting Plants
Misting is great for people who think they always "need to do
their plants. But it doesn't accomplish much. Unless
you mist your plants every 20 or 30 minutes, you're not raising the
humidity because the moisture from misting evaporates quickly.
Misting is a poor solution - you need to consider other
Grouping your plants
together raises humidity
This is especially true for plants growing in
hydroponics because the water in the pot is not only
the plant, it's also evaporating into the air (right at the base of the
plant), raising humidity
Warning #2: Never
water to the pot to increase humidity!
pots increase humidity when grouped together
||3. Grouping Plants
Humidity Trays (Very Good)
Trays are light
weight, plastic trays that display
your plants on a grid that sits above a water reservoir. As
the water in the tray evaporates, the
humidity around your plants increases.
Assembling your plants on Humidity
Trays creates a micro-climate
that increases humidity in two ways. First, moving your plants together
naturally increases humidity. In addition, the water
evaporating from the Humidity Tray gives your plants a
real humidity boost.
The Hydroponic Advantage with Humidity Trays:
With traditional growing methods, Humidity Trays are hard to keep clean
because they collect runoff water
that have passed through the plant from watering. Humidity
Trays collects a multitude of
chemicals from the water that has passed through the plants.
sunny window, this water grows mold, algae, and
a host of other things. Yuk!!
Cleaning the tray becomes a weekly task.
Gives You the "Clean and Green Growing Environment" You're
the plants sitting on the tray are growing in a "closed
system". The outer pot holds the
for the plant, and it's watertight. No water from the plant drains into
the humidity tray.
Chemicals from the plant never reach the water the tray, so
clean is a breeze.
The water in the tray is seperate from the water you use to water your
plants. Simply add a drop or two of bleach (per gallon) to
the water used in
your Humidity Tray and you'll eliminate
the mold and algae, (and other things) that usually grow
there with traditional growing methods.
Breathe easy - you're growing in a clean and green environment.
plants together on Humidity Trays increases humidity in 2 ways
traditional growing methods, humidity trays collect the water
(with plant food) that passes through the grow pot. This water grows
mold and algae when exposed to light.
Hydroponics everything stays clean because water (and
from the plants never
reaches the tray.
||4. Turn Down the
Thermostat (Very Good)
is a big one!! And you'll save money!
Humidity levels are closely tied to air temperature. To promote
higher humidity during winter months, try turning down the thermostat a
especially at night. Both you and your plants will be
Orchids embrace cooler temperatures instead of the
dry air from
orchids are content with evening temperatures as low as 50-55 degrees,
worry about your
house being too cold. You'll be uncomfortable long before your plants
will - even the "warm
Likewise, in the summer, orchids enjoy the natural, warm, humid air
the outside. Air-conditioners make us more comfortable
the air and removing moisture.
Orchids have a hard time
cold air drafts from air-conditioning because the air has been robbed
room temperatures at night during the winter has many advantages
5. Invest in a Humidifier
room humdifier is also a very
good solution to low humidity.
Cost becomes a factor with this option however.
humidifier is better than a mist humidifier, because, unlike a
mist humidifier, it doesn't leave your orchids with a white film (from
the minerals in the water being deposited on the leaves).
Using humdity trays and
a room humidifier and
lowering the temperatures at night is by far
best solution to low humidity. And that's good news for both you
and your orchids.
humdifiers are a good solution for dry air in your growing area.