Orchids require little care to thrive, but one thing is essential for your orchids to bloom – humidity.
Orchids love and appreciate a warm and humid environment, and this can be rare in winter when the heater is always on.
You would have to come up with ways to increase humidity so that your orchids do not lose all that lushness and beautiful flowers.
One way most gardeners increase humidity for their plants is by misting these plants. Misting involves spraying the leaves of your plant with filtered or distilled water to increase moisture and slow down the rate of water loss through their leaves.
Plants that struggle to retain moisture may end up dying. Their leaves begin to turn pale or droop, and they may wilt eventually. Thus misting is good for plants.
Apart from increasing the humidity level for your plants to thrive, misting is a good way to clean your plants. It removes accumulated dust and other particles on the leaves and flowers.
This keeps your plants and the air that your breath clean. However, misting has some side effects that may not be favorable to your plants. It can attract moisture-loving pests and organisms to your plants.
Also, excessive watering can cause root rot and decay. Not every plant loves misting. Some plants that live succulents can survive a long time with less moisture than most plants. They could care less if you mist them.
However, misting is good for moisture-loving plants. Orchids are moisture-loving plants and would thrive well if you mist them. Especially when they are reblooming, frequent misting can do a lot of good to your orchids.
Apart from the benefits of misting plants discussed above, here are other common justifications for misting orchids.
Why You Should Mist Orchids?
Orchids Fare Well in a Tropical Rainforest
It is common to find orchids growing and blooming in rain forests where it rains heavily and consistently for several months.
Definitely, during the torrential downpour or light showers, water droplets will settle on the leaves and flowers of these orchids, and they do not rot or die as a result.
Instead, they continue to bloom brighter and bigger.
Orchids Funnel Water Through Their Leaves
Orchids naturally thrive in hot and rainy environments. As a result, water evaporates quickly when it is hot.
Therefore, whenever it rains, they try to absorb as much water as they can through their roots and leaves. Water absorbed through the plant leaves is funneled down to the roots where it can be effectively distributed and maximized.
Thus, there is no such thing as excess water on the leaves or flowers. Instead, it is a competition between the plant’s ability to funnel the water to the roots and evaporation.
Orchids Are Epiphytes
Some species of orchids can be found growing on other trees in forests. They are epiphytes, and they absorb the water and nutrients they need from the other plants and the rain.
Thus, this is why orchids love misting. They are used to surviving with little and will accept any extra love you show to them with open arms. Most of these orchids grow in tropical rainforests.
They grow on high branches of trees, and this allows rain to fall directly on them.
How to Tell if Your Orchids Need Misting
Your orchids may display certain signs when the humidity level is low. You should watch out for these signs and mist accordingly.
For instance, you may notice the tips of the leaves turning brown or yellow, or the leaves begin to curl. Also, if your plants fail to grow or rebloom and they look stunted, this may be a sign for you to mist your plants.
Alternatively, you should buy a hygrometer to measure the humidity level in your home. They are affordable. If the humidity level is extremely low, you can mist your orchids. Come up with a schedule for misting your orchids.
You can do this twice in a week or more, depending on how your plants react to the moisture. It is also advisable to mist orchids in the morning so that they can absorb and make use of the humidity during the day.
It is understandable if you are scared to mist your orchids because of the perceived side effects, but it is safe to do so. However, if you don’t want to mist your orchids, here are other ways you can increase the humidity level of your plants without misting.
Make Use of Pebble Trays
Pebble trays are a great alternative to misting as they help increase humidity around a plant. A pebble tray is also known as a humidity tray. It is simply a DIY solution that can easily be conjured.
To create the humidity tray, fill a tray with pebbles, and add water to the tray. Place the plant on top of the tray filled with stones and water. The stones prevent the plant from sitting on the water by lifting it.
As the water evaporates, the humidity level of the environment will increase.
Get a Humidifier
Humidifiers are very useful for getting the humidity level in your home up. They are also affordable and can be purchased from any store around.
You may not need them during the summer because the weather is hot and humid enough. You will need them during winter to increase the humidity level in your home.
To increase the humidity level where you keep your orchids, you should keep the humidifier close to the orchids.
Do not place your humidifier on the floor to avoid water damage or molds in your home. It’s best to keep them on an elevated surface close to the orchids.
Group Your Orchid
Plants love company. They love being in the company of their kind. Therefore, you can increase the humidity level around your orchids by keeping them together.
If you keep plants together in your home, the area where they are kept will be humid. This is as a result of the transpiration process plants undergo.
If you are keeping lots of orchids, you can group them. You can also keep them in the company of other plants as long as these other plants do not interfere with their growth process.
For instance, sprawling or creeping plants may attach themselves to the orchids if kept near them, and you do not want that to happen.
Take Your Orchids to the Bathroom
You don’t need to drench them under the shower as they do need a bath. However, orchids love humid areas, and the bathroom is the wettest area in a home.
Most of the time, either the shower if the water heater is on and this increases the humidity level. A lot of moisture and humidity increasing activities go down in the bathroom.
Thus, if your orchids need a moist environment, a bathroom is the right place. You don’t have to keep them permanently there.
You can take them along when you want to have a shower and leave them for some hours after. You can also keep them on your bathroom window permanently.
Use a Terrarium
Imagine your orchids in a beautiful semi-open glass. This is usually a beautiful sight to behold, but it also gives plants the humid environment they desire.
The semi-open glass box or terrariums serve a dual purpose. They make your plants aesthetically pleasing and also increase the humidity level around the plants.
Finally, it is entirely OK to mist orchids, but if you do not want to, I have provided alternative ways for you to increase the humidity level around your plants, and I hope you find it helpful. Cheers