Plants need humidity to survive and thrive, and we often overlook this factor when we care for our indoor gardens. So, does Peperomia like humidity?
Peperomia can survive in a low humidity but prefers a higher humidity environment. Brown leaf edges may indicate that the air is excessively dry. Using a humidifier or growing it inside a cabinet will increase humidity and ensure lush, healthy leaves.
In this article, we’ll examine how humidity affects your Peperomia plant, learn how to create a more humid environment, and assess whether misting is a viable option.
Let’s get started!
What humidity does Peperomia like?
Peperomias are a great choice for a low-maintenance houseplant. However, low humidity levels may be detrimental to Peperomia.
See, Peperomia comes from lush, tropical regions with 90% humidity. That level is unlikely to be achieved at home unless you live in the Amazon.
Thankfully, your Peperomia is forgiving and will tolerate average household humidity levels of 40-50%. However, it will benefit from increased humidity. You can use a humidifier, a pebble tray, or even misting to increase the humidity.
Effect of low humidity for Peperomia
The rate of water loss from Peperomia leaves via transpiration is influenced by the humidity levels in your space.
Transpiration assists plants in transporting water from the soil to the leaves while also cooling the plant during hot temperatures.
However, if the humidity drops too low, your Peperomia will lose too much water for the roots to replace. This could cause the plant to lose its turgidity and become dehydrated.
Signs your Peperomia needs more humidity
Examining the leaves of your Peperomia might assist in determining the need for increased humidity.
If the leaves begin to droop, curl and have browning edges, it indicates that they have lost too much water through transpiration and are dehydrated. The leaves will eventually turn yellow, dry, and crispy.
These symptoms are extremely similar to those of under-watering. So, how do you pinpoint the problem to low humidity?
Determining the Humidity Levels in Your Home
Using a hygrometer is an easy way to determine your indoor humidity level. In addition to measuring humidity, it also serves as an indoor thermometer.
Simply go to your nearest hardware store or a drugstore to purchase one for a relatively cheap price. I personally use this one that I bought online.
Weather, temperature, and soil conditions can all affect humidity levels, so be sure to check your hygrometer frequently.
After assessing your general humidity level, you’ll be able to tell whether or not you need to improve room humidity for your Peperomia.
Ways to raise humidity for Peperomia
You can actually raise humidity for your Peperomia using a few different methods.
Several approaches can be implemented easily and with little investment. Although some options require a bit more money, they can be more effective if your plants are suffering from low humidity.
Firstly, we’ll look at an inexpensive method to increase humidity before moving on to a more costly one.
Grouping plants together
You may actually increase humidity for free by having a lot of houseplants! Begin by arranging your plants in groups in one area.
Whenever the plants release moisture through transpiration, the accumulated moisture around the growing area creates a more humid microclimate that benefits all the other plants.
Here’s another tip, try to arrange the plants with similar humidity requirements close together.
Some believe that placing a tray filled with pebbles and water beneath your plant can increase humidity levels as the water evaporates.
Although it works, the rise in relative humidity level is too small, between 1% and 2%.
You can achieve better results by placing pebble trays under each potted plant and grouping the plants together.
A humid microclimate will develop around each of these plants as the evaporating moisture from each tray builds up.
Yes, you read it correctly: an aquarium can help to improve the humidity of your Peperomia plant.
As I no longer use my old aquarium, I tried this tip recommended by a friend.
Basically, you need to place your potted plants inside an aquarium filled with gravel or pebbles and gravel. Then close the aquarium’s lid to prevent moisture released through transpiration from escaping and raising humidity levels.
This method works and raises the humidity to at least 80%. However, I dislike the way my plants appear in an aquarium, so I explored using alternative methods.
Indoor Greenhouse – Cabinet
After being inspired by @ikeagreenhousecabinet, I opted to ditch the aquarium in favor of a sleek and modern IKEA cabinet.
This approach is very similar to placing the plant in an aquarium. They are placed in a small space and the moisture is allowed to accumulate within, which raises the relative humidity.
However, keep in mind to partially weatherstrip the cabinet door gaps in order to prevent too much moisture loss.
To achieve a better result, you can use pebble trays or a humidifier inside the cabinet.
Now, if you are looking for the best choice to increase the humidity level for your Peperomia, then you should invest in a humidifier.
A humidifier is a device that adds moisture to the air by using water vapor or steam.
Most high-quality humidifiers come with a thermostat and a hygrometer, allowing them to turn off automatically when the humidity desired level is achieved. As a result, the humidity is maintained at a high level without oversaturating the air.
I personally use the LEVOIT 6L Top Fill Cool Mist Air Ultrasonic Humidifiers because it is reasonably priced and comes with advanced functions and a tank capacity of up to 60 hours.
Should you mist your Peperomia?
There’s a never-ending debate as to whether misting your houseplants to increase humidity is effective.
Does misting actually raise the humidity in the room?
In general, misting does increase the humidity level around the plant but for a very short period of time.
As you mist your Peperomia, water droplets will land on the leaves and over time it will evaporate into vapor, thus boosting the humidity. However, while it does improve the humidity, the effect is temporary and dissipates in 10–15 minutes.
The presence of wind and the indoor temperature will effect how long the humid vapor remains around the plant.
Can misting damage Peperomia?
Misting too often can actually damage your Peperomia, particularly in the winter. An excessive amount of moisture on the leaves and soil over time will cause bacterial and fungal infections and root rot.
During the winter, your Peperomia goes dormant and absorbs little water from the soil. Over-misting will result in waterlogged soil, which is ideal for the growth of anaerobic pathogens that cause root rot.
Furthermore, because of the freezing temperature, water droplets sitting on the leaves do not evaporate fast, allowing bacteria and fungi to infect the leaves.
Signs of over-misting on Peperomia
If your Peperomia plant showed signs of over-watering despite the fact that you didn’t water it frequently, you should evaluate whether your misting habit is to blame.
Droopy and yellowing leaves that are soft and limp when touched are symptoms of over-misting. Also, the roots and stems may turn black and mushy and the plant may cease producing new leaves.
When your Peperomia is exhibiting these signs, stop misting it immediately and let the soil completely dry out. If necessary, repot the plant in fresh, well-draining soil.