If your home is like mine, it has too little humidity to keep my pothos happy. After all, pothos need humidity since they’re tropical plants.
For this reason, I’ve had to raise the moisture levels of the air in my home to recreate the tropical environment for my pothos. This is especially important in the winter when the heat is on.
I know I can’t create a tropical oasis in my home for the pothos, but I have found several ways to increase the humidity in the air.
Based on my own experience in this, here are a few simple ways you can use to increase the humidity in your home. Trust me, your pothos will thank you!
Do pothos like humidity?
For pothos (Epipremnum aureum), humidity is just as important as watering them. Pothos like humidity because they’re native to a tropical climate. They need moisture in the atmosphere to thrive and grow strong. Without enough humidity, your pothos will wilt and become dehydrated.
The dry air in your home can cause pothos foliage to dry out, turn brown, and hinder growth. Pothos are vulnerable to dry climates, including popular pothos types like golden pothos whose humidity needs are just like the other members of this plant family.
If you want to keep your pothos’ humidity in a safe zone, use the following suggested methods for increasing humidity in your home.
What humidity does a pothos need?
Pothos thrive in high humidity. In their native habitat, pothos humidity levels range from 60% to 100% and temperatures of 70°F to 90°F (21°C to 32.2°C). These are optimal conditions, but for most homes, 40% to 60% humidity and 70°F to 80°F (21°C to 26.6°C) is sufficient.
That is, most plants do best indoors when you’re able to replicate, at least as much as possible, their native environment. This doesn’t mean that you should start building a rainforest in your home for your tropical plants, but you may want ot at least keep an eye on your humidity levels at home for plants used to those kinds of conditions (like your pothos) to be kept satisfied
Can pothos survive high humidity?
Yes, pothos not only survive high humidity, but they also love it. In the pothos’ native tropical environment, humidity levels are often at the 100 percent level. However, their native environment is outside with plenty of airflow, so what constitutes high humidity in your home won’t reach that level.
At the same time, in a house with high humidity, you have to ensure there’s enough air circulation so that fungus and mold don’t form on the soil of your potted pothos. If fungus or mildew grows, the pothos leaves will turn yellow and eventually fall off.
Having proper air circulation is the best way to prevent mildew and soil fungus that can cause disease. If you have high humidity, let a fan circulate the air to minimize the risk of fungal infections in your pothos.
When mildew or mold causes your pothos leaves to become fuzzy, wipe them off. Repot your pothos with fresh potting soil. It’s also a good idea to place a dehumidifier near the pothos if your home is very humid.
You should only need to do this temporarily to remove excess moisture from the air and prevent mold growth. Pothos normally love high humidity and ensuring your house has this is one of the main ways for your pothos to grow faster.
Can pothos survive low humidity?
Pothos cannot survive in a low humidity of under 20 percent for a long time. They need water vapor in the air. If your pothos starts dropping leaves and shows brown spots, it’s most likely dehydrated. It can be revived if the roots are able to absorb water.
But, if the pothos roots dry out completely, the pothos won’t get the nutrients or moisture it needs for survival. Low humidity also causes the water to evaporate from the soil, leaving soluble salts behind.
During the winter, your pothos is vulnerable to soluble salts from water evaporation caused by central heating. Salt is in all water. When the salt stays in the dry soil, the pothos roots absorb it. Then the salt moves up the pothos plant and into the leaves.
This results in burning the leaves. If too much salt stays in the soil, it kills the tips of the roots and the pothos dies.
How can I remove soluble salt from low humidity from my pothos?
The best way to prevent soluble salt from forming in your pothos’ soil is to provide enough humidity and water correctly. But, if the soil does form soluble salts, leaching water through the soil helps wash the soluble salts away.
Plan on leaching your pothos’ soil every few months. You do this by watering the pothos from the top and allowing the water to drain out through the drain holes. Do this for about five minutes. Then, repeat the process.
The first time you do it, the salt starts dissolving. The second time, it washes away the salt. Also, if you notice salt on top of the soil before you leach, remove the crust before pouring on the water.
Check your pothos pot for any dried salt residue on the sides. Clay pots are notorious for absorbing salt. If you notice dried white salt, repot your pathos into a clean pot.
How can I measure the humidity in my home?
If you want to be sure there’s enough humidity in your home to keep your pothos healthy, the most accurate method to measure indoor humidity is a hygrometer. This is an inexpensive, handy gadget that gives you the humidity level and temperature in the room.
Garden supply centers also carry wireless digital hygrometers if you’d rather not buy it online. They’re easy to use and will give you dependable humidity information. This way, you can make adjustments to the air moisture if your pothos needs more humidity.
Sometimes, your own skin lets you know if it’s too dry in the house. When you find yourself using more moisturizer because your skin feels dry and cracked, then that’s a sure sign your pothos needs humidity.
Signs your pothos needs more humidity
When pothos don’t have enough humidity, they’ll show distress signals. The following signs indicate that your pothos needs more humidity and will help you identify when you need to increase the moisture in the air.
1. Wilting leaves
And if your pothos is drooping suddenly, it’s often a sign that the air is too dry. Once pothos leaves start wilting (or if you notice your pothos leaves curling), the next step is that they turn brown and may be past the point of no return.
FYI: You can revive the leaves and make them perk up again by increasing the moisture in the air. But often, people see wilted leaves and start saturating the pothos with water. This is just as bad as low humidity.
Too much water causes the roots to suffocate, which eventually leads to mushy and rotting roots.
2. Dropping leaves
Finding leaves around the pothos pot is a sign of either overwatering or underwatering your pothos or low humidity. One way to test the cause of pothos dropping leaves is to check the dryness of the soil.
Stick your finger about an inch into the soil. If it comes up dry, then your pothos needs water and humidity to recover.
Get your pothos back to looking its best with these 14 Proven Tips to Make a Pothos Fuller and Bushier
3. Dry soil
Dry soil is a sure sign that the air around your pothos needs moisture. Sometimes, the soil is extremely dry. When you water a pathos that has dry soil, all the water immediately flows through the dry soil and out the drain holes.
In this case, increasing humidity doesn’t always help. You have to boost the moisture in the soil first. You can do this by placing the pothos in a tray of water for about an hour.
Remove the pot and let the excess water drain out, so the roots can breathe. Then use a humidifying method to increase the air moisture.
4. Brown leaf tips
If you notice brown leaf tips on your pothos, it’s most likely caused by low humidity. Also, check for insects such as aphids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Pest infestation also causes brown leaf tips.
Increase the humidity if you don’t see any insects after inspecting under the foliage and in the soil.
Also, if after increasing the humidity, your pothos doesn’t seem to be any better, your pothos might not be getting enough indirect light.
Another cause of brown leaf tips on your pothos is fluoride in the water. If your town fluoridated the tap water, use bottled water or rainwater for misting, watering, and in your humidifier. You can also leave the tap water sitting on a bench for 24 hours, which helps to reduce chlorine levels if that’s an issue where you live.
Back to basics: How Often to Water Your Pothos (So It Thrives)
5. Brown dry circles
Brown dry circles on pothos leaves are problematic. Even increasing the humidity won’t fix the affected leaves. Trim off any spotted leaves and increase the humidity around your pothos.
It’s also a good idea to repot your pothos in fresh, well-drained potting soil to help revive the plant (here’s my pick for the best soil for your pothos). Then, make sure to keep the air moist, provide enough indirect lighting, and water only when the top one to three inches of soil becomes dry.
Your pothos should spring back to health and start forming new growth.
6. Yellow foliage
Pale, yellow pothos leaves often happen during the winter when the air is dryer. Applying a very diluted fertilizer and boosting the humidity will help return the leaves to their glossy vivid green color.
Try to avoid letting the soil become so dry it can’t absorb water. If any leaves look too pale and damaged, trim them off. This allows new growth to form, making your pothos greener and fuller.
7. Pot feels light
When the pothos pot feels light, it means that the soil is dry. This should be noticeable because the dry soil will pull away from the sides of the pot.
If this happens, it’s a sign that there’s no moisture to add weight to the soil. If it’s completely dry, let the pot sit in a tray of water for about an hour.
This should allow the soil to absorb water and nutrients. It will also rinse away any excess salt caused by water evaporation.
Take the pot out of the water and allow any extra water to drain out of the bottom. Correct the problem in the future by providing humidity near your pothos and watering it before the soil pulls away from the side of the pot.
How to increase humidity near your pothos
Here are some simple ways to increase the humidity near your pothos, if the air is too dry in your home. These changes can make a big difference to the health of your pothos.
1. Try a humidifier
Humidifiers are one of the most effective ways to humidify the air around your pothos. They supply a consistent flow of moisture that your pothos needs. Position the humidifier so the water vapor falls evenly onto your pothos.
Keep in mind that humidifiers need regular cleaning. Since it’s always wet, the humidifier can cause mildew and mold growth. If you don’t clean it regularly, it evaporates the mildew spores onto your pothos and the rest of your home.
Sanitizing your humidifier keeps the air healthy and moist for your pothos and your family.
Do pothos need a humidifier?
Even though pothos like humidity, they don’t strictly need a humidifier, although this can be an easy strategy to boost humidity levels. That said, there are several other ways you can provide humidity for your pothos, although they may require more ongoing work.
That is, some of these other methods are temporary, so you need to repeat them to keep the humidity level up. A humidifier, on the other hand, tends to run by itself for longer periods of time. Just remember to top up their water levels occasionally and you’re good to go.
2. Set up a pebble tray
Pebble trays are an economical way to get more moisture near your pothos. Just fill a tray with pebbles. Add water to the tray until it reaches the top of the pebbles but does not cover them.
Place the pothos pot on top of the pebbles, being careful that the pot doesn’t sit directly in the water. If the roots of your pothos are sitting in water, it causes root rot in your pothos. Be sure to clean the tray each time you add water to prevent mildew and pests.
Do pothos like pebble trays?
Yes, pothos like pebble trays. This involves placing your pothos on a bed of wet pebbles which, in turn, provides them with the humidity they crave. As the water evaporates from the tray placed beneath your pothos’ pot, the pothos gets beneficial humidity.
3. Mist with a spray bottle
Use a spray bottle to apply a fine mist of water to your pothos. This will boost your pothos’ humidity as the mist evaporates from the leaves. Mist your pothos in the morning so any water evaporates before night.
When you spray the mist, make sure it doesn’t form droplets that sit on the pothos leaves. These can attract insects, increase mildew, and encourage fungal growth.
Should you mist your pothos?
Only mist your pothos if the air in your home is dry. If the room is already humid, misting can sit on the foliage for too long. This can attract pests and boost mold growth.
Definitely mist your pothos and its aerial roots if the humidity is low. This provides additional moisture around your pothos. Use a fine mist in the early morning, so the leaves dry out before the cooler night temperatures.
If you notice any white fuzz on your pothos leaves or soil, don’t use the mister. The fuzz could be an infection or mildew growing on your pothos.
4. Group plants
Plants release water similar to the way we breathe. If you have more than one pothos or other tropical houseplants, create a microclimate by grouping them together. All of the plants benefit from the moisture of the others.
Can I group pothos with other plants?
Yes, it’s actually beneficial to your pothos to group it with other tropical plants. As water evaporates from the plants, the humidity increases around the group. This, in turn, will help both your pothos and the other plants as they all benefit from the increased humidity levels.
Placing all the pothos and other plants in a large container of moist peat moss is a natural, effective method of increasing humidity. It’s also completely free!
Fill the container with damp peat and bury the pothos pot and other plant pots up to their rims in the peat. Keep the plants in their own pots, so you can water and feed them according to their own requirements.
Keep the peat moss moist. As the moisture evaporates from the peat, it surrounds the plants with a humid microclimate. This method is as close to the pothos natural habitat as you can get. It also prevents root rot from overwatering your pothos.
5. Run the shower
Your bathroom is one of the most humid rooms in your home. Treat your pothos to the humidity from the shower every once in a while.
If you notice that your central heating causes dry air, bring your pothos into the bathroom when you shower. You can even put them in the shower with lukewarm water for a few minutes. Just make sure to wipe off excess water from the leaves afterward.
6. Indoor greenhouse
An indoor portable greenhouse creates an excellent climate for increasing satin pothos humidity, as well as any other variety. It protects your pothos from dry air and you can keep the humidity at a constant level.
The greenhouse actually makes a mini tropical setting for your pothos. These greenhouses fit right into the corner of the room. You can adjust the humidity inside by opening or closing the flap.