How long should you run a humidifier for indoor plants?

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How long should you run a humidifier for indoor plants?

Dry air not only causes dry skin, but also dehydrated plants 💔 While a humidifier is a quick fix to add moisture to the dry air, that doesn’t mean we need to keep the humidifier running 24/7!

A few hours a day will do, depending on a few factors…

…alllllll of which I’ll go over in this post.

How long should you leave a humidifier on?

I recommend running your humidifier for a minimum of 4 to 5 hours each day, ideally in the morning and early afternoon. This allows the plants to absorb the added moisture while there is still plenty of daylight, reducing the risk of mold or fungus growth. It’s important to avoid running the humidifier too late in the day, as excess moisture in the air overnight can lead to these issues. By following this schedule, you can help to maintain a healthy humidity level for your plants and home.

Most plants like relative humidity levels between 40% and 60%, so you’ll need to get a feel of how long to let your humidifier run based on humidity levels in your home.

Generally speaking, you can run a humidifier for several hours each day, especially during the dry seasons when the air in your home is likely to be dry.

when to run a humidifier

To determine how long to leave your humidifier on, you can use a hygrometer (AKA humidity meter) to measure the humidity level in your home. A hygrometer is a device that measures the amount of moisture in the air.

PRO TIP: You can set your humidifier to maintain a specific humidity level, or you can manually turn it on and off as needed.

How long does a humidifier take to work?

It can take anywhere from a few minutes to an hour or more for a humidifier to get up and running, depending on the size and type of the humidifier. Some humidifiers have a tank that needs to be filled with water before they can be turned on, which can take a few minutes. Other humidifiers, such as ultrasonic humidifiers, may start producing mist almost immediately after being turned on.

To factor the start-up time into your total run time with a humidifier, you can either turn the humidifier on a little bit ahead of when you need it or allow for a longer run time to make up for the start-up time. For example, if you want to run your humidifier for 6 hours and it takes 15 minutes to get up and running, you can either turn it on at 5:45 AM or set it to run for 6:15 to make up for the start-up time.

Should the humidifier run all night?

When it comes to caring for houseplants, I don’t think running a humidifier all night is necessary. However, there are a few cases when it may be beneficial to run a humidifier all night:

  1. If the air in your home is particularly dry, especially during the winter months when the heating is on, running a humidifier all night can help to maintain a healthy humidity level for your plants and for you and your family.
  2. If you or a family member has respiratory issues, such as asthma or allergies, a humidifier can help to moisturize the air and make breathing easier.
  3. If you have plants that prefer a high humidity level, such as ferns or orchids, running a humidifier all night can help to maintain a suitable humidity level for these plants.

It’s worth noting that plants in the wild are not necessarily exposed to high humidity levels throughout the night. However, some plants, such as tropical plants, do grow in environments with high humidity levels. In general, it’s a good idea to research the specific humidity requirements of the plants you are growing.

Factors that determine how long to run your humidifier

There are a few factors that determine how long to leave a humidifier on for indoor plants, such as the room humidity, the size of the room, and the specific humidity requirements of the plants you are growing.

use a hygrometer to know when to turn on humidifier
  1. The humidity level in your home: Plants prefer humidity levels between 40% and 60%. If your humidity level drops below 40%, then turn on your humidifier. Use a hygrometer to monitor humidity levels in your home.
  2. The size of the room: The larger the room, the longer you may need to run your humidifier to maintain the desired humidity level.
  3. The specific humidity requirements of your plants: Some plants may prefer a higher humidity level than others, so you may need to run your humidifier for longer periods of time if you are growing plants that require a higher humidity level.
  4. The dryness of the air: The dryness of the air can also affect how long you need to run your humidifier. During the winter season, when the heating is on, the air in your home may be particularly dry and you may need to run your humidifier more frequently.
  5. The type and size of the humidifier: The type and size of the humidifier can also affect how long you need to run it. Larger humidifiers with a larger water tank may be able to run for longer periods of time without needing to be refilled, while smaller humidifiers may need to be refilled more frequently.

Common questions

Still have a few more questions about letting your plant humidifier run? If I don’t cover them here, then drop yours in the comments!

Is there such a thing as too much humidity?

It’s important to avoid excessive humidity for your plants. Too much moisture in the air, typically levels above 80%, can prevent them from “breathing” properly and can lead to issues such as mold and fungus. To reduce excess humidity, consider introducing better airflow with a fan and moving the humidifier a short distance away from your plants.

To accurately monitor humidity, consider using a humidifier with a built-in humidistat or a separate hygrometer. Regularly checking humidity levels can help ensure the health and happiness of your plants.


What kind of water should I use?

I recommend using distilled or demineralized water, or even just filtered water. Stay away from tap water as this has chemicals that, while not harmful to us on the whole, are harmful to sensitive plants. These chemicals can also cause scale buildup, which gets annoying fast. Using filtered water will help with this.


What’s the best humidifier?

I really like this ultrasonic humidifier! It’s both a cool mist and warm mist humidifier that has a generous 4L water tank that can run for 24-30 hours on a single fill, making it great for all-night use. It also features a touch and remote control method, as well as an auto mode for humidity control and five speed levels for customizable comfort.

I also love that it has a built-in air ionization feature and an essential oils box for improved air quality (SO important these days). It’s ultra-quiet, with a noise level of ≤30dB, and has a sleep mode and 12-hour timer for convenience.
Plus, the humidifier’s special lamp and ceramic filter work to keep the water fresh and the air clean. With its premium design and satisfaction guarantee, this humidifier is just my absolute favorite.

more about humidity

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