How many of you have humidifiers?

greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)January 26, 2008

How many of you use humidifiers? Did you notice an improvement in your indoor plants? I only started using them this fall and I've seen a big difference. For the first time I can keep prayer plants and ferns in excellent condition in my sun room. Usually they're dead or in horrid shape by mid January. Everything is thriving now. No minerals because I use captured filtered rain water.

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watergal(z6/7 Westminster, MD)

When I've use one in my plant room, I hardly ever have problems with spider mites. If I don't use it, I often get mites. 'Nuff said!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 10:29PM
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shiver

I have to have a humidifier running in winter due to my respiratory problem. I would say it helps my plants somewhat, but still won't allow me to grow ferns. It did nothing to help prevent spider mites for me.

    Bookmark   January 26, 2008 at 11:03PM
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bcomplx(z6VA)

Even with humidifier, kettle of water on wood stove, and misting plants whenever I think of it, when the dry cold fronts come through my indoor humidity rarely breaks 30%. Then, when it clouds up again, keeping things around 35% often doesn't require the humidifier.

I use one of those digital indoor-outdoor thermometers with a hygrometer (right word?) for the indoor reading. It's interesting to watch, and helps me intervene when things get too dry -- for me and the plants.

Here is a link that might be useful: my website

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 11:26AM
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tommyr_gw

I use one. An Air-O-Swiss model AOS 7133. 2 gallon. Use it mainly for orchids but it helps ME too! Humidifiers are definitely worth the money.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 12:44PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

You may need more than one and keep watch on the humidistat in the room. I have 3 running 24/7 in my sun-plant-room and a fourth when necessary. I also have one, the fogger type, running in my dining room.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:27PM
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greenhouser(Middle TN Zone 6)

Whoops, that's not a humidistat, ... I can't think of what that thing is called.

    Bookmark   January 27, 2008 at 10:33PM
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saucer(10 SF Bay Area)

I have a Hunter cool mist humidifier in my fluorescent light garden. I have the whole shelf enclosed in clear plastic shower curtain liners. Used to run it on a timer, but now it runs around the clock. I have another sheet of plastic on top that I roll back at night and let out some of the humidity when the temperature drops. A digital thermo/hygrometer keeps me updated. This set-up keeps my orchids alive and thriving and also helps the occasional victim of under watering recover.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 3:08PM
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GrowHappy(z7 MD)

I use a humidifier in each room with plants, but now only have one working:( I like the idea of puting a sheet of plastic around my light garden. Wonderful idea!

I find that the humidifier not only keeps the plants happy and mite-free, it keeps my skin moist and my sinuses happy.:)

    Bookmark   January 28, 2008 at 5:13PM
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amazindirt(7A mid-TN)

I have one in my plant room, thinking seriously about buying another one to put in my kitchen (which also has plants).

I think both the humidity and the moving air (from the humidifier's fan) help a great deal.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2008 at 11:36AM
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birdsnblooms

I keep one humidifer on the main floor and one upstairs..The thing to remember is checking filters..humidifers attract bird feathers, cat/dog fur, and God knows what else. My filters last no longer than 1 1/2-2 months..if they're not changed regularly they won't do their job. The humidifer upstairs is a filterless type, and IMO doesn't work as well as the one that uses a filter. But as long as water evaporates, it's going somewhere, hopefully the air..LOL
I also have 3 hygrometers w/thermometers, which are regularly placed in different rooms..to test their accuracy, I set all 3 in the fridge..lol..sounds silly but it works.. Because I use 3, all 3 should read the same while in the fridge.
Besides humidifers, I have 2 indoor fountains..one given to me as a Christmas present from my son, he got it at Home Depot..the second was purchased at Collections Inc for 14.99. Toni

    Bookmark   February 3, 2008 at 3:49AM
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awiley

Need advice!! I live in an apartment (very dry heat)and had 2 beautiful baby ferns in my living room. The apartment is pretty spacious and drafty so in the winter i find myself constantly hiking up the thermostat. One of my ferns died and the other is on it's way. I read that they need to be kept in a moist environment so I wanted to try a humidifier. From reading all the responses here it seems like a good idea but I am clueless as to which one to get, warm vs. cool air, size, brand etc. I would really like to salvage my other one so your advice would be greatly appreciated!

FYI: I went to home depot to look for one and the guy at the store told me not to get a big one because they can cause mold and then I got scared which led to me posting this msg.

Thanks

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:21PM
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birdsnblooms

Awiley. Don't bother with warm air humidifers.
What size was the humidifer the clerk at HD talked you out of buying? That's odd..Unless it was some industrial size, it makes no sense.
Do you know how much water it held? Did it use a filter?

I prefer console types, (wood-tone looks) that hold two, 5 gallon water containers.
One humidifer we're using now is a Holmes. Features are, it has three speeds, and a guage that displays humidiy.
Problem One..if the fan is set on 3, it sounds like a jet is about to land in our livingroom..lol.
I don't feel it does the job. It gets a 2 star review.

Other than ordering on the net, HD is the only store here who sells console types.

There are filter=less humidifers, but most hold little water. There's one in my bedroom..it needs daily filling, after 4-6 hours. These smaller types might work in a small room/area.

If your HD sells consoles, give it a try. If you don't like it, you can always return.
If your home is as dry as you say, I doubt you have to worry about mold..Toni

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 1:58AM
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jeannie7

In a couple of mentions, the use of a humidifier showed some benefit....to plants.
I caution others though that might feel inclined to add wht a humidifier can do to the air environment of a room, or a house.

Winter is very definitly a very dry period of the year, there's nothing drier than a winter wind on outdoor plants and is often given the reason why we wrap them.
But, dryness in a house should be done cautiously for what it can do to our well being.
It lowers the comfort zone, making us feel colder in the same temperature that was felt before without the added benefit.
Where it is needed, it definitely is a plus...most modern homes nowadays are tighter, hold in moisture longer, and a moisture meter should be looked at as a guide whether one needs to add to a room.
Don't do it for a plant's sake...do it for the person's health sake.
There's always ways to add moisture around a plant without going to the extreme of a humidifier.

Hubby was a firefighter....and the old firehouses were very dry in winter. So they hung containers of water on the registers to try to add something to the air.
Usually, he complained it did little to prevent dry noses, drier mouths---which was not appreciated when answering a phone alarm....sometimes the words got stuck half way out.
Tongues just didn't want to flutter.

Plants don't grow in low light sunlight, they use a lot less water and so can give themselves most of their humidity needs without added benefit of such costly measure.
A simple misting on their leaves, a bowl of water sitting at their base, a container sitting in front of a heat vent...a sprayer like we use for freshening a room, can put moisture there.....and if one wishes to add a drop or two of white vinegar, it can sweeten the air.

Many homes of new variety add instead a de-humidifier where such heavy moisture can make things just as uncomfortable.

For those with humidifiers, watch out for streaking windows, and heavens, running walls.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 8:10PM
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carlisleliverpool

I have a small flat, and I can't afford a humidifier... I have no problem with ferns and even Aphelandra though...

I think a small enough flat will be fairly humid anyway... mine tends to average about 40%-50%... also get enough plants and they will create their own humidity.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 6:57AM
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quinnfyre(z7 PA)

I have a humidifier. It's an Air O Swiss, model number 7142, I believe. If I don't use it, humidity dips around 20% and below. When I do use it, humidity can go up to 25% (on the days when the air is so dry my hygrometer won't register it) to 40%. On avg days it hovers around 30-35%, which is still a big improvement for me. When it's 20% or below, I definitely feel my sinuses drying out and my skin gets really rough.

The pluses: it holds 2 gal; it humidifies my large room; it's pretty quiet; it's a warm air humidifier, with an option to make it cold air if you want; it has a silver stick which is supposed to prevent bacterial growth in your water; it puts out a lot of mist.

The minuses: it's expensive; in order to get my humidity up that high, it runs on high, which means you fill the 2 gal tank daily; it has a hygrostat which is frequently faulty in this model, so even though you can set it to regulate itself, it doesn't read the humidity correctly, so you absolutely need an external hygrometer to measure your humidity levels - you'll have to lower the setting or switch it off yourself, or your humidity will skyrocket to 75% on rainy days even though the meter on the humidifier still reads 37% (40% is the lowest setting you can choose). Oh, and Air O Swiss's customer support is supposed to be atrocious, from what I've read doing a Google search of reviews for this model.

Do I like it anyway? Yes.

However, I'm not sure that running one humidifier will do that great a job of being humid enough for a fern that needs high humidity, unless your room is smaller than mine. I have orchids that require 60% or above, and for them I built an acrylic case which does keep the humidity at 75%-90%. I have a maidenhair fern in there too. It was doing well for a while, but now it's going all brown. I don't think it's going to make it. I have no idea why it's dying, but it sure isn't the humidity. The orchids are doing fabulously, so it's not something that's bad overall. Depending on what type of fern it is, I might suggest enclosing it in a terrarium sort of setup.

Hope that helps in some way!

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:29AM
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bunnygurl(Z3)

I've never used a humidifier though I had a few problems with mites and dry leaf edges, I've never had too many problems. Though just image what kind of plants I could grow and how well I could grow them too if I had a humidifier...though I have a fish tank virtually right next to my plants and the water's constantly evaporating out of that, so that may be helping a bit.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 9:58PM
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seniorscoot

I've never personally used one. I don't see a reason for a humidifier. I'm very rarely able to tell the difference when someone else uses one.

Here is a link that might be useful: Humidifier filters

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 5:56PM
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paul_(z5 MI)

Whether you notice or not depends on a lot of factors including your 'normal' room humidity and your sensitivity. I run 2 humidifiers in my apt during the winter and am lucky to get to 33%. However if I don't use them it drops to around 10%. I find my skin gets very itchy at that low level.

    Bookmark   August 22, 2009 at 7:01PM
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amccour

My dorm has very little circulation, which isn't really good for plants, but it keeps the humidity relatively high in the winter -- enough so that when they decide to actually turn the heat on, it feels substantially warmer than it would otherwise and it's quite nice (And I'm using some really rough estimates that place it around 30% most of the time). It's also noticeable in that, when I come home for winter break, my house is substantially LESS humid and my hands start chapping and cracking and falling apart rather quickly. Not fun!

I do have a humidifier, which I purchased before I was really aware of how humid my room stayed (also, it was just a really cheap thing from Wal-mart). I don't think I really need it except for a few exceptions. The two podocarps I have get some slight tip yellowing if the humidity takes too much of a dive, but it's not really something I'd call essential. The Blechnum gibbum, though, really needs something like 60-70% relative humidity to do well, so I'll have to be running something to keep that thing happy.

And being a tree fern it's a little too large for a terrarium. And I'm not ENTIRELY sure that its browning wasn't a result of underwatering, because I was really underestimating its water requirements, which are rather high.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 1:04AM
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norma_2006

Well I am a little old fashioned. I use a bucket in the greenhouse to keep the humidity up, for the African Violet, I have set the plant in a pot, with marbles on the bottom, it sit's on top of the marbles, when I water, it gets plenty of humidity. It's in my kitchen above the sink with indirect sunlight. It's a happy camper and is constantly in flower. I can't tolerate the mold spores that it may cause. I also have a pan of water some place in the house as well, so I won't get a shock when I walk across the rug.

    Bookmark   August 23, 2009 at 3:50AM
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