Which Is Better: Misting From Above or Below?


If you routinely sprinkle the leaves of your houseplants with a squirt bottle or shower the foliage of your outdoor plants with a moderate spray from a garden hose, the humidity levels in the air around your plants may see a modest boost. The foliage of plants can only take in water and nutrients via their roots; thus, misting the foliage will not contribute to the plants’ nutrition but will delay the rate at which they lose water through their leaves. In order to decide whether to mist from above or softly water from below, you will first need to consider the advantages offered by each technique.

Misting Outdoor Plants

You may be concerned about misting outdoor plants from above because you’ve heard that watering them during the hottest part of the day can cause the foliage to burn when the sun’s rays hit the water droplets that remain on the plants after the plants have been watered. This is true, but only if the plants are watered during the sunniest part of the day. That is categorically not the case, as shown by the publication Fine Gardening as well as other credible sources. Even though it can make you feel like you’re about to melt, watering your plants during the warmest part of the day won’t do any harm to them. When you mist outdoor plants from below, you cut down on evaporation and make it possible for the plants to absorb moisture via their roots without drowning them in the surplus water that comes with heavy watering. You accomplish this by focusing the water on the soil that surrounds the plants.

Misting Houseplants

Even if the usual humidity levels in the home may be tolerable for people and animals, these conditions are not necessarily conducive to the health and growth of houseplants. It is possible for the humidity to drop too low indoors, especially during the winter months, making it impossible for houseplants to survive. As a consequence of this, amateur gardeners may often use a spray bottle containing water to spritz their plants from above in the mistaken belief that they are so supplying their plants with the much-required moisture in the form of an increase in humidity. However, doing so may not be the most efficient strategy to increase the level of humidity. The University of Illinois Extension suggests that while misting only boosts humidity for a very little amount of time at a time, it is required to spray many times. When you mist houseplants from below, the moisture is able to settle on the soil, flow down to the roots, and be absorbed by the plants.

Misting Drawbacks

Be informed that there are potential risks associated with spraying your plants from above before you go ahead and spray them. The susceptibility of the leaves of many plants to bacterial and fungal diseases is increased when they are treated to excessive or persistent wetness, such as that which is provided by misting. According to the University of Vermont Extension, when there is moisture present on the leaf, it generates an environment that is conducive to the germination of fungus spores. The University of Minnesota Extension issues a warning that germs may flourish and proliferate on plant leaves if they are subjected to repeated misting in conjunction with inadequate air circulation. It is not possible for water to condense on the plant’s leaves by misting the earth underneath the plant. When plants are already given consistent and complete irrigation, sprinkling them from below does not provide any further advantages.

Misting Alternatives

There are a variety of techniques that are superior than misting plants, despite the fact that the majority of gardeners use it because they want to provide their plants with extra water. Simply increase the amount of water you provide plants that are kept outside by pouring water around the base of the plant. This will allow the water to reach the roots, which are the part of the plant that is most capable of absorbing and making use of the water. When you want to give an increase in humidity for your houseplants and guarantee that they do not dry out, installing a humidifier in your home is the best way to accomplish both of those goals. In addition to misting, other methods that may be used to boost humidity include placing plants on trays that have stones and water in them, as well as putting numerous plants together in close proximity to one another. These methods were suggested by the University of Illinois Extension.