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ZZ Plants thrive within a 40 – 50% humidity range, which is standard in most home settings. It is unnecessary to mist your plant unless the air is particularly dry. Your ZZ plant may not be harmed by occasional misting, but wet foliage can cause other fungal diseases.
Misting houseplants may make their leaves look cleaner and fresher, but there is not much evidence that it raises the humidity around the plant for long enough to be beneficial.
Although there is no doubt that very dry air will negatively affect your ZZ plant, there are more effective ways to raise the humidity than just by misting.
Should I Mist My ZZ Plant?
There is no need to mist your ZZ plant unless its foliage looks dusty or the air is particularly dry. If you are a plant owner who loves to mist your plants, then set your spray on its finest setting and only mist your ZZ lightly using tepid water.
The danger of regularly misting your ZZ plant is that although they are amazingly tough and resilient, fungal diseases are their number one enemy.
This is usually caused by damp soil, but frequently having wet leaves and stems may also be detrimental to the health of this hardy plant.
Humidity refers to the amount of water vapor present in the air at any given time. Plants lose moisture through a process of transpiration through pores called stomata on their leaves.
Moisture loss will occur more rapidly if the humidity in a room is too dry, and the plant will start showing signs of drying out.
If the humidity in a room is lower than 40%, the effect of misting on your ZZ plant will be marginal as water vapor will quickly evaporate and dissipate throughout the room.
Extremely dry air will undoubtedly have a negative effect on the plant, but the situation would require a more comprehensive approach than simply occasionally misting the leaves.
If you do not have a hygrometer to check the humidity around your ZZ plant, keep looking for signs that the air is too dry. Often the humidity of a room decreases as winter sets in and heating is turned up.
Signs Your ZZ Plant Need More Humidity
There are some tell-tale signs that the humidity is too low for a ZZ. If the air in your room is dry or there is a fireplace or vent nearby that you suspect might be having an effect, pay careful attention to the condition of the plant.
Look out for the following, which are signs that the humidity is too low for your ZZ plant:
- Discoloration of leaves – brown tips or yellow foliage
- Curling leaves – the leaves begin to dry out as they lose excessive moisture to the dry air around
- Drooping foliage – the leaves and the stems may start drooping
What you should never do if you see any of these signs is reach for the watering can. Overwatering can quickly lead to serious fungal conditions like root rot.
If you suspect that the air is too dry for your ZZ plant, it won’t do any harm to mist it occasionally, but it is not an effective solution to address the situation for very long. You need to increase the overall lack of humidity more comprehensively.
How To Increase Humidity For Your ZZ Plant
Although misting your ZZ plant can provide a short burst of moisture, if your ZZ plant is in a dry room, that probably won’t be enough to stop it from drying out. Any area where the humidity is low will quickly absorb any available moisture from the air.
ZZ plants do well in most indoor settings, although they should be kept away from heat vents or air conditioners that can cause sudden temperature and humidity changes. There are a few effective ways to increase the humidity for your ZZ plant and yourself!
- Move the plant to a different room – If you only use your fireplace for three months of the year and you can see your ZZ plant taking strain from a lack of sufficient humidity, consider moving it to another room. You could even place it in a well-lit bathroom for a few months.
- Get a humidifier – If you live in an arid area or the air in a particular room gets dry over the winter months, you and your plants would be more comfortable if you had a humidifier. This is the most consistent way to keep a room’s humidity level perfect.
- Group your plants – In nature, plants rarely live out in the open on their own. They grow in clumps with surrounding plants, which protects them and helps to retain humidity around the foliage. If you have a collection of houseplants, it can help to position them close to each other.
- Make a pebble tray – Not everyone wants to get an aquarium, which is also an excellent way to increase the humidity in a room. A great hack to get a similar effect is to make a pebble tray for your ZZ plant to stand on. Just be sure that your ZZ plant pot is not touching the water.
As you can see from the methods above, adding humidity to an environment needs to be more sustained than simply giving your ZZ plant an occasional puff of fine mist from a sprayer.
The Benefits of Misting Your ZZ Plant
Although misting your ZZ plant is unlikely to deliver any sustained effect in raising the overall humidity for the plant, you don’t have to cut it out altogether.
Occasionally misting with a mix of neem oil can help limit the chances of pest infestations. Mix 1.5 teaspoons of neem oil in a regular-sized spray bottle along with 1 teaspoon of liquid soap.
Shake it together and gently mist every section of all your houseplants to keep pests at bay.
ZZ Plants are almost artificial in their dark green waxy perfection, and they are incredibly slow-growing. The combination means that your plant may occasionally get dusty or lack the distinctive shine.
Always avoid using leaf shine spray on your ZZ plant. These are unnecessary as the leaves have a natural glossy layer, and all that is necessary to clean your plant is an occasional light misting with tepid water.
When to Mist Your ZZ Plant
It is unnecessary to mist a ZZ plant, and excessive moisture buildup on its leaves should be avoided. However, if you are an avid mister and would like to give your plant a puff of freshness on dry days, limit the activity only to morning hours.
Misting later in the day or evening should be avoided because the moisture that settles on the leaves may not evaporate as fast as you expect. The damp leaf surface would be an invitation for fungal growth.
Do ZZ Plants Like Humidity?
ZZ plants do well in normal to slightly lower than average humidity levels. Optimal levels for the plant are between 40 – 50%.
The danger of having your plant in a room where the humidity is higher is that water droplets that form on the leaves may not evaporate.
Fluctuations in humidity seem to be less of a threat to the overall threat to the plant’s health than overwatering and incorrect temperature. ZZ plants are relatively uncomplicated in their needs and are therefore the perfect plants for novice gardeners.
ZZ Plant Requirements At A Glance
|65F – 79F
|Only when the soil feels dry
|Indirect bright light is best. It can also tolerate low light conditions.
|Lowest survivable temperature
|The biggest threat to ZZ plant health
|Root rot – most often caused by overwatering
If I Mist My ZZ Plant, Do I Still Need To Water It?
ZZ plants have succulent rhizome roots, which make the plant capable of withstanding periods of drought.
This is not to say that you should never water your ZZ plant, and doing so regularly will certainly make it more likely to grow faster.
The plant does not need to be misted, but if you regularly mist your houseplants, be particularly careful not to add so much water to the leaves of your ZZ plant that moisture condenses and runs down into the soil. You may be unintentionally giving your plant extra watering.
When it comes to ZZ plant watering, it is always best to only water when the soil feels dry rather than on a set schedule.
Insert the tip of your finger into the top layer of soil and only consider watering if the soil feels completely dry. If you use this method, you will be able to determine if any moisture from your misting has run into the soil and you can skip watering.
Pros & Cons For Misting Your ZZ Plant
There are two reasons that anyone should consider misting a ZZ plant. It is either to clean the leaves or to add some humidity to the plants’ environment.
However, misting a plant that fares better in drought conditions than in a moist tropical setting may be counterproductive.
Things to consider before misting your ZZ plant:
|Pros of Misting A ZZ Plant
|Cons Of Misting A ZZ Plant
|Adding neem oil to the water will prevent plant pests and the development of fungal growth.
|Water temperature that is too hot or cold could shock the plant. May damage the leaves.
|Can raise the humidity around the plant briefly – this is usually not sufficient to address low humidity.
|The buildup of water on the leaves may facilitate fungal growth
|It can help to clean the leaves
|Extra water droplets can drain into the soil and contribute to the development of fungal diseases like root rot.
How To Maintain Ideal Humidity Level For ZZ Plant
If your home is warm and comfortable, you probably already have ideal conditions for your ZZ plant to thrive.
However, if you stay in a desert area or the air dries out because of heating during the winter, getting a humidifier for the room is the best way to maintain the ideal humidity level for your plant.
Although you can increase the humidity around your ZZ plant using methods like a pebble bath, the most effective way to maintain the correct humidity level for your plants is to invest in a humidifier.
There are plenty of options available, and you are sure to notice a marked improvement in the health of your ZZ and all your other houseplants.
Why Is My ZZ Plant Stem Wrinkled?
There are a few possible reasons that the stem of your ZZ plant may be wrinkled, but water-related issues are the most likely culprits. Either over-or under-watering your ZZ plant can result in changes on the stem.
If you have forgotten to water your ZZ for a few weeks, then the plant is probably just dry and could do with watering. However, if you have been watering regularly, there is a possibility that the plant has had too much water.
Wrinkled or stems that start turning brown from the bottom up can be a sign of a serious fungal disease called root rot.
One other possibility is that the plant has been exposed to too much direct sunlight. Although ZZ plants thrive in high light conditions, they don’t tolerate direct sun exposure well, as their waxy leaves can burn.
If you have noticed wrinkly stems on your ZZ, move it to a position where the light it receives will be less direct.
Will A ZZ Plant Do Well In A Bathroom?
ZZ plants are an excellent choice for bathrooms. They are not too fussy about light and add a rich deep green, healthy color to the setting. The only cautionary note about putting your ZZ in a humid environment like a bathroom is to ensure that you only water the soil when it feels dry.
Water vapor from the bath and shower can build up on the waxy leaves, form droplets, and run down the stem into the soil, so the plant may be getting more water than you think.
Since high humidity conditions may encourage fungus development on the leaves, it is a good idea to mist the plant with a neem solution regularly.