Humidity is a problem in your home and you’re looking for some good solutions to reduce moisture in the air. In this blog, we share the best plants that absorb humidity so that you can use nature to help combat high moisture levels in the home.
Top 23 house plants that absorb humidity
Home Health Living has written many blogs about dehumidifying your home and different ways to do this.
Using plants that absorb humidity is a more cost-effective and pleasant way to dehumidify your home than other measures such as using a dehumidifier.
There are other benefits of having indoor plants in your home.
How do plants absorb moisture?
A plant’s foliage and it’s structure is what helps it absorb moisture. Plants have pores in their foliage, known as “stoma” (or plural is “stomata”), which control the exchange of gas. A stoma is found underneath a plant to help prevent excess evaporation from the plant.
The plant draws in the moisture through its leaves and the moisture travels through to the roots. Some plants are better at doing this than others. This is why some plants need to be watered a lot while others don’t.
Other benefits of having plants in your home
Certain plants are great at not only dehumidifying your home but also purifying the air. NASA has studied plants and their effectiveness at removing toxins in the air and has found that certain plants are great at doing this.
Plants also help with mental health. An article published by Hall and Dickson in 2011 in the Journal of Environmental Horticulture discussed the “emotional and mental health benefits of plants” including reduction in anxiety and stress, reduced depression, increased memory retention, improvements in self-esteem, increased creativity and greater life satisfaction and happiness.
Other ways to remove moisture in your home
Indoor plants that absorb humidity is one way to remove moisture in your home. There are other ways too, including using a dehumidifier, keeping windows open, fixing leaking taps and pipes and making sure there’s good air circulation in your home. We have another blog about how to dehumidify your home.
List of house plants that absorb humidity
The top 23 house plants that absorb humidity are:
Bird’s Nest Fern
Mother in law’s Tongue
Cast Iron Plant
How to choose plants that absorb humidity
Before choosing plants that absorb humidity, you’ll need to consider a few factors.
Size of the room
Think about the size of the room where the plants will be. Do you have a space for the plant? Can you easily reach the plant to water it?
Indoor pets and plant toxicity
Many plants are toxic to cats and dogs, so make sure you pick plants that aren’t toxic to pets. Also be careful if you have young children and make sure that the plants you buy are out of their reach.
Natural light and sunshine
Choose plants that suit the amount of natural light in the room. Some plants need more natural light than others. Also be mindful of sunshine, especially hot afternoon sun in the summer as this can burn plants. Not all plants will survive in hot conditions.
Consider the temperature in the room. If you don’t have A/C to use in the summertime, then your plants may become distressed and require extra watering.
If the temperature is too cold during the winter months, this may also impact on the health of your plants. And if there is an open fire place or a heater in the room, this may also dry out the plants.
Read the information about each plant before you decide on which plants to buy.
Individual plant requirements
Some plants require more care than others. If you’re someone who is out a lot or is forgetful, you won’t want to choose a plant that requires a lot of watering or attention. Most of the plants in the list don’t require daily watering, but read the information about each plant to help you make the best decision.
Height: How big Aloe Vera grows depends on the size of the pot. They grow larger when planted in a garden bed.
Foliage: Aloe Vera is a succulent plant with mid-green colored foliage.
Climate: Aloe Vera can grow well in most conditions except frost.
Soil: It needs soil with excellent drainage.
Position: Prefers lots of natural light.
Flowering: Doesn’t usually flower but when it does, they are When Aloe Vera flowers, they are clusters of yellow to orange flowers.
Feeding: Feed a couple of times a year with a controlled-release fertilizer.
Watering: Aloe Vera doesn’t require much watering. Once per week is sufficient.
Plant type: A low-growing plant whose leaves die off each year then regrow in the new season.
Height: Cyclamens are a low-growing plant with flowers that are taller than the foliage.
Foliage: Heart-shaped, dark green leaves that are pale underneath and have silver markings.
Climate: Can be grown in warm or cool temperatures.
Soil: Use soil with good drainage.
Position: Cyclamen likes a few hours of morning sunlight but must be protected from the harsh afternoon sun and doesn’t like to be near an opened window.
Flowering: Flowers from early winter to mid-spring.
Feeding: Feed annually in early winter.
Watering: Do not water the plant- fill the saucer with water and the cyclamen will soak it up.
Plant type: Philodendron is a tall-growing plant without flowers that typically grows in tropical climates.
Height: They can grow to about 8 feet so suit a room with lots of space and height.
Foliage: The leaves are a light green color. The leaves and stems are toxic to humans and animals when eaten. We don’t recommend this plant if you have young children or indoor pets.
Climate: Suited to a warm or cool climate.
Soil: Needs well-drained soil.
Position: Prefers morning light and doesn’t do well in the harsh afternoon sun.
Flowering: No flowers.
Feeding: Feed annually, preferably in late winter.
Watering: Regular watering required especially during spring and summer.
Height: Needs to be in a room with lots of height as it can grow up to 8 feet.
Foliage: Leaves arch gracefully and are glossy and sense.
Climate: Best suited to homes in a tropical, warm climate as they don’t grow well in the cold.
Soil: Any soil with good drainage.
Position: Prefers sunlight and partial shade, but not hot afternoon sun.
Flowering: Doesn’t flower often.
Feeding: Use a fertilizer annually.
Watering: Be careful not to over water.
Plant type: Azaleas are a flowering plant with flowers in a range of colors which makes it a striking plant to use in your home. It’s a hardy plant that grows well in most conditions and loves the morning sun. If you have indoor pets, note that Azaleas are poisonous to dogs.
Height: Azaleas are not a very tall plant and are slow-growing.
Foliage: The plant has olive-green, evergreen foliage that is elliptical shaped and glossy.
Climate: It prefers dappled sunlight when indoors.
Soil: Prefers acidic soil that is well-drained.
Position: Leave in a place that gets morning sunlight.
Flowering: Spring and autumn flowering.
Feeding: Feed annually with a slow-release fertilizer.
Watering: Water regularly but be careful not to over-water.
Plant type: An attractive flowering plant that is easy to look after and is naturally pest-resistant. There are different varieties of Begonia. For indoors, look for fibrous or rhizomatous varieties. Begonias are toxic to pets- the roots are very poisonous.
Height: Begonias grow 12 to 18 inches tall when planted in a pot.
Foliage: The foliage is a medium-green color that is heart-shaped.
Climate: Grows in a sunny climate that isn’t too hot.
Soil: Prefers moist soil but not soggy.
Position: Place in a spot that has morning sun or dappled sunlight. Keep away from afternoon sun.
Flowering: Begonias flower from early summer until about mid-winter. The flowers are small clusters of fragrant pale pink flowers.
Feeding: Use a general-purpose, slow-release fertilizer when planting and then a half-strength fertilizer every two to three weeks when the plant is flowering.
Bird’s nest fern
Plant type: The Bird’s nest fern is a fern that attaches itself to a tree’s roots when in its natural habitat. It’s one of the few indoor ferns that have larger leaves, giving the plant a fuller look when planted in a pot.
Height: Grows to 1 metre high and wide.
Foliage: It has bright green foliage and large leaves.
Climate: It prefers a sheltered location, not in full sun. Perfect as an indoor plant.
Soil: Use soil with good drainage.
Position: Sheltered position with dappled morning sunlight. Not suitable in full sun.
Flowering: Non-flowering plant.
Feeding: Every spring and autumn with a slow-release fertiliser.
Watering: Water every 1 to 2 weeks, allowing half the soil to dry in between waterings.
Plant type: The Boston Fern is a species of fern also known as the sword fern. Found to be a great plant for filtering out formaldehyde in a NASA clean air study.
Height: Between 40-90 centimeters tall and in extreme cases up to 1.5m tall.
Foliage: Long, serrated fronds.
Climate: Cool spot with high humidity and indirect sunlight.
Soil: Moist soil that requires regular watering in warmer months.
Position: Indirect sunlight in a cool area, perfect for indoors in a bathroom.
Flowering: Doesn’t flower but produces brown spots or spores instead.
Feeding: During spring and summer, fertilize once a month.
Watering: Once a week during warmer months, ensuring soil remains moist.
Plant type: Tropical, evergreen plants that have a white, long flower.
Height: Up to 16 inches tall when grown indoors or up to 6 foot high when grown outdoors.
Foliage: Shiny dark green foliage.
Climate: Grows well in a moist climate.
Soil: Well-draining, all-purpose potting soil.
Position: In a humid spot with dappled sunlight such as in a bathroom.
Flowering: With enough light, flowers during summer. Long flowering plant.
Feeding: Fertilize every 6 weeks during spring and summer.
Watering: Prefers moist soil so ensure weekly watering during the summer months but do not overwater. Prefers filtered water as fluoride can cause brown tips.
Plant type: There are over 2000 varieties of palms,but indoor palms are usually stemless or with a short stem. They are a slow growing tropical plant.
Height: Potted palms grow to between 3 to 8 feet tall.
Foliage: Long, thin leaves that have sharp tips.
Climate: Grows best in warm, humid conditions.
Soil: Prefers moist soil but doesn’t respond well to overwatering.
Position: In a humid location out of direct sunlight. Dappled morning sun is ok.
Flowering: Doesn’t flower.
Feeding: Fertilize monthly during spring and summer.
Watering: Once a week during warmer months and once a fortnight in cooler months.
Plant type: Popular flowering plant with colorful, fragrant blooms.
Height: Can grow up to 60cm tall depending on the variety.
Foliage: Depending on the variety- can either have long, thin green foliage or very little foliage at all.
Climate: There are different orchids to suit different clients but most prefer either tropical climates or very cold climates depending on the variety.
Soil: Grows well in peat moss, coconut fiber and similar materials.
Position: In a humid spot but not in direct sunlight. Prefers lots of light so don’t place it in a dark spot.
Flowering: Flowers last several months. Different varieties bloom at different times during the year. Purchase an orchid when it is in bloom so you know which flower you will have and when it will bloom.
Feeding: Fertilize your orchid during times when it isn’t flowering.
Watering: Orchids don’t like a lot of watering and thrive in drought-like conditions.
Plant type: Popular houseplant with long, narrow leaves that are very easy to look after.
Height: 1 to 2 feet tall.
Foliage: Long, narrow leaves that are green with a white stripe down the middle.
Climate: Originally a tropical plant, they can adapt to most household climates but prefer a humid spot with dappled sunlight.
Soil: Well-drained potting mix.
Position: Can be placed almost anywhere in your home and it will adapt.
Flowering: Small, white-green flowers growing in clusters on the long stems.
Feeding: Once every 6 to 8 weeks during warmer months.
Watering: Soil should not be too dry or too wet.
Want to learn more about dehumidifying your home using plants and dehumidifiers?