I have been able to keep a maidenhair fern alive for 3 whole months! That is cause for celebration in my home. I think getting that mini greenhouse had something to do with it.
Fortunately, the plant is growing well and fast. Unfortunately, It has outgrown the mini-green house. The humidity in the greenhouse could climb up to 67% on some days. I kept a cup of water with the plants in the greenhouse which may have helped. As much as high 60’s for relative humidity is great, it doesn’t come close to jungle humidity which could be as high as 90%. Knowing this, I had to find ways to get as close as possible. It is well-known that maiden hair ferns are hard to keep in the home due to its high humidity needs.
There are well-known tricks on how to raise humidity around plants:
1. One way is to keep plants in kitchens and bathroom as humidity can be high in these locations. However, when you have windowless bathroom or kitchen, this is not feasible.
2. Another option is to double pot. This is done by putting the plant pot in a waterproof container and fill the space between the pot and the container with moist peat moss or sphagnum moss. Keeping the moss continually moist will produce moisture around the plant as the water evaporates. This seems like a good idea, but would it promote fungal growth in the moss?
3. Misting is another way to raise relative humidity. Unfortunately, you would have to do this several times a day and this can be quite tasking. And this option is not for plants with hairy leaves.
4. Placing potted plants on pebble trays filled with water is also a common technique to raise humidity. This is what I chose to do for my maiden hair fern. When you do this, you make sure the bottom of the pot, if it has drainage holes, is not in direct contact with the water in the tray as this will promote root rot.
5. Grouping plants is something most of us do already with our indoor plants. The moisture rising from the soil and the foliage creates a moist environment around the happy plants. As you can tell from the reading on the hygrometer, the relative humidity around the plant is not that high, although on rainy days with the windows opened it can read up 70% humidity. The comfort meter may read too wet for the home but for most plants this is as good as it gets in most homes.
I hope pebble trays and grouping plants will be enough to keep my plant living for a long time to come!
Hi, I’m Barbara and I’m a little obsessed with house plants. I share my house plant adventures in the hopes of inspiring you to continue to enjoy the greens in your home. And if you have no plants (yet!) I hope this blog inspires you to add some green to your home. So go on! Try it! I think you might quite like it. And who knows? You may end up being … obsessed too.