7 Houseplants That Like Humidity

Apartment living and having a green thumb can be difficult to reconcile, especially since the conditions indoors might not be ideal to grow healthy houseplants. If you want to put plants in a humid area, like a bathroom for example, you’ll need to grow houseplants that like humidity.

You can grow some types of ferns, orchids, snake plants, spider plants, lipstick plants, heart-leaf philodendrons, and calathea in humid areas. Most of them can survive without direct sunlight, and they aren’t as affected by problems like mold and mildew.

So let’s find out more about each of these humidity-loving houseplants and how to care for each of them!

Ferns

Ferns are relatively low-maintenance plants for the first couple of years of their lives. They normally grow alongside other plants or trees in the wild, that’s why they’re called epiphytic.

The Bird’s Nest Fern (Asplenium Nidus) is a great example of a plant that tolerates humidity and needs full to partial shade to thrive. That makes it perfect for the areas in your home with indirect light exposure.

Caring for this plant means planting it in a tropical soil mix and watering it if you feel the top layer of soil is dry to the touch. You can add soil mix-ins, like perlite, for better drainage.

Remember that just because a plant is in a humid area, doesn’t mean it doesn’t require frequent watering! Ambient humidity doesn’t translate to soil moisture, so you should always check for that.

Watering once a week should be sufficient, but make sure the pot is well-draining to avoid it sitting in stagnant water that promotes bacterial growth. You can do that by putting the pot in a dish with pebbles in it, and only watering until the drained water covers the pebbles.

Adding plant food should be done in the warmer months only (April-September) and once every month is enough to keep your bird’s Nest Fern healthy and strong.

Orchids

Orchids

Orchids have a bad rap for being oh-so-easy to kill, and it’s a bit deserved. They can be temperamental, but they also produce gorgeous blooms that can last for months!

Take Phalaenopsis orchids, for example. These beauties come in full-size or miniature varieties, and need a little bit of care to bloom.

The biggest mistake that people make when they get an orchid plant grown in tree bark or another medium is to repot them in soil. Orchids can die if their growing matrix is too dense and poorly aerated, and soil can suffocate a growing orchid plant with ease.

Another mistake people make is to just toss the plant once the blooms are spent. Well, the plant is alive and well, it just loses its flowers and grows them right back!

Caring for a full-size Phalaenopsis orchid is as easy as misting once a week, and -oddly enough- watering it using ice cubes!

Some sources suggest three ice cubes a week for a full-size Phalaenopsis plant and just one ice cube for the miniature variety. A good rule of thumb is to poke your, well, thumb into the growing medium and see if it’s damp. If it is, wait before you water.

Snake Plant

Unlike the diva orchid, the Snake Plant (Dracaena trifasciata) is a great, beginner-friendly plant. It takes very well to both dry and humid conditions, and some people go as far as to say it’s impossible to kill!

The plant isn’t picky about sunlight, either, just try an indirectly sunlit area for a smaller chance of scorching the leaves.

As for watering, it is possible to overwater the plant. So just plant it in loose, sandy soil that drains well, and wait for the soil to dry completely before rewatering. In the winter, this can be as scarce as once a month.

Related: How Long Do Houseplants Live? Everything You Need to Know

Spider Plant

Spider Plant hanging

Another plant named after a spooky creature, this Spider Plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is actually quite adorable unlike its name suggests. It can be an amazing hanging plant, but does well in pots and on shelves, as well.

Plant your Spider Plants in a well-draining potting mix, and keep them out of direct sunlight if you want to save their delicate foliage from burning.

Water them frequently, about once a week, and plan to repot them every couple of years to avoid them getting rootbound.

Plant food is recommended in the warm months, but try your best to avoid over-fertilization.

Lipstick Plant

Unlike the previous dark creatures, this plant’s name creates an image of glamor and beauty as soon as you hear its name. Thanks to its tube-like, bright red blooms, Aeschynanthus radicans is currently known as Lipstick Plant.

Another epiphytic tropical plant, like ferns, the lipstick plant is pretty easy to care for. It does well in indirect, but full sunlight, so placing it near a glass window is ideal.

It’s not as fussy as orchids are, but planting it in well-aerated soil, with inclusions like sphagnum moss, could prove beneficial.

The soil should also be well-draining, so a trick like the pebble dish could work well here. Watering should be according to soil moisture to prevent issues like root rot.

Calathea

This gorgeous plant, also known as Prayer Plant, is a refreshing addition to any plant-lover’s home. The foliage with its ornate patterns opens up in the light and closes in the darkness, which inspired the prayer analogy.

Calathea loves high humidity, not just tolerates it. This makes it the perfect plant for bathrooms or hallways near the kitchen.

It requires watering every 1–2 weeks or when the moisture is only relegated to the lower half of the pot. As for light exposure, indirect light is great to avoid scorching the leaves.

Potting mixes with good drainage are enough to prevent water stagnation. Just keep an eye out for issues like root rot due to waterlogged soil.

Heart-Leaf Philodendron

Heart leaf philodendron

For lovers of hanging plants, the Heart-leaf Philodendron (Philodendron hederaceum) is a beautiful addition to the house. The long, trailing stems are quite the climbers, which makes the only special care needed for this plant a pair of shears to keep it under control.

Besides looking pretty, this plant should remain out of reach for children and pets as it contains calcium oxalate, which irritates the digestive tract of all mammals.

The plant requires indirect sunlight that’s bright enough to keep the stems from going limp. Just avoid balconies or direct exposure to the sun as the leaves will burn.

Philodendron does best in a soilless potting mix. This provides aeration and prevents stagnant water issues. Watering should only be done when the potting mix is dry to the touch, and you should know if you’ve overwatered since the leaves will turn yellowish.

Just try to avoid cold water when you’re watering these plants, since their roots can go into shock and die when exposed to the cold.

Read more: 7 Houseplants That Start With S

Wrap Up: 7 Houseplants That Like Humidity

If you want to keep plants in your apartment but fear mold and mildew growth -which is a very valid concern, you should check out our picks for houseplants that like humidity.

Most of these humidity-loving plants are epiphytic tropical plants that thrive in conditions like the rainforest floor. This gives these plants the advantage of surviving high temperatures and moist conditions without going limp.

That said, you should keep an eye on the condition of all plants and try to figure out any problems they might be having. As long as you provide enough indirect sunlight and only water when necessary, you should be good to go!