Snake Plant Humidity Requirements: Humidity Guide 101
QUESTION: Do Snake Plants Like Humidity?
ANSWER: Yes – there is a sweet spot for the perfect humidity levels for snake plants – which is 30-50% relative humidity. Levels outside this range can have negative effects on your snake plants’ health. For example, high humidity results in your plant becoming over saturated. High humidity can also create moist environments that can attract unwanted pests and diseases. Meanwhile, low humidity accelerates your snake plant’s transpiration processes, causing it to become dehydrated. We’ll detail ways of achieving that perfect humidity level for your snake plant later, so stick around…
Welcome to the Garden Bench Top, where we are going to explore the relationship between snake plants and humidity. We’ll cover:
- what effect humidity has on snake plants,
- symptoms of high humidity in snake plants,
- symptoms of low humidity in snake plants, and
- how to increase or decrease humidity for your snake plant.
What Does Humidity do to Snake Plants?
Snake plants are as tough as they come when it comes to indoor plants. But they still require a minimum level of care to live, including humidity in their ambient environment.
What is Humidity?
Humidity is an important element in any plant’s ambient environment (the conditions of the immediate surrounding environment). It is the amount of water vapor present in the air around the plant.
How Does Humidity Effect Snake Plants?
In order to regulate their internal processes, snake plants require a particular level of humidity. For example, in order to cool themselves, snake plants evaporate water content from the cells in their leaves via the process of transpiration.
However, when there is too much humidity in the surrounding air, it inhibits a snake plants ability to complete their transpiration process. This restricts your snake plant from cooling down and becoming over saturated. This can result in issues similar to that of an overwatered snake plant.
On the other end of the spectrum, when there is little moisture in the surrounding air, it can expedite the transpiration process. This can lead to your snake plant losing a lot of water in a short period of time – and developing symptoms similar to an under watered snake plant.
How Much Humidity Do Snake Plants Like?
So now that we know how humidity affects snake plants, what levels should you be aiming for when you are growing snake plants in your home?
According to a study compiled by the University of Georgia, the acceptable range you should be targeting is between 40-50% humidity levels for your snake plants. However, we’ve had success with growing snake plants with average humidity levels as low as 30%.
Snake plants thrive in humidity levels between 30-50%.
The only way to know exact humidity level around your snake plant is to use a hygrometer. These are one of the essential tools for an indoor gardener. You can often find 2-in-1 gardener tools that combine thermometers and hygrometers into one device.
Symptoms of Snake Plants With Too Much Humidity
For those houseplant owners who suspect their snake plant may be suffering from too much humidity, here is a list of symptoms to help you troubleshoot your ailing snake plant.
Even though snake plants aren’t known for their speedy growth, they still exhibit measurable annual growth. If your snake plant hasn’t shown much growth over the past year, your problem may be related to high humidity levels.
As we mentioned earlier, when a snake plant experiences high ambient humidity, it restricts their natural processes like transpiration. Inhibited processes result in a weakened plant, with limited resources to produce healthy growth.
Disease & Pests
High humidity can become very oppressive to indoor plants, and can prevent the natural evaporation of water from the leaves and soil.
When soil remains wet and soggy, it becomes the perfect breeding ground for leaf diseases and pests.
Fungal diseases, like leaf spot, particularly love moist soil, as it helps their spores to develop and spread. Another particularly sinister fungal disease is root rot, which infects and rots the root system and gradually works its way up to the beautiful foliage.
Some pests also thrive in moist conditions, and actually seek it out. Adult Fungus gnats fly from pot plant to pot plant, looking for wet soil to lay their eggs in. And even though fungus gnats won’t necessarily harm your snake plant, they can multiply very quickly and become an infestation that will annoy all members of your family.
Another common sign that your snake plant is suffering from too much humidity is when the leaves begin to change color. When the cells in the green leaves become over saturated, they begin to slowly degrade, causing changes to the cell structure and leaf color.
At first, the snake plant will develop yellow patches on the leaves. If left untreated and the snake plant remains in humid conditions, the yellow patches will slowly rot, eventually turning brown. Your snake plant may also develop black tips and edges.
Symptoms of Snake Plants With Too Little Humidity
When a snake plant endures lengthy periods of low humidity, it can become water deprived, leading to symptoms similar to those of an under watered snake plant.
Leaves Begin to Droop or Fall Over
As the water content of the leaves decreases through increased transpiration activity, the leaves lose structure and stability. They eventually buckle under the weight of the large snake plant leaves, and uncharacteristically begin to droop or fall over.
Wrinkled and Curled Leaves
Another effect of reduced water content in snake plant leaves includes the appearance of wrinkled leaves. As the once meaty leaves lose water, the excess skin on the snake plant leaves begins to sag and form wrinkles.
Snake plant leaves will also begin to curl inwards to reduce the surface area of the leaves. This action will therefore limit the transpiration process and reduce the amount of evaporation.
How to Decrease Humidity for Snake Plants
If your snake plant is displaying symptoms of high humidity, there are a few things you can do to reduce the water vapor around your indoor plant.
Improve Air Flow
Have you ever been in a room that is humid with no windows? It is unbearable, and you quickly become overheated because your sweat cannot evaporate with no airflow. The same happens with your snake plant.
Increasing the air flow around your snake plant will help it to cope with the high water vapor content and reduce the likelihood of it experiencing temperature stress.
You can increase air flow by placing your snake plant next to an open window (only in indirect sunlight, out of direct sunlight).
If you have a group of indoor plants placed next to one another, you can also reduce humidity by separating them and allowing ample distance between each pot plant.
Repot Your Snake Plant
If you notice your snake plant is sitting in wet soil, it may be a good idea to repot your snake plant. Those that haven’t repotted a plant before, you can follow our step-by-step guide HERE.
Replacing the wet soil with dry soil will instantly reduce the amount of evaporation around your snake plant.
Plus, you have the added benefit of reducing the risk of any fungal diseases or pest infestations from occurring.
When water is exposed to air, there will always be some degree of water evaporation. This can be when you go to water your indoor plants, any excess water sitting at the bottom of planters, or even water features to promote positive energy for Feng Shui!
To reduce ambient humidity, try to limit the amount of sources of evaporation. You can either move them to another room, or move your snake plant to a more favorable position in the house.
How to Increase Humidity for Snake Plants
On the flip side, if you live in a relatively dry climate, you may need techniques to increase humidity for your snake plants.
As you can appreciate, simply doing the opposite of the techniques we described above to decrease humidity will achieve more humidity for your snake plant.
For the sake of completeness, here are our favorite ways for boosting humidity.
Group Plants Together
By placing plants next to each other, the collective evaporation of all the plants helps to provide an immediate boost to relative humidity.
Avoid Drafty Areas
Keeping your snake plant away from drafty positions will help to reduce the transpiration processes, which will help your plant stay hydrated.
Increase Water Evaporation
One of the most effective techniques we have used to increase humidity for plants is to place them on humidity trays. It is easy and has minimal impact on the overall aesthetics of your snake plant. This is also effective for other indoor plants like tropical plants.
Use a DIY Humidity Chamber
Using a humidity chamber is a super efficient way to increase humidity for singular plants. Check out how to build humidity chambers for your snake plants HERE.
Do Snake Plants Like Humidity – Closing Comments
Finding the right balance of humidity for your snake plant is challenging.
They do not like too much humidity, which can inhibit their natural processes, leading to a weak plant and health complications.
While too little humidity will cause water stress from dehydration.
We have provided a few easy solutions for achieving the perfect humidity levels for your snake plant – so try them out and let us know about the result.