Christmas cactus are beautiful plants that many people assume will not require misting.
Some planters think they need to mist them multiple times, and some are confused about whether to mist them or not.
What is the right point of view? Should you mist your Christmas cactus or not? Let us find out!
Christmas cacti like to be misted as they prefer to stay in high humidity. However, misting alone is not the solution to maintaining adequate humidity. It would be best to use misting with other methods like grouping the plant and using a humidifier to maintain ideal humidity levels.
It is not essential to mist your Christmas cactus, and the main point is to maintain ideal humid conditions, no matter which method you choose.
In this article, you will learn not only the ideal humidity level but also various methods to maintain the same for your Christmas cactus.
Do Christmas Cactus like to be misted?
Yes, Christmas cactus like to be misted, but misting alone is not a solution to achieve the desired conditions.
For example, if the humidity level in your area is below 40%, misting will be of no use, so you cannot keep misting the entire day.
That is because the air is warm and dry, and misting cannot compensate for the dryness.
The misted droplets will evaporate within a few minutes, and they will spread around in no time, making no difference to the humidity levels.
You need to make extra effort to raise humidity using different measures other than misting.
For areas with high humidity, i.e., above 60%, the water vapor is already saturated in the air.
If you mist in such conditions, the water droplets will stay on the leaves for long durations and lead to fungal diseases. So, in such conditions, we should avoid misting altogether.
We have some research material that we have achieved after getting feedback from two groups of people regarding misting. Let us see what we have got:
|Raise humidity for long durations.||Humidity lasts for just a few minutes.|
|Keep the stems clean.||Lead to fungal diseases and pests.|
|Misting using neem oil solution can help prevent pests from attacking.||Misting damages leaves and turns them yellow.|
The conclusion that we have concluded after all the research and feedback is:
If you stay in an area with low humidity, you may mist your Christmas cactus every hour or so to maintain the ideal humidity around them. But the problem is this is very impractical.
Misting a few times in low humid areas is useless. Thus choosing better and more effective options is recommended. There are better alternatives to misting that we will further discuss.
Do Christmas Cactus like humidity?
Christmas cactus is native to tropical regions. Unlike other cacti, they like humidity, and they need humidity around them to thrive and imitate their native environment.
The average humidity level is 50% in most households. That is good enough for your Christmas cactus but will also appreciate a little raised humidity.
Since these are not used to indoor conditions, you need to ensure their ideal conditions along and for them. Ideal humidity, temperature, and other requirements are important for their health and growth.
Humidity is important for your Christmas cactus, but why? Let us know how humidity affects their health.
Christmas cacti go through a process called transpiration, in which they take in carbon dioxide and release oxygen into the air.
The pores open to exchange these gases, and through these pores, the plant loses its moisture.
If the humidity around them is low or not ideal, they will lose excess moisture, which directly affects the plant’s health.
Thus, they need an ideal humidity level to stay healthy, and it is your responsibility to make sure they have high humidity and temperature levels around them.
How to check the humidity level of your room?
To check the humidity level of any space, you need a device called a hygrometer.
It helps to measure the temperature and humidity of that space and show it on its screen. It is cheap and works well, and is accurate as well.
The humidity in all parts of your home doesn’t need to be similar, so you need to check in various spots to determine the right space for your plant.
With the change in season, the conditions also change, so you need to check every time the conditions change.
You can get a good hygrometer from Amazon, making your task easier.
How much humidity does a Christmas cactus need?
Christmas cactus, unlike other cactus-like humidity, prefers humidity between 50%-60%.
A little here and there is not a problem for these plants, but an extreme fluctuation can harm their health.
If the condition is unfavorable for a prolonged time, then the Christmas cactus may show signs of stress.
You need to keep looking at your plant so that if they show any signs of stress, you may be able to act on it immediately.
Signs your Christmas cactus needs more humidity.
Your Christmas cactus will show the following signs when they need more humidity:
- Brown leaves
- Yellow leaves
- Dehydrated stems
- Droopy plant
These signs are clearly stating the need for humidity. If other plant conditions are in check, then you might want to check the humidity level.
You can use a hygrometer for accurate numbers.
During winter, plants will show such signs due to a drop in humidity. Aim on keeping high humidity and maintaining the same.
How to maintain the ideal humidity level for Christmas cactus?
Plant owners might have heard misting as the best way to keep the humidity level high around their plant.
Misting helps but does last long, so you need to look for other measures to help raise the humidity.
For areas with low humidity, misting or pebble trays will not help. Some of the well-known ways are to maintain high humidity around the plant.
Use a humidifier
Humidifiers are known to maintain an ideal humidity level in space, and it works wonders for raising the humidity. They will keep the plant conditions appropriate.
Those staying in arid cities will notice their plants will suffer, and they long for humidity in such conditions as they suffer due to the lack of the same.
To settle this, you need to use a humidifier to keep the air in the room moist.
We recommend you find an ideal size humidifier for your tropical plant.
A good quality humidifier is necessary to keep your Christmas cactus in check, and it will work efficiently to maintain ideal humidity for them for a long time.
Consider adding an aquarium.
Aquariums at homes are like water bodies in nature, and plants thrive around bodies because they provide adequate humidity.
In the same way, water in aquariums evaporates naturally, raising the humidity in the space.
Since you would think it is an expensive way, or will it work that well? Is it better than a pebble tray?
To reach a perfect decision, we used both these methods to determine the levels, and by using a hygrometer, we concluded.
The result was that the aquarium raised the humidity level to more than 5% than the pebble tray.
If you spend an extra penny on aquariums, you will keep your humidity-loving plants very happy.
If you combine other methods to raise the humidity, the plants will never complain about humidity.
Another benefit of aquariums is the water in them is rich in nitrogen which can be later used to fertilize your plants.
Use a mini greenhouse.
You might have seen big greenhouses outside, which helps food grow even in unfavorable conditions. You can have your greenhouse too, but a miniature version.
These terrariums work excellently in holding the moisture of the space. It is made of plastic or glass, easily available online, or you can make your own.
They add to the decor and feed your humidity striving plants with sufficient moisture.
You can buy or make a terrarium in small or large sizes per your need. Small terrariums will also fulfill the requirements if you have small plants.
Keeping plants in a group
Keeping plants in a group is common and the easiest way to increase humidity around them. When plants transpire, they naturally raise the humidity of the space.
Though the rise in humidity is marginal, it becomes more effective if worked with other methods. You don’t have to mist all the time to keep them together.
However, when grouped, you need to be aware of your plants, so they don’t get attacked by pests or are not infested by pests.
If any of them is infested, it will spread to all the plants and suffer later. It is more of a warning as it happens more often in such situations.
Misting is an old way to raise moisture levels in the air, which even non-plant parents are aware of. Even after being a cactus species, the Christmas cactus still prefer high humidity, unlike most cactus plants.
Misting is known to increase humidity but not for a very long time.
Especially those living in arid areas need additional methods to raise and maintain ideal humidity for their humidity-loving plants.
They need ideal temperature, humidity, and light to fulfill their health needs and bloom.
They add a charm to space, especially with their unusual stems and blooms. They only ask for your little efforts to stay healthy and happy.
Reference: NC State University, Nebraska Extension in Lancaster County, Researchgate, Texas A&M University, Chicago Botanic Garden.