Humidity is moisture in the air and is measured by the amount of water vapor in the air. When the humidity is high, the air will feel moist and sticky. Tropical climates have high humidity. Deserts have dry air because the humidity is low. Most succulents can survive in a dry environment for a long time, while high humidity may cause diseases in succulents leading to them being dead.
WHAT IS HUMIDITY?
Water vapor enters the atmosphere by evaporating from the large bodies of water on the Earth’s surface including lakes, oceans, and seas. This invisible water vapor is called humidity. It’s a normal and constant part of our atmosphere and the water vapor is continuously generated by evaporation and removed by condensation.
In desert climates where rainfall is scarce, the humidity in the air sustains both succulent plants and animal life. Tropical climates have native plants that must have high levels of humidity to survive. The rest of the planet falls somewhere in between but we still rely on humidity to provide needed moisture.
The ideal humidity level inside a home should fall between 40-60%. This level is beneficial for humans, pets, and plants. This level of humidity helps us uptake oxygen and transfer it through our blood vessels much easier and helps reduce respiratory problems.
VARIATIONS IN HUMIDITY
Air temperature determines the humidity level. The warmer the air, the more moisture it can hold. The warmer the environment, the higher the humidity level. There is a simple test you can conduct at home to determine the humidity level -
- Place two or three ice cubes into a glass, add water, and stir. Wait 5 minutes. If moisture does not form on the outside of the glass, the air is too dry. If water has condensed on the outside of the glass, the level of humidity is high.
- A hygrometer is a tool that's used to measure humidity levels and can be purchased inexpensively.
If the humidity level is too low you may need to use a humidifier inside your home to keep you and your plant healthy. If the humidity is too high, you may need to use a de-humidifier.
For indoor succulents like Echeveria succulents, growing them in an environment with too much humidity for a long period of time is like overwatering succulents, so it is essential to control the changes in humidity.
THE EFFECT OF HUMIDITY ON SUCCULENTS
Some plants enjoy high humidity, however, succulents are not among those plants. Succulents are typically desert plants that store water in their leaves and cannot absorb water through them.
What Humidity Level is Ideal for Succulents?
The ideal humidity level for succulents is 40%-50%. These plants still need to derive a little moisture from the air or else they will have to use the moisture stored in the leaves to survive.
If you live in an area that is particularly humid. Humidity is greater than 50%, the most ideal place indoors for succulents is near a window, where they can get adequate sunlight and ventilation.
Hazards of succulent in high humidity environment
The succulent plants will do better in an environment that has low humidity verse one with high humidity. If there’s too much moisture in the air it’s the same as giving the succulents too much water. It will lead to root rot, fungal infection, and/or fungal gnats.
KEEP SUCCULENTS HAPPY IN A HUMID ENVIRONMENT
Sometimes little can be done to lower the humidity level in an environment but you can still successfully grow succulents.
- Water succulents only when the top of the soil is dry. Click here to learn more about how to water succulents.
- Choose succulents that are happy in a humid environment. Grow Aeoniums, Crassula, Kalanchoe, or Sedum in high humidity environments.
- To help lower the humidity and reduce the damage to high humidity on succulents, keep an oscillating fan running in the room to increase air circulation.
- Use a dehumidifier and turn on the air conditioning in the room where the succulents are located.
HELP YOUR SUCCULENTS GROW
With so many beautiful, easy-care succulents to choose from, don’t let a humid environment stop you from growing these beauties. Select the right succulent varieties and overcome the high humidity with an increased airflow.