Increasing Humidity Levels Around Crispy Wave
The average home struggles to maintain 10% humidity in the wintertime, while Crispy wave ferns naturally prefer a humidity level around 70%. What can you do to make up the difference?
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1. Purchasing a Humidifier
A humidifier can boost average indoor humidity to 30-50%, making it the top solution! These units come in a wide price range, usually, depending on the square footage it covers. So, purchasing a humidifier is an affordable, worthwhile solution.
It is essential to keep your humidifier clean. If you fail to do so, it can spread bacteria and mold into the air. This spread carries health risks to your family and your plants. You may want to consider purchasing a filterless humidifier, as they are often the easiest and fastest units to clean!
Another critical factor in using a humidifier is location. You want to put your humidifier up-high since placing your humidifier too close to the floor can encourage mold growth.
You do not want to locate your humidifier too close to your plants. The goal is to raise the moisture in the ambient air, not spray the humidifier's mist on your fern. This vapor can harm your Crispy Wave by damaging the leaves. Additionally, many humidifiers produce cold steam, causing harmful temperature fluctuations for your Crispy Wave. So, keep your humidifier at a safe distance!
2. Utilizing a Pebble Tray
While not as effective as a humidifier, using a pebble tray can also be a simple step to raise the humidity around your Crispy Wave fern.
You place pebbles in a tray, fill it mid-way with water, and place your Crispy Wave on top of the rocks. While this sounds foolproof, there are still some things to keep in mind:
Water levels: Too high of a water level will wick moisture into your soil, overwatering your plant and causing root rot.
Keep it clean: Over time, algae and mold can develop. If left unchecked, this will threaten your Crispy Wave's wellbeing.
3. Clustering Plants
Fact: all plants produce humidity. Your plant absorbs moisture in the soil and releases it as water vapor through its leaves, creating humidity. Take advantage of this humidity by gathering your plants together and placing your Crispy Wave fern in the center.
Tip: For added humidity, you can also nestle a bowl of water in your cluster of plants.
4. Switching Location
Different locations in our home naturally have more moisture than others. For example, the bathroom has 40-60% humidity on average, which can benefit your Crispy Wave fern. Kitchens are also an excellent option.
5. Retain Moisture with Your Pot Choice
The pot you are using for your Crispy Wave fern can also have a bearing on the humidity levels. Terracotta, or clay, pots wick moisture. In a terracotta planter, your Crispy Wave fern retains less moisture in its soil, translating into less moisture evaporating into the air as humidity. In contrast, plastic and ceramic pots retain moisture, which is more beneficial.
Keep in mind, repotting Crispy Waves is not recommended during their dormancy period (October-March). If you need to boost humidity during these months, while your fern is in a terracotta planter, moss is a useful tool.
Increasing Humidity During Winter in a Terracotta Pot
The "double-pot" method protects your Crispy Wave from the damaging effects of repotting it during dormancy. It also improves the surrounding humidity!
Step one: Place your clay pot in a larger ceramic or plastic cover pot.
Step two: Place moist or wet sphagnum moss surrounding the inner pot.
The wet moss will provide humidity and keep your clay pot moistened, which will prevent it from sapping moisture from the soil.
6. Create a Terrarium
Crispy Wave ferns require significant humidity and can do well in closed or open terrariums. They are also slow growers, which means that a small Crispy Wave will take several years to mature fully.
It is best to research how to construct a well-draining terrarium thoroughly before you build one. Crispy Wave ferns flourish in humidity but quickly rot when sitting in stagnant water, which means you will need an effective false-bottom in your terrarium.
Maintain Healthy Watering Habits
Water is at the core of humidity, which means that watering habits are essential. Watering is also at the heart of maintaining healthy roots. Good roots contribute to your plant's overall wellbeing and hardiness. In short, if your plant has healthy roots, it will be able to withstand the occasional fluctuation in humidity.
Crispy Wave ferns require barely moist soil to be maintained year-round. This supports optimal health. During the dormant season of October-March, the plant uses less water, so the watering frequency needs to be adjusted. Frequently allowing the soil of your Crispy Wave to dry out between watering will shrivel the root system and decrease ambient humidity. While keeping your fern in soggy soil makes it vulnerable to root rot, which is a nearly irreversible condition.
Keep the leaves of your Crispy Wave dry. During watering, water from the side, avoiding the leaves. Watering the leaves, especially the rosette center, will cause root rot and mold.
Do not mist your Crispy Wave fern when trying to increase humidity.
As stated above, wet leaves can result in damage, called leaf spot. This condition is caused by water setting on the leaves. To eliminate the chance of wet leaves, water your Crispy Wave in the morning. Evaporation happens more rapidly during daylight hours, so you need to provide your fern with ample time to eliminate excess moisture. This process will briefly increase your Crispy Wave fern's ambient humidity.
By employing one or more of these methods, your Crispy Wave fern will flourish in your home's new-found humidity. Keep in mind, the recommended humidity for a house is 30-50%. Going beyond this limit could cause mold and other health risks for your family. So, while you may never achieve your Crispy Wave fern's ideal 70% humidity, your plant will benefit from the efforts you make.