“Miss Rhode Island, describe your perfect date.”
“That’s a tough one. I’d have to say April 25th, because it’s not too hot, not too cold. All you need is a light jacket.”
Succulents and people are more similar than you think! We both have preferred weather conditions to thrive. Succs are a bit more picky and the wrong weather conditions without proper succulent care can lead to distressed bbs.
Water levels in the air create humidity, more water vapor = higher humidity. There are many houseplants that benefit from the presence of humidity, so much so that greenhouse cabinets have become extremely popular in the houseplant community. So, do succulents like humidity? Should you get your succulent a humidifier to make it happier? In short, the answer is not really. Remember, most succs are native desert plants, meaning they come from very dry areas.
The Problem with Humidity
If you follow the Drench + Dry Watering Method, you know that cactus soil must dry out in between waterings to prevent root rot and encourage healthy growth. Most succulents do not like humidity because it adds moisture to the soil, not allowing it to fully dry out. Moist soil can lead to pests and, sometimes, root rot.
Cactus soil is used for succulents and cacti because of its ability to easily drain out water and quickly dry. Succulent roots, stems, and leaves retain the water they need, they don’t want extra water in the soil! This is different from leafy green houseplants, think fiddle leaf figs and mosteras; they want to stay in slightly moist soil because they cannot retain water in their leaves. Even the best draining soil will take longer to dry out in humid conditions.
In some cases, humidity can actually trigger fungal problems, causing succs to rot or even worse, die. Fungus loves humid conditions and plants are an ideal place for it to grow. Fungus will damage the bbs leaves and stems. Rotting plants are the ultimate results of high humidity. This is one of the many reasons we don’t recommend misting your succulents as their main form of watering.
Combat High Humidity
Remember that all succulents are different, but for the most part bbs love bright indirect sunlight. If you live in a high humidity area or your space is super humid, try giving your succulents more sun. The sun will help dry out soil and combat fungus. If your variety of succ does not love the sun, try light exposure to the morning sun. Intense afternoon sun can harm plants.
Placing succulents in a windowsill allows them to catch some rays and can be enough to reduce humidity. Take note of the direction your window faces to keep certain succs out of direct light, some bbs burn easily in direct sunlight. Think of which window you can view the sunrise, this is an east facing window and a great place for succs.
Humidity Loving Succulents
The best bbs for areas of high humidity are the more durable succulents. Check for succs that are considered “hard to kill” or are native to areas with humid climates. Even though these succs are more resistant to humidity, they still might require increased sunlight. Succulents that come from areas like South Africa, Madagascar, and Mozambique are more equipped to deal with humidity.
The jade plant, aloe, and elephant bush are all hardy succs are sturdy bbs that can withstand many different conditions.
No two bbs are equal! There are some succs that can survive in high humidity, but most succs are sensitive to humidity. Get to know your succs to effectively respond to its needs. Instead of buying a humidifier, buy more succulents. 💚