People worry about sunlight and water with their houseplants, but they forget to take fresh air into account.
After all, outdoor plants are supplied with a constant flow of fresh air, and indoor plants have very limited access to this.
Here’s If Houseplants Really Need Fresh Air:
Indoor plants do need to be given fresh air. Plants that are grown in stifling rooms with no breezes and no access to a renewing supply of air may start to struggle, although this is often subtle. Opening a window occasionally will help your plant out.
Sometimes, opening a window can also hurt your houseplants. Luckily, we’ve compiled all the answers you need to know:
Do Houseplants Need Fresh Air At Night?
You might be surprised to learn that having fresh air at night could be particularly critical to your plant’s health. This is because at night, your plant is taking in oxygen and emitting carbon dioxide, rather than its usual process (the reverse).
This is fine, but when day comes and the plant reverses the process, it means it will be taking in the stale air that it exuded the night before.
If you can give your plant some fresh air at night, it will be much happier and healthier.
Try opening windows a crack before you go to sleep, and leaving doors open so that air can circulate through the rooms of your home.
Is Fresh Air Good For Houseplants?
Fresh air is better for your houseplants, yes. Plants need oxygen and CO2, and these things can become depleted over time. Air will circulate through the home, so you may not run into issues with your houseplants, but if they never get any fresh air, they will start to suffer.
It is also possible for other gasses to build up in air that is not rich in oxygen and CO2.
Fresh air should offer both CO2 and oxygen, and as it is what plants are used to naturally, it is best to supply them with some if you can.
Can Plants Survive Without Fresh Air?
If there is no fresh air exchange at all, your plant will not survive. If a plant does not have any access to a renewing supply of oxygen and carbon dioxide, it will not stay healthy. Luckily, these conditions are almost impossible to reproduce in your house.
If you have a room in your home that has no access to air, you may be wondering whether a plant will survive in there.
If, for example, your plant has a grow light but no access to fresh air because there are no windows, will it survive?
Your plant might survive if there is some air exchange between the room and other parts of the house, but it will probably start to struggle.
Your plant needs oxygen in order to perform respiration at night but also needs CO2 in order to photosynthesize and make enough energy to grow.
Furthermore, plants release excess moisture through their leaves, and they need this to evaporate.
If the water lingers on the leaves because there is no fresh air to help it evaporate, the plant will stop soaking up as much water through its roots.
This has a negative impact on its nutrient uptake, because nutrients are usually taken in at the same time as water.
Lack of airflow therefore leaves plants short of both nutrients and energy from photosynthesis.
Can Fresh Air Harm Houseplants?
Fresh air can harm houseplants if the temperature outside is either too cold or too hot for your houseplant. Drafty windows can also harm houseplants.
There are a few instances in which fresh air could be more of a hindrance than a help to a houseplant. Some houseplants are extremely sensitive to temperature changes.
In winter, if you leave the windows open and your plant is either susceptible to the cold or it dislikes temperature shifts, it is going to find the fresh air more of a hindrance than a help.
Fresh air might even kill houseplants in some instances.
Similarly, if your plant dislikes the heat, a strong and hot breeze could cause it to wilt. A strong wind might also knock off leaves and flowers, and could snap tender stems.
Fresh air should be offered with caution, especially if you are growing sensitive plants.
Although many are hardy enough to cope with temperature fluctuations and strong airflow, some plants will be damaged by it.
You should be careful before opening windows or doors near your plants.
How Should You Give Fresh Air To Your Houseplants?
If you can, opening the window is the simplest solution for giving your houseplant more air. However, if you can’t do this, try opening the window in another room, and leaving the door between the two rooms open.
This should help the air to circulate and ensure your plant gets the O2 and CO2 exchange it needs.
You might be put off opening the windows if it’s so risky, but the first thing is to determine whether it actually is risky. Some plants won’t mind, and cold air will only be an issue at certain times of year.
You might be wondering whether a fan will help. It may do, but it must be used with caution.
Do not position the fan so that the air movement is directed at on your plant. This will cause the leaves to dry out and may make the plant sick.
Another option is to install better ventilation systems in your home. This will help to circulate air throughout the house without chilling your plants to death.
Spacing your plants out will also be beneficial, increasing the airflow between them.
So, to summarize, here are all the ways you can give your houseplant fresh air:
- Open the window close to your plant, if the temperature allows and there are no bad drafts.
- Open the window to another room and leave the doors between the two rooms open, this will help with air circulation.
- Use a fan to improve air circulation, but do not point it at your plant.
- Space out your plants to improve airflow in between them.
- Install a better ventilation system (although I do not recommend doing this just for your plants).
How Often Do Houseplants Need Fresh Air?
Ideally, fresh air should be constantly flowing for your houseplants, and changing at a regular rate – just as it would be outdoors. If that’s not possible then try to give your plants fresh air every 2-3 days.
The frequency with which the air needs to be changed really depends upon how many plants you have and the size of the room.
You will often find that you do not need to worry about refreshing the air during the summer, when you are likely to have windows open.
In the winter, you may wish to deliberately open windows from time to time.
Houseplants benefit from being given fresh air, and a plant with no fresh air will not grow well.
Try to keep air moving around your plants by spacing them out, opening windows, and leaving internal doors open to promote airflow.
You can also use artificial ventilation systems and fans to help the air keep flowing and ensure that your plants have access to fresh oxygen and CO2.