Watering plants is essential — but misting them can be just as important. “Increasing the humidity around plants will yield so many benefits,” says Rebecca Bullene, owner of plant store Greenery. Plants that require humidity in addition to water — such as ferns, calatheas, and philodendrons — benefit most from misting, particularly when those plants are kept indoors. This is because most plants like “a higher than average humidity level,” according to Marc Hachadourian, director of glasshouse horticulture and senior curator of orchids at New York Botanical Garden, who says that humidity levels in most homes and apartments tend to be quite low (especially in the winter, when the heat is blasting).
However, it’s important to do your research. “Not every plant likes water on its leaves,” says Jennifer Panxhi, owner of Jens Plants & Florists in Spitalfields. “While ferns enjoy a good mist, plants like peace lilies and anthuriums don’t.” To find the best misters, we spoke to 14 plant experts, including botanists, plant shop owners, and interior plant designers, to find their recommendations. Read on for the best glass misters, best stylish options, and best automated misters.
Best overall plant mister
The most recommended mister was actually this generic-looking hair salon staple. Bullene uses it, as does interior plant designer Lisa Muñoz, founder of Leaf and June, who says that while it’s “typically something you’d see in salons,” it’s her favourite mister for plants. “It’s small and lightweight, even when full of water, and it creates a gentle, steady mist.” The mist this bottle creates is very fine, too — a consistency Bullene says is essential: “The problem with a lot of traditional misters is the droplet size is actually fairly large. The goal isn’t to wet the leaves or wet the stems; it’s to change the air quality around the plant, so a finer mist is really what it’s all about.”
I bought this mister myself after it spent 25 consecutive months in our most-bought round-up, and can confirm it really is impressive. The water is released in a tight, laser-focused jet instead of a shallow puff. Pulling the trigger causes the water to zip out in a stream that lasts about a second and a half, and it’s incredibly satisfying. I’d compare it to spraying deodorant or (I imagine) a flamethrower, and it helps you “cast” the water around the plant far more successfully than spraying heavier droplets, which tend to sit on the plant and slip off the end of the leaves. I use it on my house plants, and the various shoots on my balcony’s fruit and vegetable patch — my raspberry plant loves being misted on a hot day.
Best miniature plant mister
While there are several stylish options for misting your plants, you don’t have to break the bank. Dr Simon Jackson, a botanist and founder of all-natural body-care brand Modern Botany, uses their empty deodorant bottles to spray plants. “I first saw several of our staff doing it,” he says. “Now, I just dilute one to two drops of washing-up liquid in an empty bottle with water whenever I need to get rid of aphids — something in the soap breaks the surface tension on the surface of the aphid and kills it”. Modern Botany uses plastic spray bottles, which you can easily find online, for both pest control and general misting.
Best automatic plant mister
Gena Lorraine, a gardening expert for cleaning and maintenance company Fantastic Services, told us about this battery-powered mister that could keep plants hydrated at the push of a button. “It’s an amazing automatic sprayer, and very easy to use, since there is no need for pressing.” She said the battery life lasts for about a month, based on the mister being used for a couple of minutes a day, and it uses light signals that flash when it needs to be charged. Lorraine also said it features several different misting settings, as well as a jet option.
Best copper plant mister
If you’re looking for a mister you can proudly leave out in the open, Igor Josifovic and Judith de Graaff, authors of Urban Jungle: Living and Styling With Plants, recommend this brass model from famed gardening-tool brand Haws. They love the mister (which also comes in brass and nickel) for its simplicity: “The press plunger is easy to use and the size of water droplets is really nice and small.” And because it “looks really good paired with plants.” Josifovic and de Graaff recommend using misters on tropical plants (ferns, orchids, Calathea, Maranta, banana plants, and air plants), and misting them in the early morning, because sunlight can help the moisture evaporate.
Best glass plant mister
While Panxhi said that plastic misters are just as good, “glass is much better for the environment”, and these vintage-y options are very popular. “People often look for something colourful or interesting, rather than a purely functional option. This mister is suitable for all plants, just make sure to focus on the leaves, rather than the plant itself”. She likes that it’s nice and small — “so it doesn’t take up too much space,” — and likes how striking it is set against a cluster of house plants. “I use this on ferns, they love to be misted, as well as certain kinds of bonsai. Just avoid misting plants like peace lilies or anthuriums — they will tell you when they’re thirsty because they’ll droop.” Panxhi’s recommended mister is sold out, but we’ve found a similar option on Etsy that features the same ribbed glass finish and metal pump.
Best ergonomic plant mister
For heavier misting jobs, Marc Hachadourian, director of Glasshouse Horticulture and senior curator of orchids at New York Botanical Garden, suggests a “pump-style” air-pressurised sprayer, which allows you to mist by simply holding the trigger versus squeezing down over and over again. Rebecca Bullene, the owner of Brooklyn plant store Greenery Unlimited, likes this Solo mister, which creates a “continuous spray” useful for misting multiple plants or a larger area.
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