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 12 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 (which is now a Strategist best-seller). 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.” (She likes the 5-ounce bottle for “easier storage,” but it also comes in a larger 24-ounce size.) 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.”
Muñoz adds that misting is “also helpful for cleaning the dust off plant foliage,” which helps leaves photosynthesise more efficiently. She also recommends “keeping a mister with a neem oil or insecticidal soap solution on hand” if you’re looking for a way to combat mites and other plant pests.
Stacey Rockliffe, owner of Mawusi, an online plant shop, also recommended this plastic option which comes with a nozzle lock. “This prevents any leakage or accidental watering when tending to your plants. Overall, this holds about 200ml of water, and sprays a gentle, fine mist, which will boost the humidity of any plants. Though it’s plastic, it’s toxin-free and odor-free, and an inexpensive alternative to other misters on the market.”
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 an alternative to plastic, four of our experts suggested misters in materials like copper, zinc, and brass. This copper option comes recommended to us by Dr Jackson. “If you’re looking for something stylish, I’m a big fan of the mister at Petersham nurseries in Surrey, which would also make a lovely gift.”
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 Barrett 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.”
Best zinc plant mister
A similar model from the Barbican shop came recommended by Tim Sherratt, founder of plant pot shop Anther + Moss (whose pots are sold in cactus shop Prick London). “The galvanised design has a black zinc finish, which would look nice next to a charcoal houseplant pot,” he says. The mister holds 320ml of water, which Sheratt says means “you can water plenty of plants without having to fill it up every time.” He says a mister like this is ideal for plants that are native to humid places, “like calatheas and alocasias, as well as palm species, such as the popular kentia. As well as keeping brown tips at bay, the healthy leaves that a humid environment promotes will help keep spider mites at bay.”
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