Are Fans Hurting Your Indoor Plants?

Electric Fan

During the hot months of summer, it is not uncommon to want to turn on a fan to help cool down your house. However, if you have indoor plants that are blowing around because of the fan, you may want to know if this is harming them. 

Fans are not hurting your indoor plants as long as they are not too close to or directly positioned towards the plant. In turn, the fan can actually benefit the growth of the plant by improving air circulation and ventilation and keep the plant growing healthy and strong. 

Since air is one of the main factors that can impact the health of a plant, keeping fresh air moving smoothly throughout your room or house will benefit your indoor plant. In this article, you will find out why fans are not bad for your houseplants and why they actually could help them grow. 

Are Fans Bad for Houseplants? 

As long as the fan is not blowing directly on your indoor houseplant, it is not bad for your plant and can have many benefits.

Just like sunshine and water, proper air circulation and ventilation is an important factor in keeping your plant healthy. While plants kept outside get plenty of fresh air, plants inside can suffer because of improper air quality. 

Ventilation, which is the movement of air in the surrounding environment, needs to be considered in order to maintain proper oxygen levels. By using a fan, ventilation can occur as the air is then able to circulate throughout the room. 

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By using a fan, it actually can do some good for your plant if the ventilation in the room you have your plant in isn’t the best. So, if you like to use a ceiling or floor fan, you do not have to worry about harming your plant. 

Nonetheless, there are some factors to consider when using a fan indoors to ensure that it is improving the ventilation and not hurting the plant.

Factor #1: Temperature of the Room

Even though most fans simply move air throughout the room, you want to make sure you are not moving hot or cold air in the direction of the plant and keeping the temperature relatively stable. 

While each houseplant varies in the temperature they require, most foliage houseplants need a temperature of 65°F (18.3°C) to 75°F (23.9°C) to thrive. However, at night a drop of 10°F-15°F (approximately 6°C-9°C) is expected, while on sunny days an increase of 10°F (6°C) is also normal. 

Plants can manage a change in temperature from day to night. However, you should avoid letting the plant be exposed to a sudden change in temperature that could be caused by a fan.

One way this can happen is from hot or cold drafts. This could occur if you have your plant in the kitchen or the bathroom, where ventilation fans are typically installed. These fans suck in all the hot air and steam and only allow for cold air to come in and take its place, possibly causing a draft and a quick change in temperature. 

Another way to avoid temperature changes is to take plants away from windows during the winter since the area near your window can be much colder, especially if you live in a colder climate. If you do this, you may want to think about using a fan, as plants near windows already experience a level of ventilation and air circulation.

You should also avoid putting your fan close to the window as it will spread the cold air further into the room. This is especially important for plants that prefer warmer temperatures at all times. 

plants in window

Factor #2: Placement of the Plant

If you keep your plant on your window ledge, your plant may already experience proper air circulation. Even if your window is cold, the cool air from outdoors will be like a breeze for your plant. 

By opening your window, you can increase the circulation within your room as well. As long as you are taking into consideration the temperature outdoors, having your plants near the window, opening your window, and using a fan can provide amazing ventilation for your plants.

If you live in a climate where the winters are bitterly cold, however, you should probably rely solely on the fan for ventilation. 

Factor #3: Direction of the Air

Just as too strong wind outdoors can blow leaves off plants in your garden, the breeze from your fan could do the same. 

The stronger the pressure of the fan, the further you should keep it from your houseplants. By keeping it at a distance, you can be sure that the plant will not be overwhelmed by the breeze or be damaged if it is on the more delicate side. 

Keeping it directed away from the plants is also recommended. As long as the fan allows air to be spread throughout the room, it is doing its job. 

Does a Fan Help Your Plants Grow?

While the effect is not direct, fans indirectly do help your plants grow. Since fans assist in maintaining air circulation throughout your house, the proper air circulation can then benefit your houseplant. 

Proper air circulation can do many things for your plant that, in turn, can contribute to your plant’s growth. Although, if your indoor plant is already experiencing proper ventilation, you are not going to see any extra benefits from having a fan. 

First of all, it helps keep the good air coming and any bad air going. In most indoor spaces, the air is pretty still and may stop the plant from getting the gasses it needs and, in turn, keep any harmful gasses surrounding the plant. Since air is essential for the plant to breathe and go through photosynthesis, keeping the air fresh is essential. 

Second, by not having any air moving around the plant, dust and debris can build up on the leaves. When this happens, sunlight may be blocked, and the ability of the plant to go through the process of exchanging gasses can be impaired. 

Another benefit of fans that can help with your plant’s growth is that it moves the stagnant air surrounding the plant. When the air around the plant is too thick, it can prevent the proper processes of photosynthesis from happening, including releasing water vapor through the leaves. This messes with the plants breathing and drinking system and can impact its growth. 

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Finally, using a fan and ensuring proper air circulation can reduce the chances of fungal growth or rot. This is in part due to the fact that improper air circulation can cause the air around the plant to remain damp and would become a perfect home for fungi to grow. 

By placing a fan in your room, you can help maintain the air circulation in the room your plants are in and keep them growing healthy and strong. 

Final Thoughts

By taking into consideration the temperature around the fan, the direction the air is blowing, and where you have your plant placed, you can fully maximize the benefits the fan can have on air circulation. 

Remember, do not place the fan blowing directly on your plant and make sure it is also not blowing too cold or too hot air that can harm the plant. By using a fan to your plant’s advantage, you can give it the clean and fresh breeze that it deserves.

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