Plants are amazing when it comes to adaptation, all 435,000 land species. Succulents are an excellent example. Most live in dry climates. They survive by storing moisture in their fleshy parts. Some are up to 95 percent water! That may have you wondering if your Ric Rack Cactus can live in your home with its indoor humidity levels. Luckily, the answer is yes.
The relative humidity (RH) measures the moisture content in the atmosphere. Generally, warm air can hold more water than cold. That explains the muggy conditions you may experience during the summer. It’s also why you give other shocks during the winter because of the static electricity. The comfort range of RH for homes is between 40–50 percent.
To put these figures in perspective, the RH of the Mojave Desert usually hovers less than 40 percent most of the time. It may even get as low as 10 percent during the summer. Many succulents may live in similar conditions in the wild. That’s where water comes into the picture.
Balancing Water Needs
Succulents vary in their humidity tolerance. Remember that all cacti are part of this group. However, it also includes other species that won’t mind more humid conditions, such as the Jade Plant. That’s why proper watering is so critical to these plants. Overwatering is asking for trouble.
Likewise, RH over 70 percent is equally problematic for succulents. Unfortunately, it’s likely to be more of an issue during the times when it’s driest for these plants. We suggest running the air conditioner or a dehumidifier on those sticky summer days. Of course, you’ll want to keep your succulents out of the path of the cool air.
Succulents can handle normal household RHs in the 40–50 percent range. Hot, humid summer days will present the greatest issues. Luckily, our temperature-controlled environments offer a fix to keep your Totem Pole Cactus happy.