This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

May 21, 2014

The misting system in The Tropical Paradise

Like so many things here at The Tropical Paradise, I don't really know if the misting system actually helps or not. I've had it here for over a decade, and I would like to think that it adds humidity and moisture to the plants, but I really don't know.

The air is very dry here in the desert. And it's the dryness of the air that limits growth of most tropical plants. Of course, it makes living here very comfortable for human beings, who really don't care for humidity and heat, but it makes it uncomfortable for tropical plants.

Anyway, the misting system here is simply the ordinary kind that you see along the edges of patios. I got it at Home Depot. I've added 3" brass risers (which I get online) because the line is lying just under the surface, and the mister heads get covered up pretty easily there. I also try to *disguise* the mister heads - you can see one there behind the rock. That also keeps me from accidentally stepping on them, or kicking them, although I sometimes do! The brass starts out shiny, but weathers down to being pretty much invisible very quickly.

The actual watering system, by the way, is different. You can see the water sprayer head there to the left (with the blue tip). I have that come on daily all summer for about twenty minutes.

The misters spray for fifteen minutes every eight hours during the summer, from about now until the end of September. Then I reduce the frequency, and in the winter I turn them off.

By the way, this is no *set it and forget it* system, even though it's hooked up to an automatic timer. I *walk the line* regularly, checking for clogged heads, and I keep plenty of replacement mister heads handy. Years ago I tried to clean them, but really, that doesn't work. They just wear out. It's a tiny hole that produces the fine mist, and if it doesn't completely clog up with the hard water we have in Phoenix, it just plains wears out. When I see a mister head that isn't functioning properly, I just put a new one on.

It looks like it's gonna be another hot summer on its way!
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