How to Water Air Plants

How to Water Air Plants

I know, I know—these cute little plants are just to die for! Don’t have soil? No worries! They don’t need it anyway. They absorb nutrients and water through trichomes which is just a fancy name for the fine hairs located on the leaves. (Kind of like our fine hairs on our arms).

This presents endless possibilities on creative ways to display them. From those adorable teensy terrariums to seashells, or anything really, air plants don’t mind at all.

With their attractive spiky tendrils, these epiphytes are no doubt a got-to-have in every living room. And if you’re a brown thumb looking for some bragging rights, air plants got you covered.

These trendy plants are low-maintenance and so you can get away with some little negligence. Less maintenance and easier to take care of than your traditional succulent plant, count me in!

Losing an air plant is a sad affair. Though hard to kill, these plants will collapse on you due to several reasons. The most common however, is in regard to watering. To have a healthy air plant, the following watering best practices are valuable.

Watering air plants
@ary_plants

What are Air Plants?

Air plants are part of the Tillandsia genus which consists of about 650 species. Native to Mexico and the Americas, air plants are epiphytes, which means they grow on other plants and emerge from stem crevices or tree branches. Their roots can also attach to rocks and other shrubs just for support as the roots can’t take in water or nutrients.

In their native tropical rainforest habitats, air plants survive by absorbing water in the humid environment through their leaves. Unlike other plants, these rule-breakers don’t require dirt to grow, just air.

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Do Air Plants Need Water?

A common myth associated with growing air plants is that since these plants grow in the air, they don’t need water. This is fueled by the fact that they absorb water from the atmosphere and so they can survive long periods with little or no water. If you follow such advice, you’ll soon end up with a withered plant.

While it’s true air plants absorb water from the atmosphere, the environment they’re grown in has a huge bearing on this. Their native tropical rainforest habitats are very humid and they get along pretty well.

In home settings, however, the humidity is nothing close compared to the forests out there and so they have to be watered just like any house plant.

One way to water your air plants is to soak them in water. We recommended using a large bowl like this or something similar.

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Watering air plants
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What Type of Water is Used for Air Plants?

Since air plants don’t grow in soil, they solely depend on water to get their minerals and nutrients. Therefore, the best water for air plants would definitely be rainwater.

Here’s a neat little tool you can use to collect rainwater for your air plants when it rains.

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However, this may not be easily accessible and so you may opt for spring water. You may also use creek water, pond water, well water, or lake water.

If you can’t get a hold of any of these options, then tap water can be utilized. Your last option should be soft or distilled water. It has little nutrients and minerals—not suitable for air plants as they depend on these nutrients for growth.

Mistakes to Avoid when Watering Air Plants

Thanks to the current digital age, it doesn’t take long for misinformation to spread rapidly. And this has been true when it comes to watering air plants.

Hordes of air plant enthusiasts have lost their plants due to such misleading advice. Avoid the following like the plague…

Assuming there’s sufficient water in the air

Don’t let the name “air plant” fool you. Air plants won’t get all the water they need from the air especially when growing in the living room or office.

Sure, they may absorb itty bitty amounts of water through their trichomes but that is nowhere close to what they need to survive. Depending on the climate of your surroundings, you might need to water your air plants once a week.

 

How to water air plants the right way
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Excess humidity due to wet bed

Nothing spells disaster for air plants more quickly than a wet bed. They’ll be susceptible to rot. Planting air plants with plants that require constant moisture like moss plants is not recommended. Air plants flourish on dry medium. Avoid very enclosed containers as this may lead to increased moisture leading to rot.

Ways to Water Air Plants

Watering air plants doesn’t have to be a high-brow process. The following ways are ideal when it comes to watering air plants.

Misting

If you live in an arid area, your plants will appreciate periodic spritzing using a spray bottle similar to this.

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It’s important to note that this method can’t stand in as the only means to watering your plants. It should only complement other watering methods. The trichomes on the leaves are unable to absorb enough water through misting.

Dunking

If your plants are thirsty and you’re in a rush, you can give them a quick drink to last them the whole day by dunking them in water.

To do this, just submerge the plant in water once or a few more times and they’ll be good until you have enough time to give them a thorough drink. Like a short swim!

Tips for watering air plants
@zoiascreations

Soaking

Giving your plants a full bath is the best way to water your plants.

This ensures that trichomes have enough time to absorb water and nutrients. To properly soak your plants, fill a bowl with water and fully submerge your air plants.

For much bigger air plants and depending on their number too, you can opt for the bathtub or sink. Be extra gentle with air plants that have blooms and don’t submerge the buds. Let the plants stay soaked in the water for at least one hour, on a weekly basis on the minimum side.

To remove the plant from the water, hold it from the base and pull it upside down, shaking it gently to get rid of excess water. Use water at room temperature to avoid shocking your plant.

Drying Air Plants

Once you’ve figured out how to successfully water your plants, what follows is leaving them to dry out right after their bath time. Lay them on a colander, towel or a dish drying rack and set them in a brightly lit area for two to four hours.

Also, ensure the area has plenty of air circulation—they’re air plants, remember?

Only return your plants to their display after they’re fully dry to prevent water from accumulating inside the plant which will ultimately result in rotting.

How Frequently Should I Water my Air Plant?

Watering air plants at home
@airplantdesignstudio

This largely depends on the climate in your area.

While air plants grown in humid areas may do well with watering only once a week, those in drier areas may need frequent soaking. You can also look for dehydration evidence on your plants.

A parched air plant has curly leaves with a dull color while a hydrated plant has open and wide leaves.

But for those that want to, it’s actually not that hard to care for and water air plants. Let us know if you end up trying to care for some air plants, we’ll have more articles about this soon. In the meantime, happy planting!

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Think you’ll give air plants a try now? If not, here’s some rare succulents you can check out.

Has this helped you at all? Be sure to share with a fellow green thumb, i’m sure the info will help them too!

If you’d like this read you’re going to love our full in-depth ebooks! With so many of our succulent lovers asking for more, we listened and can’t wait to share it with you here! With our very detailed ebooks, you’ll get more information than these short articles, some ebooks are 30+ pages, perfect for a weekend read.

Aerial Roots

aerial roots

What is the purpose of roots?

The roots are organs responsible for anchoring the plant to the substrate. It also has the function of absorbing water and minerals. In some species, it also stores and conducts substances necessary for the development of the plant. There are many types, and among the most common aerial roots in indoor plants when planting seeds. So you’re probably wondering: “What are aerial roots, and can I plant aerial roots to make new plants?” We will answer these questions and some more below.

What are Aerial Roots?

The aerial roots grow in the plant’s parts above the ground; these only function as anchors, fixing the plant to support structures such as trellises, rocks, and walls. That is, the roots do not carry out the absorption of nutrients. However, some types of aerial roots also absorb moisture and nutrients, just like underground roots.

aerial roots on bonsai plant
By Emmanuelm at English Wikipedia, CC BY 3.0, Wikimedia

Why does my plant have roots sticking out of the sides?

Aerial Roots-Why does my plant have roots sticking out of the sides-SC
Aerial Roots: IG@leaf_supply

Plants often develop them to meet needs that their environment makes challenging to fill. For example, plants that live in swamps and bogs have underground roots, but they cannot absorb gases from the air. These plants produce “aerial roots” above the ground to help them with air exchange. In many cases, we can remove aerial roots without damaging the plant. But there are cases where these are essential for the plant’s health, and it is better to let them grow in peace.

Can I plant aerial roots?

We can’t plant all of the species with aerial roots in the ground. Epiphytes are plants that grow on other plants as structural support. Their aerial roots are meant to remain above ground to collect nutrients from the air and surface water, and waste. Epiphytic orchids are an example of this type of plant. The color of the aerial roots can tell you when it’s time to water your epiphytic orchids. Dry aerial roots are silvery gray, while those with high moisture are green.

Types of aerial plants

Aerial Roots-Types of aerial plants-Epiphytic air plants-SC
Epiphyte: IG@urban_epiphyte

Epiphytic air plants

These aerial plants tend to grow on the surface of other trees and plants or use their support. Since aerial plants are not parasitic, it is not usual for them to cause any damage the health of the plant that supports them.

Aerial Roots-Types of aerial plants-Lithophytic air plants-SC
 lithophytic plant: IG@mildredbonkers

Lithophytic air plants

Lithophytic aerial plants are distinguished from epiphytes in that, instead of rooting on other unusual larger plants, they tend to root on rocks, stones, or walls of some kind. These plants can absorb nutrients and substances from the support to which they have been attached.

Green aerial plants

These are, as the name suggests, those that have green leaves. They are characterized by not having trichomes, tiny, very short-lived hairs that help the plant absorb moisture from the air, requiring more favorable and humid climates.

Gray aerial plants

Gray aerial plants do have trichomes, which are what give their leaves and stems their gray coloration. Thanks to them, they are more resistant species that can obtain water and nutrients from the air, adapt to a broader spectrum of climates and conditions.

Aerial plant care

Aerial Plants-Light for aerial plants-SC
Air Plants near Window Indoor: IG@sparrow_tweets

Light for aerial plants

Like all plants, air plants need a good source of light. However, many do not tolerate direct sunlight, so it is recommended to have them in a lighted area with a semi-shade. Outdoors, make sure they’re protected from the hours when the sun is harshest, and indoors, put them near a window but so that the sun does not fall on them.

Irrigation

When it comes to watering, most will appreciate you moistening them once or twice a week. This frequency may be sufficient for gray-leaved species, but green-leaved species will need more watering to hydrate adequately. Besides, if the plant is near a heat source or air conditioner, it will dehydrate much faster and require more frequent waterings.

Nutrition of aerial plants

Since these plants do not have roots to sink into the ground to obtain their nutrients, they have to reach them through the air. Thus, the plant must be in a location with good circulation of clean air. This last detail is significant since if the air that reaches the plant is contaminated from any source, it will likely make our plant sick.

Temperature

The usual range of suitable temperatures for these plants goes from 50 to 90ºF, but in any case, it is better that you inform yourself of the weather that your specific species requires.

Aerial Roots-Can I cut the aerial roots of my plant-SC
Aerial Roots cut: Reddit@u/esme_2

Can I cut the aerial roots of my plant?

Depending on the species and class of plants, the answer is yes. The only consideration when cutting the roots is to be careful not to cut the plant’s base. It is preferable to leave a little basis and not damage the plant. We can immerse the plant in water for a few minutes. In this way, the roots become a little softer and will not cost us so much to cut. After removing the long seeds, we can take the opportunity to remove the dry leaves that are going to accumulate at the Air Plant base. Cutting the dry leaves is recommended for two reasons. The first is purely aesthetic; our plant looks better if it does not have dead leaves. The second reason is to prevent our plant from rotting. Dry leaves accumulate moisture, and this can cause healthy leaves to deteriorate if the humidity does not disappear in the recommended time.

Other types of root

Waders or fulcrums

When the aerial roots touch the ground, they become waders. They hang from the aerial part of the plant and reach the ground.

Aquatic

Rooted aquatic plants have vestigial vascular tissue and many feathery root hairs, with large amounts of air-filled spaces to store oxygen and carbon dioxide.

Aerial Roots-Other types of root-Pneumatophores-SC
Pneumatophores: IG@bethchattogardens

Pneumatophores

Aeration roots of plants that live in flooded or poorly drained places. They grow above the water surface, against gravity.

Prawns

Columnar, triangular, or tubular roots, also known as buttresses that originate at some trees’ base. They provide more significant anchorage, especially in very rainy areas or in soils with very loose soil.

Haustoria

Parasitic plant roots that penetrate the tissues of the host plant.

Storage roots

They store large amounts of substances made in photosynthesis.

Elongated and fleshy roots

Plant roots from desert environments or with long periods of drought. They have a large amount of parenchyma and can store a lot of water. Other plants have long lateral roots that extend to seek water.

The Best Succulents Box Review Guide For You

Succulents Box Subscription Review

We love getting plants delivered! Our local nursery is a little slim on the succulent pickings, so plant subscription boxes, like Succulent Box, allow us to try out so many species we never would’ve gotten a chance to own. 

We’re always super excited to receive our plants in the mail, and a little nervous. Succulents are pretty hard to ship. Their leaves are delicate and fragile, so they’re easily damaged in transit. The leaves can even fall off if the succulents aren’t properly packaged and get jostled around too much!

When we got our Succulent Box in the mail, we were relieved to discover that all of our plants were ok! Thanks to the ample padding in the box, none of our succulents were damaged.

Succulents Box Review
Just look at all those packing peanuts! Our succulents could not have been safer.

Time to Unwrap!

We carefully unwrapped all of our new succulents and were really impressed with how they looked.

Succulents Box Review
Plant family photo!

Would you be able to tell that these succulents were wrapped in bubble wrap just a few minutes ago? We wouldn’t—they don’t look misshapen at all!

We loved that every succulent came with a little identification card. It’s easy to figure out which genus your succulent belongs to, but it can be pretty hard to figure out the species and variety.

We definitely would’ve known that the succulent on the left in the photo above was an Echeveria, but we might not have figured out it was a Blue Elf. So we really appreciate the fact that these ID cards were included in the subscription box!

Succulents Box Review
Care instructions and a coupon code—sweet!

We also liked that the subscription box came with care instructions. It had some really helpful tips, like acclimate your succulent plants gradually to sunlight to keep them from burning and water them less during the winter. It had almost everything someone new to succulents would need to know to take great care of their plant babies!

Now let’s take a closer look at each plant that came in the box!

What’s Inside?

Our subscription box came with four succulent plants: one Echeveria, two Sedums, and one Sempervivum.

A Succulent Box like this one with four plants only costs $20, so each succulent costs $5. Not bad, right?

We’d say this cute little Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ is worth the price!

Succulents Box Review
Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’

And so is this Sedum ‘Firestorm’ below. The edges of its leaves turn a beautiful bright red color in the sun. You can already see that they’re starting to turn red, but we can’t wait until the colors get even more vibrant!

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Sedum ‘Firestorm’

Here’s one of the Sempervivums⁠—a beautiful Pachyphyllum plant. Look at those gorgeous fleshy green leaves!

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Sempervivum Pachyphyllum

Last but not least, here’s a closer look at the Sempervivum Calcareum.

Succulents Box Review
Sempervivum Calcareum

This succulent has a big, beautiful green rosette with a hint of maroon on the tips of its leaves! Isn’t it gorgeous?

Looks like it’s already sprouting a chick, too, so this succulent is basically two for the price of one!

Overall Consensus

Overall, we’re super happy with our Succulent Box! The plants look healthy and didn’t arrive with any kind of damage. We loved all the extra touches that the box came with, like the succulent identification cards and the care instructions. The bright blue packaging on the outside of the box was super cute too!

As you can see from the photos above, there’s a nice variety of succulents in this box. They’re pretty good size as well—the ones you’d get from a nursery wouldn’t be much bigger.

And who knows if a nursery near you would even have all of these unique succulents! We’ve personally never seen an Echeveria ‘Blue Elf’ at any of the garden centers near us.

Plus, going to the garden center is not nearly as fun as getting a subscription box in the mail. Having a succulent surprise delivered to our door and not knowing what was in it was so exciting!

 

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Full Succulents Box

Would you guys get a plant subscription box like Succulent Box? We’d definitely get one again, especially since they start at $5! We also love that their 300 varieties of succulents and air plants are organically grown in California, making them a quick- ship when ordering within the USA.

Ready to get your subscription box started? Head to this link to order yours!


Let us know your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below or share in our Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge. We’re sure our fellow succulent lovers would love to hear from you!

Have your own succulent subscription box, or planters, or any succulent- related item you’d like for us to review? Contact us to inquire, we’d love more succulents for the office!

Before your new succulent babies deliver, make sure you check out our care guides so you’re fully prepared! Check out When You Should Water Your Succulents, How to Propagate Your Succulents Successfully, and Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants!

Calling all succulents lovers— rookie or veteran! Succulent City has developed a line of 12 ebooks (see here), ranging on topics from indoor & outdoor succulents, essential tools, the best soil to use, and more! We even threw in a complimentary ebook to help get your succulent journey started you just have to insert your email on our front page for this. With our ebooks you’ll be a succulent guru in no time, have fun!

Have fun and happy planting! 🌱

Top Terrariums for Air Plants- Different Types Of Planters

To Terrariums for Your Air Plants

You just got home from the nursery with a bunch of beautiful Tillandsias. You handpicked the best air plants that the nursery had to offer, and you’re stoked to display them in your home.

But where are you going to put them?

You can plant Tillandsia on pieces of driftwood, in hanging metal planters, and even in sea urchin shells! But our favorite place to plant them is in a glass terrarium, so today we thought we’d share our favorite ones with you. You can’t go wrong with any of the terrariums on this list—they’re all gorgeous!

Without further ado, here are the top terrariums for air plants!

Geometric Copper Terrarium

Tillandsia plant looks great in modern, geometric planters like this one! All of the edges of this glass terrarium are outlined in rose gold or copper metal depending on which design you choose. Either one is gorgeous, so you really can’t go wrong!

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This terrarium has a big opening, so your air plant is sure to get enough circulation in this terrarium. The size of the terrarium opening also makes it super easy for you to water your plant without removing it from their little home. Just grab a spray bottle, and mist them regularly to keep them nice and hydrated.

This Terrarium planter comes in two sizes—small or medium. Bigger is better, so we say go for the medium size. The terrarium gives you a great excuse to get more air plants if you don’t have enough to fill it!

top terrariums for air plants
Gold Geometric Planter

Light Bulb Terrariums

We think this light bulb terrarium is such a bright idea! It’s not really light bulbs, but it looks just like them and gives the same cool effect.

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This terrarium comes with jute strings that you can use to hang them from the ceiling, and they have openings in the middle that allow any plants you put in them to get enough circulation.

They’re a lot more functional than a real, repurposed light bulb would be, so it’s worth spending the money to get them! They come in a pack of three, so you get a good value on this buy. This brand also has another variety that includes a light bulb with two hole- openings— giving your air plants some extra room to grow! 

Oh before we forget! We’ve been able to collaborate with Amazon and their Prime Membership for all of our succulent lovers here on Succulent City. You can get your own 30 day free trial. You can enjoy the benefits of prime where you can continue on after your 30 days or easily unsubscribe with no charges. We’ve used it to get all of our succulent needs met! You can say we’re a tad bit addicted…

top terrariums for air plants
Lightbulb Terrariums

Hanging Glass Terrarium Kit

We love this hanging terrarium! It comes with a beautiful metal stand that has some nice scroll details. The scrolls make this terrarium look extra pretty and whimsical. It would be the perfect vehicle for a little fairy garden full of adorable plants.

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This terrarium also comes with two Tillandsia plants and some black and silver rocks, so it has everything you need to get your mini garden started! It’s a great value at $28.00 considering you get air plants and rocks, too.

For more inspiring hanging plants for your air plants and other succulents, check out our top 5 choices here!

top terrariums for air plants
Metal Stand with Glass Terrarium

Tabletop Glass Plant Terrarium

These tabletop terrariums are modern, classic and simple, which is just the way we like our planters! They’ll go with pretty much any decor because they have such a streamlined, minimalist design. They’ll really let your air plants shine, too, because they don’t have many details that will take attention away from them. Take a look!

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These terrariums come in a set of two. They all have the same round shape and an opening at the top that lets air in, which is great for air plants. They derive some of their nutrients from the air, so they definitely need the good airflow that these terrariums provide!

 

top terrariums for air plants
Small Desktop Terrarium

Tall Geometric Tabletop Terrarium

The shape of this tall, geometric glass terrarium kind of reminds us of geodes! It has an organic, irregular shape that looks super modern and cool.

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It comes in three sizes-small, medium, and large. Definitely go for the large size, though! It’s 9.8 inches tall, which makes it a much more striking and beautiful centerpiece than the smaller sized terrariums. It would look gorgeous in your dining room or living room table with a bunch of votive candles around it!

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This terrarium for air plants also comes in two different finishes. You can get it with either matte black metal or gold metal if you want a nice shiny finish.

It’s only $29.99 for the large size, which we think is a great deal. It has tons of space for your air plants and will become a real focal point of whatever room you put it in, so it’s worth splurging on!

top terrariums for air plants
Black Geometric Glass Terrarium

Teardrop Terrarium Set

We love terrariums that have unique, interesting shapes, like these! In this set, there are two teardrop-shaped and one globe-shaped terrarium for air plants. They’re all a nice size—the teardrop terrariums are 7 by 4 and the globe is 5 by 5, so you’ll be able to fit plenty of air plants in them! They have a nice, big opening that allows plenty of air to get to your Tillandsia plant, too.

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They all come with long pieces of twine that you can use to hang them. Two of them have flat bottoms, so you could also set them on your end table or coffee table and they’d look just as nice!

top terrariums for air plants
Hanging Teardrop Terrariums

Terrarium Display End Table

We saved the best terrarium for air plants for last! This end table doubles as a terrarium, and it’s just about the coolest thing we’ve ever seen! The terrarium is where the drawer would usually go, and it’s made entirely of glass, so you can see your air plants from pretty much any angle.

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The drawer is pretty deep, so you can fit a lot of Tillandsia and rocks in there! Surprisingly, the drawer also has air holes on the sides that will provide air circulation for your plants. We thought for sure that this type of terrarium would be closed, but the genius people who designed this managed to work some air holes into it!

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This end table has gold legs and some metal accents, but otherwise, it’s made almost entirely of glass. The almost- fully- glass design gives it a really elegant and delicate look. It would be a beautiful showpiece in almost any room in the house. We could see this table being used as a nightstand in a bedroom, or sitting next to a couch or chair as a side table. Wherever you keep it, it’s sure to be a conversation starter.

ALSO READ:

top terrariums for air plants
Desk Terrarium with Gold Accents

Those are the top terrariums for air plants according to us here at Succulent City! Which ones are your favorites?

We’re in love with that terrarium end table and it’s definitely going in our cart, we’re hoping it comes this weekend! Let us know which ones you’re going to buy in the comments section below!

Enjoyed learning about Top Terrariums for Air Plants? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about Different Types of Planters. With this ebook, you’ll find yourself more detailed answers that’ll help your succulent grow even better! With thousands of succulent lovers enjoying our ebooks, you don’t want to miss out on what works the best to grow your succulents.

Happy planting! 

Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants

The Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants

Racking your brains trying to come up with the best ways to care for air plants? Or just want to learn how to care for air plants before committing to buying some?

Make no mistake about it –air plants are not your ordinary kind of house plants. Although caring for air plants can’t get any easier, there are specific conditions that ensure tillandsia plants grow healthy.

Air plants are generally hard to kill and this makes even the most inexperienced gardeners seem like a gardening connoisseur when growing these plants. And that’s not all. Air plants have ridiculously few requirements not to mention the endless, creative ways to display them.

If you’ve been looking for something unusual to grace your living room décor, then you might find lots of luck with air plants. Terrariums, aeriums, bowls, seashells and even wire crafts are some of the many display ideas to show off your air plants.

So whether you’re a busy gardener or a recent house plant convert, caring for tillandsia plants is quite a snap. Let’s learn how!

But first…

What exactly are air plants?

Ultimate guide how to take care of air plants
air plant on driftwood @airplantartisan

What are Air Plants?

Air plants are naughty rule breakers. They don’t give a succulent about soil and pots with drainage holes!

These weirdos can grow anywhere as long as there is air, water and light. They’re epiphytes –a cool name to refer to plants that grow on hosts but don’t obtain nutrients from them. Air plants just use these plants for anchorage and support using their roots. Talk about clingy plants!

Yes, they got roots but they don’t use that to absorb water and nutrients. The roots are simply to attach to the host plants. So how the heck do these plants get their water and nutrients?

Leaves.

Wait, those thin, spiky tendrils? That’s right. These leaves possess fine hairs on the surface known as trichomes which actively absorb water and nutrients from the air.

Cool, right?

Also known as tillandsia, air plants hail from the tropical forests of Mexico where they grow on other plants as epiphytes. These have now been tamed and are popular living room aesthetics due to their fascinating looks. And since they don’t need dirt, they can be displayed in a myriad of ways.

Although mostly green in color, they usually come in different shades including silver which are believed to be more drought resistant. If all go well, they produce showy, teensy flowers during spring or summer.

air plant guide
pink & green air plant @tillandsia_bangkok

5 Reasons Why You Need a Tillandsia Plant

  • Your living room or office décor will love it! They’re quite unlike any plant. The spiky tendrils set them apart and makes them look just so awesome! And beautiful.
  • You don’t have to worry about what type of soil or potting mix is required. Air plants are dirt independent! Air plants can be displayed almost anywhere! Tillandsia plants are not bound by anything.
  • They’re extremely low maintenance. Any forgetful farmer can have a whale of a time growing air plants. It’s super simple!
  • Air plants take up very little space. These dainty plants economize on space and one can have many of them without worrying about where to place them.
  • Air plants pair up gorgeously with succulents and other house plants.

Caring for air plants is a breeze if you ask me. Take note of the following pointers to have outstanding tillandsia plants all around your home, office, or room.

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Ultimate guide on how to take care of air plants
hanging air plant @airplantartisan

Is Airflow Important for Air Plants?

Yes.

Air plants are created in such a way that they thrive in environments with a free flow of air. This is simply because they absorb nutrients and water from the air in their native environment.

Side note: Air plants in glass terrariums look absolutely fabulous, just take a look at our favorite golden terrarium for air plants.

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However, ensure the mouth is wide enough to ensure the plants are not suffocating inside. You definitely don’t want to end up with an empty terrarium.

Stuffing tillandsia plants in an air-deprived environment is only preparing them for failure. And hey, we’re not saying you buy a blower or a fan just for your air plants. That would be outrageous!

Just ensure they’re getting adequate airflow wherever you display them. In other words, they shouldn’t feel as if they’re claustrophobic. They’re called air plants for a reason, right?

air plant guide
garden of air plants @airplanthub

How to Water Air Plants

A common air plant faux pax is that these plants absorb all the water and nutrients from the air and so they don’t need to be watered. That’s a big fat lie.

Don’t fall for it!

Living room and office environments are nothing compared to the forests where these plants are native. The former has dry air while the latter is humid and a perfect environment for air plants to thrive in.

Watering air plants doesn’t have to be college algebra, who remembers those days? However, doing it the wrong way may kill your tillandsia plants. It’s much harder to kill these plants by under watering rather than overwatering. 

Ultimate guide to taking care of air plants
tiny air plant @reipy_s

What type of water is good for air plants?

Since tillandsia plants get most of their nutrients from water, it’s paramount to feed them with nutritious water. Of course, the best bet is rainwater as it contains a lot of nutrients and minerals. Take a look at this highly-rated rainwater collection system from Oatey if you want to give this a shot.

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Unfortunately, this might not be readily available in many households. An awesome alternative may be spring water as it contains numerous nutrients. If that seems far-reaching as well, you can go for well water, creek water, pond water or lake water. Tap water is a good option too.

Avoid distilled water because it is deprived of all minerals and nutrients, your air plant definitely doesn’t want this.

air plant guide
colorful air plant @airplanthub

Misting your air plants

Air plants growing in a dry climatic environment will benefit greatly from regular spritzing using a normal spray bottle. If you’re not normal, check out this really cool vintage glass spray bottle, it could be a great decoration item too! Keep in mind though, spritzing your air plant occasionally can’t be used as a sole watering method, there’s a better way.

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It must be complemented with other watering methods as trichomes can’t absorb adequate water from misting alone. Think about it, on hot summer days a good misting will cool us down normally but not until we get a refreshing bottle of cold water will it help dramatically.

Same thing with air plants, misting will help alleviate dehydration for only a few, use more adequate watering techniques below to compliment misting.

air plant guide
flourishing air plant @sgfloraandfauna

Dunking your air plants in water

The Perfect on-the-go watering method for busy times.

If you don’t have enough time to give your plant a soak, then this is the best way to water your plants until you get time to properly water them. Simply dunk your plants several times in a pool of water for about 20 minutes and you’re done. Using bright colored buckets like these might make the watering process more fun!

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Ultimate guide on taking care of air plants at home
air plant sprouting @ryokumouzoku

Soaking your air plant for an hour

The most recommended watering method to end up with healthy plants.

Submerge your plants in a bowl or sink full of water and let them sit for an hour. Don’t submerge blooms as they can get destroyed. After the bath, pull them out and set them upside down so that all water can dry out before returning them to their displays.

Placing them on a drying rack of some sort will make it easier to achieve full dryness, don’t let your air plant sit on a counter in its own water bath, it won’t dry properly.

Also in terms of frequency, give them a soak once a week.

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air plant guide
flowering air plant @fruitfulnmultiply

How Much Light do Air Plants Need?

Tillandsia plants prefer bright, indirect light for a few hours every day. In the jungle, these plants grow on rocks, woods and other trees away from direct sunlight. Although you can subject them to the morning or evening sun for a few hours, avoid hot direct sun as this will lead to sunburn.

Any window in your house can get the job done in regard to lighting especially west or south-facing windows. Poorly lit spaces will lead to deformed and ugly looking plants. In case natural lighting may not be sufficient, then go for artificial grow lights. We prefer these lights.

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air plant guide
family of air plants @liezestockmans

What Temperature/Climate is Good for Air Plants?

Frost and freezing cold temperatures? No way.

Air plants just won’t survive in such conditions. Let temperatures be above 40 degrees Fahrenheit and that shouldn’t be a biggie if you’re growing your tillandsia plants indoors.

Bring those outdoor plants in when temperatures go below 32 degrees.

Conversely, subjecting your air plants to extremely high temperatures will make them dry and parched, yep even air plants need adequate hydration like us too!

Ultimate guide on taking care of air plants at home
air plant terrarium @planties_in_a_twist

Is Fertilizing Tillandsia Plants Okay?

Air plants do get hungry. The air that is supposed to be a source of nutrients for them is no doubt full of pollutants and toxins. Tillandsia plants will appreciate feeding once a month or four times a year.

Use air plant-specific fertilizer or bromeliad fertilizer. You can also use diluted regular houseplant fertilizer. Add the fertilizer to the water and soak your air plants in it. This is also applicable in misting or dunking.

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Your plants won’t die if you fail to fertilize them. But if you want vivacious and healthy plants, some feeding would go a long way. Don’t be excessive on the frequency though, a little here and there goes a long way!

How Do I Display or Mount Air Plants?

There are dozens of ways to display air plants. You can stick their roots on a wood or a stone using super glue. Popular air plant designs also feature glass baubles which give a stunning aesthetic. Additionally, you can set them on seashells and wire baskets.

When displaying your plants, ensure the display surfaces are free from chemicals, rust, or toxins which may be detrimental to your plants’ health.

air plant guide
pair of air plants @arbora.verd

Do Air Plants Bloom?

Yup.

Air plants can reward you with brilliant blooms if you treat them nicely. With lots of varieties to choose from, it can be a bit tricky to offer a generalized formula to follow for these blooms to occur. Several factors come into play but mainly it all boils down to the variety and the environment.

Tillandsia plants bloom only once in their lifetime. They do this at maturity. The mother produces pups that eventually grow and flower while the mother plant dies off, unfortunately.

To get your air plants to flower, look for plants with a couple of pups. This is because the plant in its maturity stage and will soon bloom.

Air Plants Don’t Have Pests Right?

False.

Fortunately, air plants are hardy and robust and are usually not susceptible to many pests. But, you may have to deal with a few mealybugs and scale insects from time to time. But that shouldn’t be a huge deal. Simply use 70% isopropyl alcohol or neem oil to knock them off their socks!

Ultimate guide in taking care of air plants at home
mounted air plants @planties_in_a_twist

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Think you can handle the air plants now? We think so. If you have any questions be sure to ask our exclusive group at Succulent Plant Lounge, our members here help each other almost daily!

Did this article help answer your succulent-care questions? We sure hope so! If not, no worries. Succulent City is devoted to aiding all succulent lovers, and that’s why we created a line of ebook guides! Check out our in-depth tips on The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers or even Succulent Drainage Requirements today!

Let us know here on Succulent City if you plan to buy some air plants and which one you want to buy. Thanks for reading with us and of course, happy air planting!

 

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