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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10/26/2021 04:42 pm GMT

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
@ary_plants

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
@thetipsygardener

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.

Comparison: Air Plants vs Succulent Plants

Air Plants vs Succulent Plants

So you’ve just been at a store and bought a plant but can’t really tell whether it’s a succulent or an air plant. You’re not alone…

Every succulent enthusiast has been there. Hordes of plant lovers mistake air plants for succulents and we totally understand why.

Both have massive decorative powers adding a natural spice to your home décor design. Quirky and unusual in looks, you’d be forgiven to think they hail from a different planet.

Despite the confusion, there is a world of difference between succulents and air plants. Several factors differentiate the two, but we’re getting ahead of ourselves here, aren’t we? What exactly are air plants and succulents?

Air plants in geometric hanging planters
@sanctumhandmade

Differences Between Air Plants and Succulents

Tillandsia, commonly known as Air plants, get most of their nutrients from the air, which is the origin of their name. They are quite a sight to behold due to their beautiful appearance. They are very easy to maintain and up-keep making them the obvious choice for many environments like offices, schools, homes, restaurants, and any other settings at all seasons.

If you want to brighten any area, then these beauties, which grow without dirt and come in various colors and sizes, will come in handy.

Air plants do not need soil to grow or depend on frequent watering like traditional plants. These make them a popular choice for indoor plants and home décor.

Air plants have thin, spiky, tendrils. Whereas succulents possess thickened and fleshy leaves or stems, a feature that helps them retain water. If you are a forgetful gardener, then these plants will do you a service as they can survive in limited water areas for extended periods. They are easy to care for and to maintain and if well handled, succulents can brighten any indoor space and make it beautiful.

Succulents can be planted alone or with a combination of their peers to bring out a stunning look. They come in a variety of colors and an attractive quality which encourages you to touch them. These beauties do not attract bugs and it is very difficult for most of them to overgrow. Their leaves may be rounded, spiky, needle-like, ruffled, or berry-like.

Distinguishing air plants from succulents can be quite confusing. If you’re in a quandary deciding whether to go for the alluring succulents or the delicate and wispy air plants, the following pointers will prove valuable.

BE SURE TO ALSO READ:

Air plants on circle planter reef
@141_johnny

Air Plants

Air plants are a small group of plants made up of one genus known as Tillandsia. The genus has approximately 650 species all showing marked similarities in their phenotypes.

On the other hand, succulents are a much bigger and varied plant group. Although succulents are not recognized as a plant group on their own, they’re part of larger families in the plant kingdom. With about 25 families and tens of genera to choose from, succulents offer a wide variety for gardeners to choose from.

See a wide variety of popular succulent types here or check out the rare ones.

Growing Air Plants

Air plants are epiphytes, which means that they don’t need the soil of any kind for them to grow. Their roots are exposed and their main purpose is to attach or wrap themselves on objects to keep the plant from moving.

Since they do not need soil, all you have to do is soak them in a container of water for 30 minutes, then allow them to dry completely, preferably overnight, while placed upside down. Once dry, flip the plant to its right position then place it in its container.

On the other hand, succulents just like any other plant, need soil and water to grow. When growing them in pots, ensure that the pots have drainage holes to allow excess water to drain out.

Succulents also need direct sunlight to develop their best colors, therefore, ensure that wherever you place them, they can get access to a few hours of direct sunlight. A south or west-facing window is your best bet when growing indoor succulents.

Read our more in-depth article 7 Fantastic Succulent Care Tips .

Air plants in planter with panda
@zoiascreations

Maintenance for Air Plants

Air plants are tough in nature which makes them pretty easy to care for and a good choice for a wide range of people. These low-maintenance plants do not need regular watering, which means you can water them once in a week.

To water them, soak them in water for anywhere between fifteen minutes and an hour, then allow them to dry completely before putting them back in their container. This is done to avoid molds.

On the other side of the ring, to keep your succulents healthy and happy, ensure that they get enough sunlight for about six hours a day. Rotate them often so as to ensure that they get sunlight on all sides to avoid leaning on one side. They tend to lean towards the sun – a phenomenon popularly known as etiolation.

They do not need to be watered too often since they have water-storage tissues that store water for a long time. However, if the weather is too dry, you may need to increase the frequency of watering. Ensure that before watering, the soil is dry as too much water can kill the plant. The best soil to use is commercial cacti mix which is well-draining to ensure the plants don’t sit on wet soil for a long time. They hate it.

(If you want to see more gold-tinted planters like the picture above, view more here).

Colors of Air Plants

Depending on species, air plants come in a variety of colors. A certain species can also have a variety of colors, so the color range is almost endless! Although air plants are typically green in color, they have beautiful multi-colored hues. Some of the colors include bright red color, violet, deep burgundy, deep red, and more.

The colors change depending on factors like sunlight and lifecycle.  Indirect sunlight is the best for air plants and the gentle morning sunlight, which is diffused by the clouds, encourages color changes.  These plants change colors during their lifecycle as they bloom and most of them change colors as they start to bloom.

Succulent plants come in a variety of colors and you can mix them to create a stunning appearance in your space. Some of the colors you can find include blue-green, variegated, white, chartreuse, red, burgundy, pink, yellow almost black, and more. To get your succulent plant to produce better colors, ensure that they get enough sunlight.

Air plant in fish bowl planter
@zoiascreations

Watering Air Plants

Contrary to the thought that air plants do not need water, they actually need some water to have the right moisture for their leaves.  You can water your air plant through misting, where you use a spray bottle to sprinkle water on the plants every two days.

The other method (better) is to soak the air plants in a bowl of water for about 30 minutes.  After watering, allow the plant to dry before putting it back to its container.

While air plants have to be dipped in water and soaked, succulents only take up water from the soil. An excellent way to do this is by using the “soak and dry” method. Simply let loose a deluge and let the excess water drain off. Good thing most pots have drainage holes, so the excess water runs out without much fuss. Do not water them again until they are completely dry.

Houseplants are a great way to liven up homes and while there are many options to choose from, succulents and air plants are top on the list.

They are both low- maintenance, easy to up-keep plants which make them ideal for a majority of people. They are hard to kill and easy to use in a variety of spaces to provide a beautiful look and feel. What’s more, you can have these plants together, as the air plants only require a place to wrap their roots around for support.

Air plants can be displayed in diverse ways like hanging from the ceiling, on branches of larger houseplants, on driftwood, on the walls like art, and many more ways. Succulents can only be grown on soil which means they have to remain upright, though you can place them in different parts of the house.

Whether you’re an air plant or succulent plant fan, we hope you realize some of the major differences between these two plants now after reading this article.

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Did you enjoy learning about Air Plants vs Succulent plants? If so, you’ll really enjoy the ebook about All the Types of Succulents for Indoor & Outdoor. 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.

Please let us know what you’re favorite is.

And like always, happy planting!

Where to Buy Air Plants; Both Online And Offline Joints/Buyers Reviews

Where to Buy Air Plants

Are you looking to acquire your first air plant or two? Or maybe you just want to add variety to your already existing collection and garden?

You just landed at the right place.

Below, you’ll get to know multiple ways through which you can purchase air plants to spruce up your home decor efforts. And maybe get the compliments your air plants and home deserve!

The options here offer a wide range of flexibility in terms of budget and the specific varieties you wish to have – so you’re free to shop around for your ultimate fit.

Where to buy air plants
striking photo of air plant @nakajinaka7

Where to Buy Air Plants Online

It is safe to say you can buy anything online these days, including air plants. With online air plant stores, you get a whole lot of advantages that add more fun to your air plants adventure.

You get to sample (and maybe buy) a wide range of species, land some massive discounts on select purchases and lots of options for the same plant – like price, shipping, and so on.

See for yourself below!

Air Plant City

Air Plant City boasts of more than a decade’s existence in the air plants sphere. So it’s a safe bet that they know quite beneficial information as far as these plants are concerned which is huge for you as a buyer.

Aside from that, they have lots of discounted prices on select plants – up to 70% off! That’s definitely a steal considering the experience above.

Need to make a bulk purchase? They offer wholesale options for anyone looking to grab as many plants as possible. On top of that, they offer great air plants combinations if you wish to go that direction.

Too bad it’s not just the plants. They also provide great offers on rustic wood displays ranging from Mopani, grapevine, and driftwood.

All purchases above $60 are eligible for free shipping too, how awesome!

If you would like to create a driftwood planter at home, check this out.

Where to buy air plants
exotic air plant @exotictropicals

Air Plant Shop

This is another great stop for both air plant collections and displays. It offers great bargains on your favorite pickings with discounts also going all the way to 70% off. Do you want to order large quantities for your event, wedding, or retail store?  Then their wholesale package is just the option for you.

What’s more, they offer a 30-day guarantee on all purchases so you’re sure to get sorted if the deliverables don’t turn out as you expected. Just as with Air Plant City, they also offer free shipping as long as your cart has purchases worth $60 or more.

Away from just beautifying your home, purchasing air plants at Air Plant Shop gives you an opportunity to impacting the lives of school-going kids supported by this store in Guatemala.

where you can buy air plants
air plant display @shoppoplarandash

Amazon

Of course, the internet’s largest e-commerce store that holds everything imaginable. Everything.

But, it can be a great option you’ll just have to look more closely combing thousands of search results to get what you’re looking for. Ugh, such a hassle sometimes!

Doing a quick search we found an adorable pineapple air plant planter from Aieve. It’s actually quite lovely and bright!

In addition to the wide range, you have Amazon to fall back on if things go south with the seller, not forgetting the speedy delivery of your plants. Seems like a good alternative after all.

MAKE SURE TO ALSO READ:

where to buy air plants
tiny pink air plant @everbeautifulskin

Ebay

Ebay’s collection is just as huge as Amazon’s (or something close) only that it’s categorized layout makes things more organized and easy to find.

For air plants, you have the following sections that are easily searchable.

  • Terrarium air plants
  • Tillandsia air plants
  • Live air plants
  • Air plant glasses

Awesome, right? All you need to do is head over to the category you need and check out the available offers.

Plus, most air plants are eligible for free shipping! Who doesn’t like FREE shipping, it’s almost standard nowadays.

Where to buy air plants
@joblessplants

Etsy

Another great marketplace for air plants. Lots of options for both plant species and price points.

Another good thing for you as a buyer, is the plethora of reviews on most of the plants /sellers. For a marketplace with so many options, this can help you quickly fish out the plants you want to bring home.

A few air plants have the free shipping eligibility. You can get lucky if the one you want falls among those.

See what Etsy has for you in Air Plants

where to buy airplants
minis @davesairplantcorner

Walmart

Clearly not as popular as the options above – looking at the reviews. Nevertheless, it’s quite packed as far as air plants are concerned so, lots of alternatives for you to pick from.

If you’re willing to have risks for your next couple of air plants, why not! Plus, free shipping is also available here – on a number of plant purchases.

Where to buy air plants
succulents & air plants in driftwood @fairy_succulents

Where to Buy Air Plants Offline

Just like the online option, offline air plants purchases are also a thing. And the experience has its own unique advantage – you get a feel of the plants before buying them. It could be something nice if that is your preference.

So, where can you buy air plants offline?

Local nurseries are the go-to places. They offer a great buying experience, as you’d have your concerns addressed one on one. Which greatly improved your chances of making the right decisions for your air plants, especially if you’re just starting out.

You get tips and tricks on how to best after your infant plants. Some nurseries can even have someone check out how you’re going on with your project and advice accordingly – on a periodic basis. Who doesn’t like a bit of hand-holding from experts?

The only caveat is that you may come up short on the specific varieties you want.

For all these options (online and offline), it’s best to consider your needs and choose the best for you. But most importantly, just make sure you have a good understanding of caring for the plants you’ll buy. Or your best purchase point won’t matter.

where to buy airplants
awesome air plant pots @carmenmcnall

If you go ahead and pick up an air plant for yourself in your beautiful home, please don’t hesitate to let us know what type it is! We’d love to hear about your experience with air plants!

Thanks for reading with us! Be sure to join the largest succulent and cacti community here if you haven’t already.

Loved learning about this type of succulents and now inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

Happy planting!?

Everything You Need to Know About Air Plants

Everything about air plants

We have a confession to make—air plants aren’t actually succulents. But we really want to share them with you anyway! They’re super easy to grow and maintain just like succulents. They don’t even require soil, so they’re the perfect no-mess houseplants!

Air plants look great in arrangements with succulents and are some of the cutest little plants around. They have thin, ribbonlike leaves that grow in clusters, so we think they look a lot like pom poms!

We know that succulents are your main squeeze, but we hope you have a little room left in your heart for air plants. If you want to know more about these wispy little wonders, keep reading! (We thought it’d be good to switch it up a bit from succulents from time to time).

 

Everything about air plants
@sanctumhandmade

What are Air Plants?

So if air plants aren’t succulents, what are they? And why are they similar to succulents anyways?

Air plants, which are also called Tillandsia, are epiphytes. Epiphytes are a group of plants that grow on trees and other plants not necessarily soil. Some epiphytes you’re already familiar with are orchids, ferns, and mosses like Spanish moss.

Epiphytes aren’t parasitic, so they don’t have any kind of negative effect on the trees they grow on. Since air plants are epiphytes, they don’t steal nutrients from their host plants—they derive those from the air, water, dead leaves, and debris.

Most air plants absorb nutrients through their leaves since the main purpose of their roots is to anchor them to other plants. How crazy is that?

Air plants have special structures called trichomes that allow them to absorb nutrients. Trichomes are those white, fuzzy, hairlike structures on the leaves of air plants. They kind of look like mold at first glance!

Don’t be fooled though!

Trichomes are made up of a bunch of dead and living cells that swell up whenever they come into contact with water. As they swell, they stretch out and cover the whole leaf, which traps the water inside the plant. From there, the water gets absorbed into other cells and is utilized.

You may be wondering… how is this even possible? A plant that doesn’t need soil to survive and lives off the air? That’s crazy talk.

Everything about air plants
@sanctumhandmade

When we first heard about air plants, we were skeptical too! But the more we learned about them (from this great book), the more we realized that the way they grow makes sense given their environment. Most air plants are native to tropical rainforests that have lots of competition for sunlight and water. There’s a dense, thick canopy of trees in these rainforests that prevents sunlight and water from reaching the ground.

Tillandsia adapted to grow on trees so that they didn’t have to compete with all the plants on the ground for sunlight and nutrients. They grow high up so that they’re closer to sunlight, rain, and nutrients from the dead leaves that fall from the canopy. Pretty genius, huh?

How Do You Plant Air Plants?

Most people don’t have huge trees growing in their houses, so they plant their air plants in glass terrariums, hanging metal planters, and even in sea urchin shells.

You can also grow Tillandsia on a piece of driftwood, but they may have a little trouble sticking on their own. You can use a small dab of glue to mount your plant to the wood without hurting it.

The most important thing to remember is that your air plants should not be planted in soil. If you do, your plants might rot!
You can layer sand, rocks, and moss in their terrarium or planter instead.

ALSO READ:

Everything you need to know about air plants
@ary_plants

Types of Air Plants

There are around 650 species of Tillandsia, so there are a lot of plants to choose from! To help you narrow your search for the perfect air plant, we’re going to talk a little bit about the two different types of Tillandsia—mesic and xeric.

Xeric Tillandsia are a lot like succulents—they’re really good at soaking up water because they’re native to hot, dry climates like the desert. Since they have lots of trichomes that can soak up water effectively like a sponge, xeric types don’t need to be watered as often as mesic plants.

Mesic Tillandsia, on the other hand, are native to humid, tropical rainforests. Since water is more readily available there than in the desert, they didn’t develop as many trichomes as xeric plants. Since your home isn’t a hot, steamy rainforest with lots of water vapor for your mesic plants to soak up, you’ll need to water them more often! We’ll give you some watering tips for both types of air plants.

Since the water needs of these two plants are different, knowing which type you have is important. You can tell if a plant is mesic or xeric by looking at its leaves.

If it’s covered with a bunch of white, fuzzy hairs, then it’s probably a xeric Tillandsia. If it has smooth leaves without a lot of fuzzy trichomes, then it’s probably a mesic plant.

Watering Air Plants

Now is a great time to talk about watering Tillandsia!

There are a few different ways to water air plants that you should know about. The first way you can water them is by giving them a bath! You can place them face down in a garden tub or sink full of water and they’ll absorb all the moisture they need.

Your Tillandsia can stay there for up to two hours depending on how much time you have and how much water they need. If their leaves are dry, brown, or crispy, they’re going to need that long, two-hour soak. If they’re looking healthy but they’re mesic types, then you should also give them a bath that’s on the longer side once per week. But if you have xeric plants, putting them in the bath for half an hour or less once a week should be enough.

Everything you need to know about air plants or tillandsias
@ary_plants

If giving your plant babies a bath just like real babies sounds a little too extra for you, you can dunk them in water instead. Grab a bowl and fill it up with some water, and then dip the top of your plants in the water for a minute or two. You can even rinse them under the tap for a minute or two if you prefer.

Depending on the type of plant you have, you should dip it between one and four times a week. Mesic Tillandsia will need to be dipped three or four times a week, while xeric Tillandsia will get by on just one or two waterings.

After soaking or dipping your plants, you should put them in an area with good air circulation so that they dry out quickly. Plants that don’t dry out within four hours are likely to rot, so put them near a fan, in front of an open window, or somewhere else with good airflow. Make sure that you don’t put your plant back in its terrarium or hanging planter until it’s completely dry!

Need a hand choosing terrariums? We break down the Top Terrariums For Air Plants!

If you have a laundry drying rack laying around, be sure to use this to hang them. It’s perfectly set up so that your air plants get the air circulation it needs in order to dry completely.

If your plant looks a little parched in between soakings, you can mist it a bit with any spray bottle, which is the final watering method we’re going to talk about.

Everything you need to know about air plants
@simplychivintage

You can use a spray bottle to mist and moisten the leaves of your plant. If they’re planted in a metal hanging planter like this one or on a piece of driftwood, you won’t need to move them or remove them from their container to mist them, so it’s a pretty convenient way to water your plants.

If misting is your primary watering method, though, you’ll need to do it at least three times a week to make sure your Tillandsia gets enough water. Mesic types may even need to be misted every single day! So even though misting seems like a convenient way to water your plants, it can actually turn into a real hassle if it’s the only way you water them!

Misting isn’t the absolute best way to water your air plants—soaking them in water will actually keep them healthier. So we recommend that you don’t rely too heavily on misting and mix things up. You should soak your plants at least twice a month to ensure that they’re getting the kind of deep watering they need to stay healthy.

Do Air Plants Need Sunlight?

Air plants definitely need sunlight, but not quite as much as succulents. If you put them in direct sunlight for a few hours, their moisture supply will get depleted, so put them someplace where they’ll get bright but indirect sunlight.

We like to keep our air plants a few feet away from a bright window using a cute window sill planter like this. If you keep yours outside, make sure to put them somewhere with plenty of shade like a covered patio or porch.

As for temperature requirements, air plants do best in warm temps between fifty and ninety degrees. Luckily your home is right in that temperature range, so your air plants will do great indoors!

Tillandsia does not do well in freezing temperatures, so keep that in mind if you’re growing them outside.

Fertilizing Tillandsia

Everything about air plants
@flowersatmoorstreet

Just like succulents, Tillandsia doesn’t need a lot of fertilizer. You can fertilize them up to once a month, but you don’t have to. Using a fertilizer designed for air plants or bromeliads on them a few times a year is more than enough.

If you can’t get your hands on bromeliad fertilizer, then pick up some regular houseplant fertilizer at your local garden center and dilute it to one-quarter strength before you apply it to your Tillandsia.

Propagating Air Plants

Air plants flower, but right after they do, they die! Sad, right?

Don’t despair, though! Tillandsia has a lifespan of several years and can be propagated before they die. So you’ll have lots of baby plants around to comfort you when it’s time to say goodbye to your mature plant!

Before they bloom, Tillandsia produce offsets, which are baby plants that pop up around the base of the main plant. Offsets stay connected to the main plant until you divide and remove them.

When the offsets are small, it’s best to keep them connected to the main plant, but once they get bigger, you can separate and replant them. We like to wait until our baby Tillandsia are about a third of the size of the main plant before dividing them.

All we do to divide our plants is grab them by the base with our hands and gently pull them apart. Avoid grabbing the top of the plant because you may accidentally rip some of its leaves off! Once the plants are separated, you can mount them or plant them wherever you like.


There you have it! That’s everything we think you need to know about air plants.

What do you think of these cute little plants? Have they made it onto your wishlist? Let us know in the comments below or in our exclusive Succulent Plant Lounge community. Many succulent lovers share their experiences and questions in there.

Did you love learning about this succulent and now feel inspired to add more to your collection?! (We don’t blame you) Check out Succulent City’s new line of ebooks covering topics from, “All the Types of Succulents for Indoor and Outdoor,” “Different Types of Planters,” and many more helpful in-depth ebooks. Head to this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

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!


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!