How to Grow Air Plants/Everything You Need To Know About Them

How to grow air plants

Have you ever seen those interesting creepy crawlies that try to pass for a fly on the wall?

You might see them dangling precariously off the edge of a bookshelf or encased in a geometrically arranged glass globe. They have green, tentacle-like extensions that twist and curve, making them look like a sea creature that came up for air. These living creatures are not bugs. They are air plants!

Did we trick ya?

Is it a Bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s an Air Plant

Part plant– part creature, air plants are fascinating in the way they look and behave. They are called air plants because they seem to thrive while hanging in the air and their roots have no real connection to soil. In the botanical world, they are known as Tillandsia.

They are classified as Epiphytes, which are plants that grow on other plants, but are not parasitic to the host plant. These perennial plants get their nutrients from the rain, air, dust and moss surrounding the host and they use their roots to attach themselves to things, rather than to absorb nutrients.

There are over 650 species of air plants that can be found naturally basking in the cracks of trees, shrubs and rocks, maybe we’ll list them all some where! Air plants thrive in forests, mountains and deserts, and have originally been discovered clinging to tree trunks in Mexico, Central and South America and the West Indies. They are closely related to Bromeliads and appear in different shapes and sizes. Don’t wait, get started on this air plant kit with everything you need!

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How to Grow Air Plants
@melissamlo

It’s All About the Look and Feel

Air plants are full of personality, and you can easily find one that matches yours! The ones with furry-looking or fuzzy silvery leaves are from dry climates and can handle long periods without water. Air plants with glossy leaves are from tropical rainforest and are not very drought-resistant.

Most air plants have thin, triangle-shaped leaves that can either be rounded or long like a ponytail. There are tiny scales on the leaves called Trichomes that absorb water and nutrients from the air. Air plants only bloom once in their lifetime and most of them produce bright-colored, funnel-shaped flowers. If your curiosity is piqued, we have an article about popular air plants.

Whether a Green Thumb or Brown Thumb, Air Plants are for All Thumbs

The greatest thing about these charming creatures is that they do not need you to fuss over them like other house plants. These low maintenance little beauties only need air, light, and a little water to flourish.

How to Grow Air Plants
@sgfloraandfauna

Let There be Light

Air plants are lovers of warm weather, but they are not sun worshipers and they do not appreciate direct sunlight. They prefer air temperatures of between 50 °F to 90 °F (10 °C to 32 °C) and are terribly troubled by frost. There is a high possibility that your air plant will die if left in temperatures below 45 °F (7 °C).

If your air plant is dwelling in a glass globe like this, please do not place it directly on the window sill. Glass intensifies the heat and sunlight from outside, and can give your plant sunburn or dry it out completely. (Like a magnify glass beaming light!) They enjoy bright filtered light and they are content to hang around under fluorescent light bulbs.

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04/13/2021 01:39 pm GMT
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Being air plants, they prosper in humid environments and cherish air circulation.  A little breeze helps the plant to breathe, but crazy winds will blow things out of proportion. Try and avoid housing your air plant under a fan or near an air conditioner vent.

They May Like Water, But They Are Not Good Swimmers

How to Grow Air Plants
@ary_plants

Like most succulents, air plants are not too enthusiastic about water, although they do need it in their diet. Spray misting on its own might leave your air plant hanging on to dear life, especially in the summer or if you live in areas with dry atmospheric conditions. Some people think that using a spray bottle will suffice, but that’s far from the truth!

They need a good soaking bath once a week during the hot weather and every other week in winter. Air plants do not really have roots that can search for replacement water and their leaves do not store internal reserves like other succulents.

Try and avoid using distilled water or softened water for your plant bath time. They benefit more from tap water that has been left to sit overnight for the chlorine to evaporate. Air plants are partial to the essential nutrients found in water from a lake, pond, or aquarium.

Bath time should be a fun time for your air plant. Either fill a sink or a wide bowl with water and let the roots of your air plant be submerged in the water with the leaves resting out of the water. For our watering needs we like to use a bowl like this. Unless you have a ginormous air plant of course! Let the roots soak overnight or for at least 3 hours. When bath time is over, take your air plant out of the water, turn it upside down and gently shake off excess water. Your plant should then be given 4 hours to air dry before putting it back in its home.

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Feed Me

Air plants fancy a spot of fertilizer every now and then, especially just before blooming. Pond water or aquarium water acts like a natural fertilizer and helps to relieve distressed plants. Once a month, a little Bromeliad fertilizer can be added to the bath water (following the manufacturer’s instructions) to give your plant a little confidence boost.

Here’s a tillandsia fertilizer you can use straight from the bottle too if you’d like, it makes life much easier.

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How to Grow Air Plants
@sgfloraandfauna

What’s All This Blooming Business?

As mentioned earlier, air plants only bloom once in their lifetime. They produce flowers at different times of the year depending on the species, and the blooms can last from a few days to a couple of weeks. There are some species that produce one delicate flower while others produce multiple flowers.

You can also find air plants that grow flowers on a bloom spike or inflorescence. The blooms will vary in color, ranging from brilliant blues to bright purples and yellows as well as delicate pinks and fiery reds and neon orange.

Caring for Mommy and ‘Pups’

After blooming, air plants produce at least 3 offsets from the mother plant that are called ‘pups’. These are new plants that form at the base of the mother plant. These pups can be separated from the mother and grown as individual plants or they can be left to form a clump, although the mother plant will eventually die after producing pups. If your idea is to create a clump of air plants, remove the mother plant gently when she dries up. If the leaves are still fleshy and soft, then she still has life in her. If she has passed on, then she will just break off easily.

The pups can be separated from the mother and transferred to their individual new homes when they are about 1/3 the size of the mother plant. With a sharp, clean knife or gardening scissors, you can cut off the pups downwards, but as close to the mother as possible. The pups can also be gently twisted away from the mother plant.

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How to Grow Air Plants
@sgfloraandfauna

Grooming Tips

Air plants are versatile and can easily adapt to new environments. As an air plant parent, you can literally go nuts mounting your air plants on colorful glass, jagged rocks, creative corals, seashells, wood planks, ceramics, even driftwood!

Trending interior designers have been creating jaw dropping air plant chandeliers using water proof glue, wires, fishing lines or twisty ties. Keep in mind that using copper wires or super glue to attach your air plant to its host will kill your plant. Try to use natural fibers to tie the plant and avoid stapling or nailing the leaves as this will crucify your plant. 

If you are thinking of glass baubles for your air plant, then consider that size matters. Your plant should not be squashed in a glass prison but should have enough room to stretch and do some yoga. If the globe is too small for the plant, it will reduce air circulation causing the plant to retain moisture for longer, which is not good.

Air plant terrariums and hanging wire baskets make a spectacular difference for those with small space living. Air plants are great companions for orchids and cacti.

To maintain the beauty of your air plant, you may occasionally trim the roots and dry tips.  Dry tips are an indication that your plant is getting too much direct sunlight and you can tell your plant’s thirst level when the leaves start curling inwards. When misting, concentrate the nozzle of your spray bottle on the roots and not the leaves. Remember to shake off excess water!

 

How to Grow Air Plants
@levitera_ru

Feel Good Inside and Out

Air plants will not only look pretty in your home but they also have health benefits. Scientists have proven that the air plant, Spanish Moss, can detect and absorb mercury.

By having one air plant for every three people in your home, you can eliminate toxins and reduce carbon dioxide by 50%, thus improving the air quality! No need for an air purifier right? The likelihood of sneezing and coughing also goes down as pollen particles get trapped in the plants’ trichomes and reduces allergic reactions.


Now that you know a little more about how to grow air plants, how about looking for one online or at your local farmers’ market? We would love to hear your experiences with these amazing plants in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plant Lounge.

Also, be sure to subscribe and check for new activity on our Succulent City Youtube channel. We will be releasing some quality packed videos sure to delight all succulent enthusiasts. 

Did this article help answer your succulent care questions? 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 Essential Tools for Planting the Best Succulents or even Best Lighting Practices for Succulent Growth today!

Have fun and happy planting!

 

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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!?

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?

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

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 .

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.

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.

ALSO READ:


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!

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).

 

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.

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.

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

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!

 

 

Definitive Guide To 5 Types of Air Plants

5 Types of Air Plants

Have you seen those plants that look like they are growing from nothing? With no soil anywhere near them and no visible roots, they are a sight-for-sore eyes as they dangle in the air from wire baskets, hooks, and chandelier-like containers! You may have spotted some with furry, silver leaves or others with glossy leaves, while some present the most vibrant colored flowers.

These tiny, floating, evergreen perennials are known as air plants.

Air plants go by the scientific name Tillandsia, and there are over 650 varieties of this species! They are originally found hanging on for dear life in the tropical climates of South and Central America as well as southern parts of the United States.

Tillandsias have the unique feature of being epiphytes– which means they do not require soil but more rely on water and air to grow. This attribute has Tillandsias attaching themselves to trees, shrubs, rocks, fences, and telephone posts, but they do not feed off the host.

These amazing, un-demanding plants are brilliant for decorating small spaces and look adorable peeking out of seashells, against a piece of driftwood, suspended on wire baskets and vases or semi-enclosed in glass baubles.

If you are looking for a plant that looks more like a pet without the hassle of cleaning up after it, here are a variety of 5 types of air plants to add a kick of personality to your home or office.

And before you learn about them, sign up for a FREE 30-day trial of Amazon’s Prime Membership! Get that FREE 2-day shipping on all your new air plant necessities! Click here to learn more and sign up today. Think of this as a thank you gift from Succulent City for keeping up with our articles.

5 Types of Air Plants
5 Types of Air Plants @carmenmcnall

Tillandsia Caput-Medusae

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a plant that is referred to as the goddess of Greek mythology, Medusa? Absolutely yes! If the name alone does not peak your interest, you will be blown away by its thick, wide silvery-green leaves that curl as they grow, giving the impression of the snakes on Medusa’s head reaching out to you.

This gorgeous, evergreen air plant is a South American native, sprouting heavily in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. Its leaves appear grey-blue in color and are arranged like rosettes. The twisting leaves grow from a bulbous base, can get to 25 cm long, and have fine, grey hairs all around them.

T. Caput-Medusae pulls out all the floral stops as it blooms from spring to the beginning of summer. It produces delicate purple flowers that are about 3.2 cm long from a pale pink bract. Pups grow from the bottom of the plant after flowering and these can either be left to form a clump or can be propagated when they reach 1/3 the size of the ‘mother plant’.

A fun fact about the T. Caput-Medusae is it can be mounted sideways or upside down and it will still grow straight in the direction they are in. These beauties do not abide by the laws of gravity like many other plants do. So you can hanging them in a planter like this one, or like this one and have no issues!

When looking for a truly unique looking statement plant, look no further than T. Caput Medusa. We promise that, unlike the myth, you won’t turn into stone when you stare at it!

5 Types of Air Plants
Tillandsia Caput-Medusae @flowerheartseverywhere

Tillandsia Cyanea – Pink Quill Plant

The Tillandsia Cyanea is an indigenous resident of the rainforests of Ecuador, boasting large, bright pink bracts arranged in the shape of a paddle, that gives it the name Pink Quill plant. Its Latin name, Cyanea, means ‘blue,’ and refers to the blue-purple hue of the flowers. The leaves are long and green.

Peeping out of the sides of the fan-like quill are blue-purple-violet flowers, appearing at most 2 at a time and last for only a couple of days. The plant blooms during spring and autumn. The quill itself, which is technically the inflorescence of the plant, can stand tall for as long as 4 months, bringing a burst of color wherever it’s positioned.

This epiphytic perennial is unique because unlike most air plants, the Pink Quill can grow in soil, so you can plant it in a cool planter like this one! It has tough, dark green, grass-like leaves and can develop to be 20 inches (50 cm) high by 20 inches (50 cm) wide.

This hardy houseplant can handle dry conditions like a true champion, although it does like good air circulation and temperatures not below 7°C (45°F). This tropical stunner enjoys its moments in the sun, but direct, strong sunshine will leave the plant with sunburn.

Did you know that air plants, along with succulents, are trending in becoming decor for weddings? Take a look at this article and you’ll really be inspired!

5 Types of Air Plants
Tillandsia Cyanea – Pink Quill Plant @brandon_nxs

Tillandsia Ionantha Maxima Huamelula

Catching the eye of everyone who passes by is the Tillandsia Ionantha Maxima Huamelula or simply known as T.Maxima . When in bloom, this upright shaped plant proudly shows off bright hues of pink, purple, blue and green, while bearing a resemblance to an enchanting firework display.

The rare T.Maxima has thick, moss green, succulent leaves that burst out from a central point, with the leaves starting off dark green at the base and turning pinkish-red towards the tips when exposed to strong light. The plant generates multiple, striking purple flowers with yellow tips, producing more than 5 flowers all at once.

This air plant originates from Oaxaca in Mexico and has been known to grow up to 6 inches tall. The T.Maxima’s colorful and unusual form gives it that wow factor when mounted on a piece of bark or driftwood, if not sitting pretty in a terrarium.

Talking about terrariums, you may want to pick one!

5 Types of Air Plants
Tillandsia Ionantha Maxima Huamelula @mj.0512

Tillandsia Harrisii

The Tillandsia Harrisii is a very exceptional plant that is held dear to the hearts of many botanists, as it was named after an American air plant enthusiast named Bill Harris who was brutally murdered in Guatemala in 1985.

This distinctive air plant has silvery- grey leaves that are curled in a dense rosette along its stem and are usually falling towards one side. It is considered to be a caulescent species— which defines it as a plant that grows along a stem that is above the ground.

T.Harrissi displays a deep- red inflorescence that consists of 5 to 9 spirally positioned, purple- violet flowers with blue-violet petals and orange to red bracts. These magnificent colors create a sheer contrast to the grey-green leaves of the plant. As a slow grower, it may not produce blooms until after a year or two.

The T.Harrisii thrives under bright indirect light and away from full sunshine, so a sunny window or nook is the perfect spot for it. It also prefers moderate humidity with a good air flow to prosper. 

This easy care plant is native to Guatemala and requires a CITES permit that certifies that the plant was sustainably grown and not collected from nature.

BE SURE TO ALSO READ:

5 Types of Air Plants
Tillandsia Harrisii @pot_plants_windy

Tillandsia Stricta

The ever-popular Tillandsia Stricta is an evergreen air plant and a local resident of Trinidad, Venezuela, Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana and northern Argentina. The plant can take root on sand dunes as well as under tropical rainforests, making it a highly adaptable plant. According to its climate, Tillandsia Stricta may have soft flexible leaves or firmer rigid leaves and can vary in size and color.  

This air plant’s scientific name (stricta) translates to ‘erect’ and illustrates the upright habit of this plant. It also ties into the plants’ colloquial names; Upright Air Plant, Strict Tillandsia, and Erect Tillandsia.

The Tillandsia Stricta is a clump-forming perennial with short-stemmed leaves that grow into thick rosettes. This compact species has dark green leaves and produces attractive pink and white floral bracts when in bloom. The bracts hold a showy bright blue flower that sadly only lasts a day, although the bracts remain vibrant for up to 10 weeks.

Known to be one of the fastest-growing species, the Tillandsia Stricta is a decorators dream– delivering an impressive colorful clump after a few years. They can be mounted on virtually anything, giving you creative leeway to go nuts with wood, ceramics, seashells and rocks.

5 Types of Air Plants
Tillandsia Stricta @tamanhatijz

Care Tips for Air Plants

Air plants are slowly taking over the indoor plant world and you do not want to be left behind! There are some pointers to remember when taking care of air plants.

Check out our article  “Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants” for an extensive look!

Watering Air Plants

Too much water will kill your little one. Some air plants do well with the occasional misting once a week, especially during cold seasons. During the summer, the dunk and dry method works the best. Soak the plant for 15 minutes then shake off the excess water before putting it back in its home.

Here’s our article dedicated to watering air plants, check it out!

Sunlight for Air Plants

Air plants are naturally found hanging on to tree branches. This shows they flourish with a bit of shade or in bright, filtered or indirect light. They do not like baking under the scorching sun.

5 Types of Air Plants
Beautiful air plant display @flowers.by.roxanne

Curious to try out one of these 5 types of air plants? We would love to hear about your adventures as well as answer any questions you may have! Already own air plants? Show us your photos in our exclusive Facebook group, Succulent City Plants Lounge!

Ready to start your air plant collection? Let us help! Head over to Succulents Box, where you can sign up for monthly subscription boxes and get over 200 air plants and succulents delivered right to your door! Starting at just $5 a month, you can grow your air plant collections right from the comfort of your home! Click here to learn more and sign up today.

If you want to learn more about air plants, we have some additional articles to help! Air Plants vs Succulents, Everything You Need to Know About Air Plants, and 7 Rare Air Plants You Need in Your Home!

Head over to our Instagram and Pinterest accounts for daily succulent content!

Loved learning about this succulent 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. Be sure to check out this link to view our full line of ebooks and get started with our complimentary guide. 

Thanks for reading, happy planting!

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