5 Tips for Propagating Succulents

Tips for Propagating Succulents

Propagation was our number one requested blog post article idea! (The polls on Instagram don’t lie) You asked us and we listened, continue reading below for our 5 tips to having a successful propagation process for your succulents.

Disclaimer: These are not all of the tips and tricks out there! These are just the tips that we wish we knew before our first propagation endeavor. (It was a nightmare at first). Feel free to let us know your techniques!

1. Some succulents are Easier to Propagate than Others

There are so many species of succulents out there and they all differ in difficulty when it comes to propagating. Three of the easiest succulents to have success with are: Kalanchoe daigremontiana (Mother of Thousands), Sedum morganianum (Burro’s Tail), and Sedum rubrotinctum.

Burros Tail Succulent Tips
Burro’s Tail Succulent Image: @done.by_hand_concrete

If you’re a beginner, we definitely recommend starting your propagation journey with these species! A lot of the time, the leaves of these succulents will fall down on their own and you can do the propagation process with them without accidentally cutting off too much of the leaf.

To learn more about this, check out “Why Are My Succulent Leaves Falling Off”

2. Patience

Patience you must have my young “propagator.”

Yoda from Star Wars

Time to test your patience! Succulent propagation can sometimes take up to four to six weeks before the new leaf cuttings will begin to root. Remember, great things don’t happen in a day and this process is going to be worth it at the end.

When it is time for the ends of your clippings to dry out and harden, this alone can sometimes take up to a week, so make sure you don’t rush the process!

3. Watering Succulents

After the ends of the leaves have hardened over, it’s time to water them! Every leaf hardens over at different times. This is important to know because if you water them when they haven’t fully hardened, too soon after cutting from the mother plant, they’ll sometimes turn mushy and yellowish.

When propagating, here at Succulent City we spritz the leaves once a day. A quick spray over the top of all the leaves should be enough, not too close to them. Some leaves are going to look different than others, which is totally normal.

If you want to learn more about when you should water your succulents check out our in-depth article here.

4. Don’t Place the Clippings in Direct Sunlight

Succulents are desert plants and usually, they all need to be in direct sunlight for the majority of the day. This is true, but not with the succulent leaves during the propagation process.

I always put my leaves by a window that’s protected with some shade. Once the new plant has grown from the leaves, then they can be placed in direct sunlight.

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Succulent Buds Sprouting
Succulent Buds Image: @peculiarshadelemontree

5. Don’t Get Discouraged

Remember that this can sometimes be a frustrating process. Not every single leaf will create a new plant. (Remember what Yoda said).

Don’t get discouraged if you don’t have a 100% success rate. Most of the time I usually only have about 50-70% success rate for all of the leaves I propagate.

Keep up with the process and try again! Practice makes perfect, even the “experts” don’t succeed with the propagation process each time.

Until next time! Oh and don’t forget to share the love down below.

Enjoyed learning about 5 Tips for Propagating Succulents? If so, you’ll really enjoy the eBook about The Right Way to Propagating Succulents Successfully. 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.

View our entire eBook collection here: SucculentCity eBooks

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent

Would you like to grow your very own natural pagoda?

Yes, that’s right. In the heart of the wonderful world of succulents is an eye-catching perennial with multi-colored bright red and green leaves that appear like a tiered tower of a pagoda. This fiery evergreen makes an attractive garden focal point and creates a gorgeous border around the edge of a sunny rockery. Meet the Crassula Capitella, the small but striking succulent that also goes by the names Red Flames, Red Pagoda and Campfire Plant.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Red and green succulent. @mes_succulentes

Origins of the Crassula Capitella

Crassula Capitella is natively rooted in South Africa, vibrantly thriving in the provinces of Transvaal, Mpumalanga, Free State, Limpopo, KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape. It is also prominently featuring in the landscapes of Namibia and Botswana. The plant is well known to the indigenous people of South Africa as a herb whose roots are dried and crushed into a powder that is used to heal wounds.

This succulent derives the name Crassula from the Latin word “Crassus” which means ‘thick’. This is referring to the size of the chubby leaves. The word Capitella relates to a specific epithet drawn from the Latin word “Capitellum” which translated means ‘small head’.

Be sure to also check out “Where Do Most Succulents Come From?” to see the origin of the rest of your succulent garden.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Succulent in well-draining pot. @myfellowfoliage

Crassula Capitella Succulent

This evergreen succulent has small, pointed, thick leaves that are firmly stacked on top of each other, attached to a stem. The leaves are narrow and tend to resemble a propeller. As the plant grows, the leaves start off as a bright, apple-green color. After that, the more sunlight the plant receives which makes for the leaves to form highlights at the tips and edges that range in shades. From deep purple, to blush red and intense orange.

The different hues are emphasized during the winter as the perennial takes advantage of bright sunlight and cool, long nights. When grown in shaded areas, the leaves of Crassula Capitella remain olive green in color, all year round. The leaves grow in the shape of a rosette. With larger leaves tightly packed at the base of the stem and smaller, spaced-out leaves at the top tip of the stem.

Interested in these colorful succulents? Make sure you check out “5 Succulents with Red Flowers” here.

Crassula Capitella is an upstanding member of the plant society, in the sense that it tends to grow standing upright, ranging from 15 to 40 cm tall. Given the right conditions, this succulent can also spread around a 1-meter radius. But the tips of the stems will always try and face the sun.

Once a year, mostly during the summer, the stems sprout clusters of tiny, star-like, white flowers that become the feature attraction for bees and butterflies. This succulent also produces an elongated inflorescence forming from the stem. The roots appear at the plant’s internodes, making rooting effortless if the stem is lying on the ground.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Crassula capitella with blueish hue. @dr_succs

Best Watering Conditions

No matter how faithful we try to be with our evergreen friends, sometimes things just don’t go as planned. For example, they may end up with no access to water for a short time period. The ever-forgiving Crassula Capitella turns out to be a super succulent! In addition, to storing water in the leaves like other succulents, it also saves water during the day. Thanks to the Crassulacean Acid Metabolism (CAM), the succulent is able to open its stomata at night to absorb carbon dioxide, instead of during the day, which helps the plant reduce internal moisture loss due to evaporation. The plant’s hardiness enables them to thrive and survive in drought-prone areas.

That being said, however, the Crassula Capitella still requires a drink of water now and again. Try these water bottles out when its time to water your succulent. Likewise most succulents, one of the greatest dangers to these plants is over-watering. To be on the safe side, you would rather your plant be too dry as compared to too wet. Not sure why your Crassula Capitella is dying? Check out “Why Are My Succulent Leaves Falling Off?”. Anyways, that is to say, a good drink of water every fortnight should be sufficient and the timing can alternate depending on the weather. This succulent does not like bath time and would only require a short 10-minute soak in a saucer of water, then shaken off to drain excess water.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
stunning decoration @succulentsssss

Best Lighting Conditions

To bring the best out of the leaf coloring, Crassula Capitella will do well with at least 6 hours of sunshine in a partially shaded area. The plant prefers light or porous, well-draining garden soil, like this one. Crassula Capitella can withstand some level of frost, but it does not do well in freezing temperatures. When small, brown dots start to appear on the leaves, this could be a sign of frost damage. If residing in areas with cold climates, place the plant in a container that can easily be relocated indoors during extreme temperature changes.

The Crassula Capitella is susceptible to mealy bugs and fungal diseases. It should be checked on regularly. This succulent can also fall prone to foliage edema which occurs from rapid changes in moisture. The plant is safe to have around curious animals. To clarify it does not fall under the list of toxic succulents.

ALSO READ:

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Crassula capitella in the garden. @cactinaut

Propagation

This branching succulent propagates through offsets of leaf, root, and stem cuttings. To propagate the plant using a part of the plant, ensure that your cutting is approximately 130 mm long. Try these shears for those tricky cuts. After that, place the cutting in a tray with succulent potting mix or soil that is moist but not waterlogged. It takes about 4 to 6 weeks for the cuttings to take root and show new growth. During this time, it is advisable to occasionally water the plant to establish an extensive root system. After that, you can reduce watering to every fortnight.

Also check out “5 Tips for Propagating Succulents” for a more in-depth look at propagation.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Light green capitella succulent. @adelicadezadoamor

Pruning and Fertilizer

To elongate the life of the Crassula Capitella, firstly it’s suggested that you prune and replant your succulent after it flowers. Secondly, this succulent could do with an organic compost fertilizer, twice a year or if the soil is impoverished. Old foliage can be taken off with a sharp, clean knife before the new leaves start to emerge to maintain the pleasant and delightful look of your succulent. To really keep your Crassula Capitella thriving, every two to three years, especially in the early springtime, you could divide up the clumps and direct the succulent to grow in the direction you would like.

The Stunning Crassula Capitella Succulent
Stair pattern on crassula capitella succulent. @replantnl

Depending on your location and where you buy your plants from, Crassula Capitella range in price from $3.00 to $20.00. With a wide variety of colors available at select supermarkets, online, and at your local farmers market. Their intriguing shapes have become the latest trend for wedding planners and interior designers. They make absolutely brilliant ornamental gifts in an indoor container plant or hanging basket.

Thanks for reading! If you have a minute, drop us a line letting us know where you get your succulents from. Maybe we could compare notes, leaves, and succulents!

Also if you liked this post, make sure to check out related content like “What is a Cactus Plant?” or “5 Office Succulents You Wish You Had at Work”. And Be sure to join our ever-growing succulent community on  Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest!

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. 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.

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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!

Your Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants

The Ultimate Guide on How to Care for Air Plants

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

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

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

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

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

But first…

What exactly are air plants?

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

What are Air Plants?

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

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

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

Leaves.

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

Cool, right?

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

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

air plant guide
pink & green air plant @tillandsia_bangkok

5 Reasons Why You Need a Tillandsia Plant

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

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

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

Is Airflow Important for Air Plants?

Yes.

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

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

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

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

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

air plant guide
garden of air plants @airplanthub

How to Water Air Plants

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

Don’t fall for it!

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

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

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

What type of water is good for air plants?

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

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

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

air plant guide
colorful air plant @airplanthub

Misting your air plants

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

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

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

air plant guide
flourishing air plant @sgfloraandfauna

Dunking your air plants in water

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

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

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

Soaking your air plant for an hour

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

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

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

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

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air plant guide
flowering air plant @fruitfulnmultiply

How Much Light do Air Plants Need?

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

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

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air plant guide
family of air plants @liezestockmans

What Temperature/Climate is Good for Air Plants?

Frost and freezing cold temperatures? No way.

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

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

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

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

Is Fertilizing Tillandsia Plants Okay?

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

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

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

How Do I Display or Mount Air Plants?

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

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

air plant guide
pair of air plants @arbora.verd

Do Air Plants Bloom?

Yup.

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

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

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

Air Plants Don’t Have Pests Right?

False.

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

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

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

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

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

 

Why Your Succulents Keep Dying (Newbie Guide)

Why Are You Succulents Dying

Whether you’re a newcomer to the succulent world just looking for a pop of color or a long-time cactus convert, succulents and cacti can often be NOT quite the low-maintenance dream they’re cracked up to be. From root rot to mealybugs, the culprits can be varied and often times confusing. But with these quick tips to help you identify and remedy whatever issue arises, you and your succulents will be happy and healthy again in no time! (That Crassula Ovata or Jade Plant will grow like no other).

Watering Your Succulents

Overwatering Succulents

Succulents are frequently native to hot, dry climates, and therefore have evolved to take advantage of every drop of water they can. (Talk about thirsty plants).

This means that when they get too much water they are at risk of developing root rot, a condition stemming from roots sitting in standing water or high-retention soil. An overwatered succulent will start to wrinkle like a finger after too long in the bath or become spongy and yellowed.

Luckily, if caught in time it is easy to fix — all it takes is not watering your plant for several days until the soil dries out completely. In order to prevent overwatering, however, you should be sure to water your succulents only about once a week and plant them in pots with plenty of drainage and soil that doesn’t retain water for very long. 

Cactus and succulent friendly soil is readily available at hardware stores, nurseries, and even some grocery stores, and can also be made at home. Below is our general recommendation and one of the soil products we prefer to use.

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Under Watering Succulents

While over-saturation is by far the more common issue, it is also possible to water your succulents too little. This can occur both if your succulents are watered too infrequently, or if they are in too tall a pot. We recommend short and stubby succulent pots. We prefer planters like this 6″ Ceramic Pot, this will give you an idea for what to look for when purchasing planters for your succulents!

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Succulent and cactus roots are very shallow, so tall pots with what would generally be considered healthy drainage can draw water away from roots before they have a chance to soak it up. Under watered plants are generally relatively easy to identify, as cactuses tend to shrivel up and pucker while succulent’s upper leaves will begin to dry out and get crunchy.

The solution here is pretty clear: simply water your plant more, aiming for a good soak about once a week. It is often easiest to pick a day to be the succulent watering day, thereby making it a routine that is easy to remember and work into your lifestyle. (Plus, your succulents will look forward to this day).

Watering Succulents from Above

While this is less of an issue for cactuses, succulents often have lots of nooks and crannies near the base of the plant that will catch and retain water if watered from above. This can begin to decay the base and stem of the plant and can be challenging to notice until it is too late and the core of the plant is rotten.

If you notice leaves starting to rot from the base up it is best to pluck those leaves and attempt to remove any standing water or rotten foliage.

However, the best way to avoid this issue is to water your succulents at the base rather than with a spray bottle and avoid letting water land on the tops of the leaves.

Mineral Build Up

Tap water can be full of all manner of minerals from calcium to fluoride to chlorine. While these are all beneficial for their human uses, depending on the levels in your local tap water they can be downright harmful to succulents.

If you begin to notice a white crusty build up on your leaves or the soil around your plant, you may want to consider either switching to watering with distilled or filtered water, which can sometimes be a hassle, or simply letting your water sit for a day or so before use to let any sediments or minerals filter to the bottom of the container.

This practice, while not always necessary, can limit the amount of contact these minerals have with your succulents.

Diseases & Parasites in Your Succulent Plants

Mealy Bugs

Mealybugs are similar to the aphids that appear in outdoor gardens in that they usually show up in large numbers and leave what looks like little bits of dirt on the leaves of your succulent. Unlike aphids, however, mealybugs are generally a whitish-grey and can appear on indoor plants.

They spread quickly, so how can you get rid of mealybugs from your succulents?

The first step in quelling an infestation is always to quarantine any infested succulents. As long as that step is taken first, the follow-up treatment is relatively easy. Simply mix up a solution of three parts isopropyl alcohol to one part water and spray your succulents daily until the mealybugs clear up, usually only a couple of days.

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While this may sound dangerous, this solution will not burn your plants and as the alcohol evaporates quickly, you shouldn’t run into any issues with root rot. More often than not mealybugs are attracted to succulents that have been overwatered or over-fertilized, so they are also a good sign to reassess how you’re caring for your succulent.

Having a mealybug problem? Check out our guide on How to Get Rid of Mealy Bugs

Scale Insects

Scale bugs or insects are small shelled bugs of a dark brown color that attach themselves to stems or leaves and suck the moisture from your succulents. While it is best to treat them in their larval stage, they are often hard to locate and are readily treatable in adulthood too.

Unlike mealybugs, scale insects can simply be picked off by hand if you have some time. They can also be treated with the same three to one isopropyl alcohol to water solution as the mealybugs, although they may take more time to respond to the treatment due to their protective shells. (It’s like armor to them).

If you find that the alcohol solution is simply not working you can also use neem oil, which is usually available at your local hardware store. Neem oil can be very concentrated, so be sure to follow the directions on the container to avoid burning your succulents as well as the scale bug. (We definitely don’t want to hurt our baby succulents).

Luckily scale bugs are not a time-sensitive pest as long as you begin to treat them before your succulent plant starts to shrivel, so attempting several treatment methods won’t harm your beautiful succulents.

We like to use something like this for our own succulents.

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Other Succulent Pests

There are a variety of other, less common insects, fungi, and diseases that can make your succulent home, but more often than not the three to one isopropyl alcohol to water solution will kill an insect infestation and neem oil will target insects, mites, and fungi.

If you are unsure what category your infestation falls under, begin with the alcohol solution, as it can’t damage your plant. If that doesn’t work, move on to a neem oil solution while being mindful of the directions on your particular container to avoid burning your succulent.

Always begin by isolating the affected plant to avoid the issue spreading. If neither of those solutions work, consider bringing the plant into your local nursery. Like a trip to the doctors! They may be able to identify the issue more specifically and suggest another viable solution.

Succulent Home

Succulent Planter

@theurbanoasisshop

A thriving cactus or succulent will eventually outgrow its pot, either above or below the soil. Why is that? Because they are adapted to dry environments, succulents, and cacti roots are shallow and tend to grow horizontally, so they can quickly outgrow a pot that is too small or narrow.

If you notice that your succulent isn’t growing anymore, or is beginning to die, it might be time to consider repotting. Rehoming your plant into a slightly larger, and specifically wider, pot can do wonders for growth and the overall health of your plant. Here’s an article we just wrote about the tips and tricks in repotting succulents, it’s quick and easy!

Succulent Climate & Temperature Tolerance

Succulents can be sensitive to extreme cold, so keeping them in above freezing temps is an important part of keeping your plant happy. A succulent that has gotten too cold can look burned, with parts of the upper leaves beginning to brown, droop, or shrivel up.

If you like to sleep with your windows open in the winter and you live in a colder environment, perhaps consider keeping your succulents in a different room when the weather begins to drop below freezing at night.

Succulent Lighting

Succulents thrive in bright sunlight, so housing them in places that don’t receive much natural light can cause stretching as they seek the light they need.

A stretching succulent will get much taller, with leaves spread widely up and down the stem to maximize the amount of light each leaf receives. If you begin to notice stretching simply move your plant to a location with more light, as once stretching has occurred it’s impossible for the plant to return to its original height.

Here’s a highly reviewed indoor grow light on Amazon we’ve found that is perfect for your indoor succulents. You can customize many things with this light and it has become one of our favorites.

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When your succulent is in bright sunlight, it is also important to avoid leaving water droplets sitting on its leaves after watering, as the water can focus the light and it risks burning your leaves. This is another reason to be sure to water your plants from below the leaves.

It is also important to remember that it is completely natural and healthy for some leaves to die as the plant grows. So leaves at the base of your plant drying up and falling off is NOT in any way a poor reflection of your care for your succulent family.

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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 Succulent Drainage Requirements or even The Most Common Issues Amongst Succulent Growers today!

If you’re new in the succulent world, here are some beginner succulents that are quite easy to take care of when you first begin. Happy growing!

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