How to care for air plants? [2020 Ultimate Guide]

3 mins read

Air plants are tiny marvels, the perfect solution for those of us who can’t be bothered to get your hands dirty with soil, but want to add life and color to your home décor. Read on to know more about how to care for air plants.

What are air plants?

Air plants are tiny plants that don’t need soil to grow. They absorb nutrients and water from air through the scales on their leaves. They also don’t need much light to grow, indirect sunlight will do just fine.

They are low maintenance and are incredibly adorable. There are at least 450 different types of tillandsia, and many more hybrid varieties. An air plant does have roots but it is rather to attach itself to objects rather than absorb nutrients.

How to care for air plants?

An important part of care for air plants is giving them the right amount of air circulation, water and light.  Contrary to what their name suggests, air plants cannot just survive on air alone. Dampness is the enemy of air plants.

How to water air plants?

How to care for air plants
Watering Air Plants

Air plants should be watered continually or they will die. You can rinse them under running water or you can soak them in water for 20-30 minutes. Shake gently and remove excess water from them and set them in a spot with good air circulation to dry them off. For watering plants in between you can mist them with a spray bottle. If the plant is in bloom, rinsing it rather than soaking will be better because of the flowers.

Once a week is a must, 2 or 3 times is optimal. Every 2-3 weeks, they should be soaked or rinsed. You can tell by the texture of the plant’s leaves if they need watering. If they are soft and light in color, it means the plant needs watering. Also, wrinkled leaves means that the plant is in need of water.  If the air in your home is dry, you should take care to water an air plant frequently. If humid, the plants can go longer without water. 

How much sunlight do air plants need?

Indirect sunlight is best to care for air plants. You can leave them on the porch or balcony, but make sure they are not exposed to direct sunlight. They come from tropical climates, where they can live outside the entire year.  Warm climates (50-90F) are best for air plants. Frosty weather is a strict no-no for air plants.

How to groom air plants?

You can gently pull off the lower leaves that dry up as your plant grows and you can snip the dry tips off the leaves and roots to groom your plant and keep them fresh looking. They will regrow with time, so don’t worry about doing a little maintenance.

When do air plants bloom?

Different species of air plants bloom at different times, usually between mid-winter and mid-summer. Tillandsias bloom and produce flowers only once during their lifetime. The bloom also depends on their care and environment. They look really pretty with their bright colors when they bloom.

Baby air plants

How to care for air plants

Just before or during blooming, your air plant will reproduce and send out two to eight baby air plants, which can be separated from the mother plant when they are about one third of its size. You can also cut the plants apart as far down the baby air plant’s stem as possible with a clean pair of scissors. Each baby air plant, also known as a pup, will grow into a parent plant, bloom and reproduce.

Final Thoughts

Air plants need enough air circulation. Its a good idea to mount them instead of keeping them in enclosed containers where they may become damp and die. Air plants are so easy to take care of, add so much more life to your living space and are available for the best prices. You can’t go wrong with airplants, you’ll have to really mess up to let an air plant die, as they are super easy to maintain. Houseplant sales in the U.S. have increased almost 50 percent to $1.7 billion, according to the National Gardening Association.



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