How to Care for Air Plants

Being that this blog’s name has the word garden in it, I thought it was only fitting to create a post that had to do with plants. Although this isn’t a gardening blog, it is a blog about my favorite things and air plants are definitely on that list. Air plants (also officially known as Tillandsia) are one of those plants that are pretty hard to kill and easy to take care of so they make a great plant for people with a black thumb. Many people shy away from them because they don’t know what to do with them or how to care for them. If you just got an air plant, either bought or gifted, here are some tips for taking care of an air plant.

How to Care for Air Plants

Don’t glue them down to anything if you live in a dry climate– Air plants are a tropical plant and this means they will need a specific watering cycle. Many people buy their air plants carelessly glued to driftwood or rocks and leave them there. Your air plant needs to be watered well if you live in a dry area so gluing them down is not ideal. You can set them in cool looking terrariums, though!

Provide bright or filtered light– Air plants prefer bright or at least filtered light. This means they will almost always do well outdoors, too, especially if they are watered regularly. They can also withstand almost freezing temperatures in most cases. Tillandsia also thrives just fine indoors if placed near a good light source.

Different watering may be needed depending on where you live– As mentioned above, you may need to water more often if you live in a dry area. Air plants survive by soaking in the moisture from the air in the tropical area they live in. You can recreate this in a more humid area by simply using a spray bottle to give them a good misting once or twice a week. If you live in a dry area like I do in the high desert, you may need to actually soak them. I take mine and place them in a vase filled with water. I allow them to become completely submerged for 4-6 hours and then I take them out and dry completely upside down before placing them back in their container I keep them in. Whatever you do, make sure to watch for signs of dehydration which is usually shown by the ends of the plant curling up. You can fix this by simply watering an extra time per week.

Make sure to allow them to dry completely between waterings– While they need enough water, you don’t want to allow them to sit and rot either. This is why I dry mine upside down. If you are misting yours, you could move them from their container and allow them to dry between watering as well.

I hope these tips helped you with air plant care! You will be rewarded with a wonderful bloom if you are lucky, in the winter.


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