Air Plants are also known as Tillandsia. They are some of the easiest plants to grow.
Yes they are called "air plants" however, they still need water, nutrients, and light to survive.
Air Plants typically grow on another tree, host, or object.
Don't worry, they do not steal nutrients from their host, only using it as a home to grow on. Air plants have tiny vessels located throughout their leaves called trichomes. They use these to capture nutrients and moisture from the air.
Air Plants should not be planted in soil. This really allows them
to survive and thrive in a wide variety of settings, spaces and containers. Such flexibility of growth allows these plants to be used in a variety of scenarios and make excellent decorations
for homes and offices.
Air Plants are very easy to grow, however they still do need attention to survive and live a healthy life. Your air plant can live for several years
if properly taken care of. They will even provide "pups" for additional years of enjoyment.
See below and learn how to care for your Tillandsia properly.
The first thing to consider when determining air plant care is your environment. This is a general list of air plant care tips. It is crucial that you consider your own personal environment when deciding things like watering method and frequency. For example, if you live in a drier climate, you might need to water more frequently or mist daily in between soaks. If your air plants are in a place where they receive a lot of humidity from the air, you may decide to water less.
AIR PLANT SPECIES
Air plants are all unique in shape, size, growth patterns, and care preferences. While some care tips will apply to the majority of Tillandsia, it's important to consider the air plant itself. In general, silver-leaved plants and those with more trichomes will do better with more light and a bit less water,. The darker green plants will want more water and might be more susceptible to sun damage.
One of the most important things any living creature needs is light, and air plants are no exception. You will want to make sure that they are near an adequate light source. This can be within 3-5 feet of a window, or near an artificial light source. Make sure your air plants do not get too much direct sun, as this can be harmful, even inside. If you are keeping your plants outside, make sure they are in a shaded area that does not receive full sun. Keep in mind there are only a few varieties that can handle direct sun. You will be interested to learn that air plants love being placed in a bathroom or kitchen window (indirect light). The steam and moisture will keep them happy!
One of the most important variables to your air plant is...AIR! These plants will need good clean air circulation to survive and live a healthy life.
While Air Plants will do well in containers, it is recommended that they do not be displayed in enclosed containers, and that they are completely dry before they are put back into a container that might restrict air circulation. Plants located too close to A/C vents may dry out sooner and require more frequent watering and misting. After each watering,your plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry within 4 hours or less. Again, do not keep plants constantly wet or moist. Do not allow them to dry too quickly either, 1-3 hours is optimum. Air circulation is important. If the air is hot, a breeze acts to cool the plant and keep it from becoming overheated.
If you are planning on keeping your air plants in a terrarium or globe, you will need to remove the plant for normal watering, and make sure to leave the plant out until is has had enough time to completely dry. Usually 4 hours will do. When the tillandsia is in the terrarium or globe, you can give it periodic mistings to create some humidity. The smaller and more compact the globe, the less mistings you will want to give your plants. If the terrarium is larger and has better air circulation, you can give it a few sprays from a water mister a few times a week. Just make sure to take care in ensuring the plant does not get over misted, and that it dries within a few hours while in the terrarium.
Air Plants are found in a wide variety of temperatures, but mainly range from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit. If you live in an area with freezing conditions, make sure your air plants are safe indoors!
Bromeliad fertilizer can be used once a month in small quantities. Feel free to use an orchid or other indoor plant fertilizer that has low copper contents. Don't over do it as air plants are sensitive to fertilizers. Always be sure to follow the directions on the fertilizer of your choice.
Over time your air plants will grow new leaves, and loose some. Feel free to trim any brown or dead leaves off your plant with scissors, trimming at an angle to give the end of the leaf a natural appearance. Most air plant varieties will be shipped with roots intact. These can removed if you would like. Did you know roots are solely used to anchor the plant to its host? You can keep them on the plant and they may be used to anchor your plant to a display if needed.
ATTACHING AND MOUNTING
Air plants can be grown anywhere! On rocks, in a seashell, in ceramic or pottery, attached to wood! Ensure it is not pressure treated wood.
This is full of copper, and copper will kill your plant. When deciding how to attach or mount your plant, don't forget that you have to be able to water it and it has to be placed somewhere that it will get sufficient light. Try not to put Tillandsias in containers that hold water, they need to dry out. If you do place your plant in something that holds water, empty out the excess after watering your plant. The same rule apples when mounting your plant. Try not to surround your plant with moss as it will hold too much water and will rot your plant.
As your air plant begins to mature and run through its bloom cycle, it will produce babies also known as "pups". You can remove the pup once it reaches around 1/3 of the size of the mother plant, or you can leave the pups on and they will eventually form a "clump". An air plant "clump" can be hung be a string and is sure to impress as it grows and continually blooms!
Indoor air plants will be healthiest when watered at least once a week. Please note: air plants that are being constantly dried out from air conditioning or heaters will require more moisture than a plant that is located in a more humid environment. Again, remember the washroom is
a great place for your air plant and keep in mind you can mist your plants as needed in between watering. Misting , however should not be used as a sole source of moisture in
most cases. Place the base of the plant in water for 2 minutes once a week.
The water you use is also very important. Never use distilled water! Softened Water is a not a good idea either because of the salt content. Filtered water, tap water - provided it has sat long enough for the chlorine to dissipate - and bottled water are all good ideas. Always make sure you gently shake any excess water off the base of the plants. Sitting water can cause rot and damage and may even kill your plant. We recommend that you water the plants in the morning, and leave them out of their containers in an area so that they can dry within 4 hours. Never let your air plant sit in water for a prolonged period of time. The dunking method is also a good option for your plant. You simply dunk the plants several times in the water, and gently shake off any excess.