How To Take Care of Air Plants

Posted on May 12, 2015 by Josh Stein

Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are a kind of epiphytes. The plants are well known for their thick, silvery foliage and vivid flowers, but these unique plants don’t require any soil to grow, however, they still require a place to hang-out. Unlike traditional plants, air plants are not parasites, meaning they do not get their nutrients from their host. Even though they have roots, the roots are used for anchoring rather than getting nutrients. These plants get all their water and nutrient requirements from absorption through their leaves.

When grown indoors, these plants make a striking addition to your indoor décor. They have different appearances and can be used to decorate different rooms in a house. Just like any other house plant, these plants require some care to thrive. 

So how do we take care of Air Plants...

Water Needs

Water is crucial to the survival of air plants. When they receive the water in sufficient quantities, their silvery leaves are very beautiful. You need to mist them every few days, especially if they're exposed to dry indoor environments or drying winds.

These plants also require regular deep-water hydration, especially if there are signs of drying out. To give an air plant a bath, submerge the whole plant in clean, room-temperature water for about 30 minutes. Make sure the flowers are not submerged or they will die prematurely. Shake off any excess moisture, let dry and then return your plant to their home. Soak your plants once every month.

The plants are very sensitive to the chemicals in water. if you use tap water, let it sit overnight so the chemicals evaporate. Water with a PH higher than 8 or softened water which is high in salt is deadly to these plants. Bottled water works well and rain water is even more effective.


Air plants require indirect or partial sunlight to grow. When indoors, keep them no more than 10 feet from the window. A simple fluorescent light will also work well. However, be sure not let the plant stay exposed to direct sun for too long, as it might suffer from leaf burn.

Dealing with Pups

These plants produce beautiful, long-lasting flowers, before producing pups (baby air plants). The plants will grow 2-8 pups. The pups can be left on the parent plant to give a fuller appearance, or can be removed to create separate plants. If you want to remove the pups, make sure they are at least 1/2 the parent’s size. This ensures the pups are strong enough to live on their own.


Air plants rarely require pruning thanks to the natural dense, tidy growth pattern. However, they require occasional grooming to restore their beautiful appearance. Remove all dead, dry or brown leaves from your air plant. Cut back any dead or brown tips until what is left is a healthy growth. Trim any unsightly growth of, if you wish, roots from your plant. When pruning use sharp pruning shears. I like to use a small pair of surgical scissors.


Air plants in captivity need minimal supplemental nutrients to flourish. Feeding these plants differs from many others because of the epiphytic nature. Their own roots are very sensitive and can't absorb urea like the terrestrial plants. You can feed them with urea-free fertilizer with N-P-K analysis of '30-10-10'. Orchid fertilizer works well when diluted. Mix this fertilizer at ¼ the recommended strength. Dissolve the fertilizer in one gallon of water. Mist the fertilizer solution onto the plant’s leaves until they’re saturated, or just add to the monthly soaking bath. 

Potential problems

Air plants experience few problems. They don’t suffer from chronic diseases and insects and pests rarely bother them because the do not grow in soil. For a healthy air plant, the entire plant requires access to free air. Grow the plants mounted on some wood or any other organic material, or place the plants on top of stones or sand, like in our Terrarium Globes. Avoid putting your plants vessels that allow water to collect, as this will surely kill you plants.

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3 Tips About Buying Air Plants That You Need To Know

Posted on February 19, 2015 by Les Stein

With their wiry foliage and unique appearance, air plants are becoming an increasingly popular choice for homeowners. They require little in the way of upkeep, and can be kept inside the home as long as they receive plenty of moisture. However, finding air plants can be a tricky business - especially if you don't know where to look. Many retailers don't stock air plants, but you will be able to find them with a little bit of research. This article explains where to buy air plants, and how to care for them.

1. Looking Online

There are around 600 different species of air plants, so it's a good idea to take a look at the different varieties and choose the ones that you want to purchase. There are several websites that sell these plants, but you should take some time to check the reputation of the retailer before you make a purchase. Some websites will allow you to search for the exact species of air plant that you are looking for. Alternatively, you can browse through their online store, and visit individual product pages with photos and plant specifications. You will also be able to filter search results based on price, availability, and size. Websites like ETSY have many vendors who specialize in this type of plant. Always check the returns policy and any warranty information before you make a purchase in case there's a problem in the future. You will want to be able to contact the seller quickly if you have any problems, or your plants arrive damaged in transit.

2. Farmers Markets and Craft Fairs

Farmers markets and craft fairs are a great place to purchase air plants. Here you will be able to examine the plants first-hand, and decide on the best product for you. There might be a vendor who specializes in this type of plant, and you will be able to ask for more information about the best products to buy, and how to take care of the item once you've taken it home. However, finding these plants at a farmers market or craft fair can still be somewhat of a challenge - especially if you live in a part of the country that experiences cooler weather. Search online for local farmer markets and craft fairs in your town or city, and phone ahead to see if any vendors will be specializing in air plants.

3. Purchasing Air Plants

Once you have purchased air plants, you will need to ensure that you have all the information you need when it comes to caring for the plant. Directions for upkeep might be included with the product; alternatively, ask the vendor for more information, or refer to their website. If your part of the country is currently experiencing cold weather, you will also need to purchase a winter heat pack which will protect the plant during shipping. Although air plants require little in the way of supplements or nutrients to survive, you may want to apply an urea-free fertilizer on a regular basis. You will be able to purchase this at a local gardening store.

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