Air Plant Care - A Step-by-Step Guide

The Tillandsia, more commonly referred to as Air Plants, are unique to the Bromeliad family. They are colorful, easy to care for, exotic and affordable. Due to the many positive attributes of Air Plants, they are becoming more and more popular, making them perfect for urban setting, including apartments, homes, offices, restaurants and store displays.

Another very interesting feature about Air Plants in an urban environment is that is that they actually clean the air and act as a natural filter. In fact, a few years ago, there was a study that showed that the Tillandsias can clean the air and remove more airborne particles than any other plant on earth.

Tillandsia is the largest genus in the Bromeliad family, accounting for approximately 550 of the over 2,500 species of Bromeliads. Their native habitat is the southern United States, Mexico, and Central and South America.

Because Tillandsia are epiphytes, meaning they grow as a host, they require absolutely no soil to survive. The roots, or fingers act only as anchors to attach themselves to their host. Air Plants are found growing on trees, rocks, fences, power lines and numerous other objects. They are able to absorb all the water and nutrients they need to survive directly through their leaves.

Once you buy air plants they will reproduce by generating a new growth at their base called "Pups". A single plant is capable of growing many Pups during its life cycle. If you decide to keep the Pups attached, you will be surprised at how beautiful your air plant clusters will grow.

Read more about air plants 


Watering & Hydration

Many peopleSmall Mister for watering air plants do not water often enough. Most air plants do well with a good misting every few days, plus a good soak at least twice a month. Mist your plants with 2-3 sprays for small globes, more if in a larger open container. If the humidity is very low in your home, misting more often may be necessary for healthy, thriving plants.

Follow this link to learn more about how to water Air Plants

The water you use is very important. Bottled water works well, as does tap water that has sat overnight so the chemicals have time to evaporate. Never use distilled water – it will kill your air plants.

When you remove your plants from the soaking container, shake off any excess water and let the plants air dry before returning them to their home. Be careful to not soak the delicate flowers, as they will dissolve.


Diffused Sun Light

Too little light is also a common mistake. Inside, Air plants need to be near a window to receive adequate, filtered or diffused light – avoid direct sun. especially if your plants are in a globe. The globe will heat up inside and burn your plants.

Air plants will also survive in offices that have an adequate fluorescent or incandescent light source. If you think your air plants are not getting enough light, just move them around every few days.

If you move your air plants outdoors, be sure to keep them in a shaded area with good ventilation. Air plants are very hardy and will tolerate temperatures ranging from 45º to 100º Fahrenheit. If you live up north and frost is approaching, it’s time to move your plants indoors.



Most plants will benefit from feeding if done properly. CAUTION – too much fertilizer can burn air plants. If you wish to feed your plants, use a Bromeliad (17-8-22) or all-purpose liquid fertilizer with a low copper content – copper will kill your air plants. Dilute to about ¼ strength and apply once a month by misting or soaking. This will help keep your air plants both healthy and reproductive.


With proper care and a healthy, friendly environment, your air plants will live and reproduce for many years. Need more information, please read our Blog or shoot me an email –


Happy Air Planting!

Your friends at Plantstr