If you’re not sure where to start with taking care of your new air plant, we've got everything you need to know!
So, you just adopted your first air plant, congrats! These tiny plants, also known as tillandsia, come in many shapes and sizes and are loved for their versatility and low-upkeep. In other words, if you’re one to kill your houseplants, this is the plant for you!
But like any plant, they require a little love to keep them happy.
Let there be light
Keep your air plants in an open space where they’ll get plenty of air circulation. Bonus points if it’s in an area that receives light during the day. They don’t need much, just enough to absorb the yummy nutrients from the sun. If you don’t have a lot of natural light in your space, alternatively, you can keep them in an area with artificial light, like under a desk lamp.
Give them a drink
It may sound silly, but air plants love a good bath, it’s how they absorb water. Unlike other plants, the roots of air plants aren’t for drinking but are used as anchors instead. To hydrate your plants, soak them in room temperature water for 30-60 minutes once a week—just enough time for you to soak in a hot bath and sip a bevy of your own. To avoid mold, allow the plants to dry completely or gently pat them dry with paper towel before placing them back in their home.
Adjusting their watering cycle depending on your climate is essential. If it’s hot and dry, give your plants an extra spritz of water during the week. If you live somewhere humid, cut their bath time down to 15-20 minutes a week instead.
Look for signs of a thirsty plant
When air plants are thirsty, the tips of their leaves curl inward. A healthy air plant’s leaves will stand tall and firm. If the tips of the leaves start to dry out, it’s a sign they’re not getting enough water. Give them a good soak and monitor their dryness over the next few days. If the drought persists, consider moving them to a different location as they may be getting too much sunlight. Lightly trim any dead ends with a pair of scissors and give them a bit more water until they’re back to their usual selves.
Dress them up
Air plants look great on their own, but they can be displayed more creatively than traditional plants since they don’t need soil. Your plants should never be kept in a container that has no holes or breathing space. Just like you, oxygen is essential to their survival. As long as there’s an opening for air to reach the plant’s leaves, you can display them in glass terrariums, tiny vases, seashells, thimbles and more!
Take them outside
If you’re looking to dress up your patio, don’t be afraid to take your air plants outside! The unfiltered air and sunlight are what they crave most. These types of plants do best in screened-in spaces that don’t receive direct sunlight, but love a good cool summer breeze. Just make sure to bring them inside if it’s going to frost.
With these helpful tips and tricks, your air plants will surely thrive and may even turn your plant-killer tendencies into a glorious green thumb.