Wiki

How to care for air plants and help them thrive

If you love indoor gardens, you need to know how to care for air plants. Air plants can add a wonderful scent to your home, with thin, curly leaves and bare roots; that’s right, air plants don’t need soil to survive. In fact, they stick to other objects and absorb nutrients from the atmosphere. This means you can plant them almost anywhere, whether hanging from rocks, trees, or in the air (as long as there’s something to grab onto).

Also, air plants are relatively easy to grow, and some can last for years. Some breeds also spread regularly, so you can grow fresh plants from your puppy. However, an air plant blooms only once in its life, when it looks spectacular—and for that reason alone, these exotic plants are worth growing. If you’re not sure how to care for air plants, we’ve put together this handy guide to help. We’ll cover tips and tricks, and how to encourage your air plants to bloom.

If you’re looking for more tips on how to grow an indoor garden, check out our guide: How do you care for succulents? And how to transplant succulents.

How do you care for air plants?

Air plants in terrariums hanging in the air

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

1. Consider what kind of air unit you have: Not all air plants are created equal. In fact, there are hundreds of air plants, also known as Tillandsias, each with an ideal environment to promote growth.

The following tips will work for most people, but it’s worth considering what breeds you need to really narrow down your grooming skills. For example, T. ionantha v. scaposa, with light green leaves, grows upright and prefers cooler weather, as does T. magnusiana, which has silvery leaves. While T. streptophylla, also known as Shirley Temple, grows best in dry conditions, avoid fogging.

If you haven’t chosen your air unit, you can also do some research beforehand to find the best unit for your home. Some flowers live much longer than others, while others have more offspring; it’s your choice.

Thermostat being adjusted

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

2. Get the right temperature: Air plants thrive in a variety of conditions, but temperatures should be kept between 50-90°F. This means they are best kept indoors, but in some tropical climates they are also suitable for growing outdoors.

While it’s important to keep air plants warm, don’t place them too close to heat sources, such as fireplaces or radiators. This could overfire them and kill them.

Air plants lined up on the windowsill under the lights

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

3. Provide enough light: While air plants don’t need soil, they still need light. They should have regular sunlight exposure, but no direct sunlight; otherwise the plants may dry out. For this reason, a windowsill is not always the best place. For an ideal setting, place your air plants a few feet away from a south or east-facing window. This way, it should be light for most of the day.

Air plants can also thrive in artificial (fluorescent) light, but should receive about 12 hours a day. They should also be no more than a few feet away from the light source.

Air plants soaked in water.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

4. Water regularly, but not too much. Knowing how much water to give air plants is always tricky. The ideal amount and method depends on the species you have and the environment in which you are rearing. For example, air plants kept at 90°F require more frequent watering than air plants kept at 50°F.

We recommend soaking air plants in a bowl of warm water for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 weeks, preferably in the morning. Remember it’s there, because if they’re in water, they’ll rot very quickly. Remove your air plant, turn it upside down on a towel, and let it sit until completely dry; this usually takes 1 to 2 hours. After drying, they can be shipped back to your home. You can also mist your air plants weekly to retain moisture, but don’t saturate it to the point where the water runs off the leaves.

If your air rig can’t be removed because it’s stuck in place, you can rest assured that you’re just fogging, but you need to persevere. Spray every two weeks and try to keep the area moist rather than spraying the plants directly.

A wet hand holding an air plant

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

5. Keep it moist – Most air plants love humidity, which is why they thrive in bathrooms.Therefore, use one of best humidifier Regular spraying can help with their growth, but keep in mind that the wetter it is, the less water they will need.

While humidity helps, there should also be good air circulation. Otherwise, air plants will have difficulty drying out if there is still residual moisture. This should be taken into account when spraying air plants kept in terrariums. The smaller the space, the fewer times you need to spray.

Tillandsia Streptophylla on sticks and hanging

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

6. Feed it with fertilizer. Fertilizer can help your air plants thrive. Just follow the recommended dosage and frequency instructions. This will encourage it to bloom and then develop puppies.

We recommend Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food ($4.48, Amazon

Options for Air Plants with Root Removal

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

7. Trim dead leaves. Trimming dead leaves will not harm air plants and will keep them in good condition. Try cutting sheets diagonally so they blend in with the rest of the sheets.

You can also trim the roots if you want. They are only used to attach air plants to the host, cutting them will not harm the host.

Air plants for puppies to grow.

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

8. Taking care of the puppy: If you are lucky enough to have pups from your air plants, you can separate them and grow them independently. These pups look like baby versions of your air plants, and you have to wait until they’re about ⅓ the size of their mother to remove them. Once the puppies reach this size, you can carefully trim them with scissors.

Alternatively, you can let the puppies grow up while they are attached. They will grow, bloom and eventually form a “shrub” that looks spectacular on its own.

This is how you can make your air plants bloom

flowering air plants

(Image credit: Shutterstock)

By following the steps above and taking good care of your air plant, you’ll give it the best chance of blooming. The process isn’t a race: some varieties can take years to bloom, so be patient, but it’s worth the wait.

The pups usually develop after flowering, and once they are ready to be removed, you can grow the next generation. After your air plant blooms, it has reached the peak of its life cycle and will eventually die.


For more planting tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our guide to hydrangea pruning, orchid care, and 5 things to get your garden ready for spring.


Content

How to care for air plants and help them thrive

If you love an indoor garden, you need to know how to care for air plants. Air plants can make for a beautiful addition to your home, with their thin, curled leaves and exposed roots — that’s right, air plants do not need soil to survive. They actually cling to other objects and absorb nutrients from the atmosphere. That means you can grow them pretty much anywhere, be it on rocks, trees or suspended in the air (so long as there’s something to hang on to).
On top of that, air plants are relatively easy to grow, with some lasting for several years. Some species will also propagate regularly, so you can grow fresh plants from the pups. An air plant will only bloom once in its lifetime though, when it takes on a spectacular appearance — these curious plants are worth raising for this reason alone. If you’re not sure how to care for air plants, we’ve pulled together this useful guide to help you. We will cover tips and tricks as well as how to encourage your air plant to bloom. 
If you’re looking for more advice on how to raise your indoor garden, check out our guides on how to care for succulents and how to repot succulents.     
How to care for air plants 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
1. Consider what species of air plant you have — Not all air plants are the same. There are actually hundreds of types of air plants, also known as tillandsia, and each will have an ideal environment which will encourage its growth. 
The following tips will apply to the majority, but it’s still worth checking what species you have to really narrow down your care tips. The T. ionantha v. scaposa, for instance, which features pale green leaves and upright growth, prefers a cooler climate, as does the T. magnusiana, which comes with silver leaves. Whereas the T. streptophylla, also known as the Shirley Temple, is best set in a dryer environment so you should avoid misting. 
If you’ve yet to choose your air plant, you can also do some research in advance to find one which would best suit your home. Some blooms last much longer than others, while some have more pups — you can be as selective as you want. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
2. Get the right temperature — Air plants thrive in a variety of conditions, but the temperature should be kept at 50-90°F. This means they’re best situated indoors, but some tropical climates will make them suitable to grow outside. 
While it’s important to keep air plants warm, don’t place them too near to a heat source such as a fireplace or radiator. This could dry them out excessively and kill them.   

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
3. Make sure there’s adequate light — While air plants don’t need soil, they still need light. They should have regular access to daylight, but not direct sun — otherwise the plant could dry out. Windowsills aren’t always the best place for this reason. For the ideal environment, place your air plant a few feet back from a south or east-facing window. That way it should receive light for the majority of the day. 
Air plants can also thrive in artificial (fluorescent) light as well, but they would need to receive about 12 hours a day. They would also need to be placed no more than a few feet away from the light source.     

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
4. Water it regularly, but not too much — Knowing how much water to give an air plant is always tricky. The ideal amount and best method will depend on the species you have as well as the environment you’re keeping it in. For instance, an air plant kept at 90°F will need watering more regularly than one kept at 50°F. 
We recommend soaking your air plant in a bowl of lukewarm water for 10-15 minutes every 1-2 weeks, ideally in the morning. Don’t forget it’s there, as they can quickly rot when sitting in water. Take your air plant out, place it upside down on a towel and leave it until it’s completely dry — this usually takes 1-2 hours. Once dry they can be returned to their home. You can also mist your air plant on a weekly basis to keep it hydrated — but don’t saturate it to the point where water is running off the leaves.
If your air plant can’t be removed because it’s been glued in place, you can rely on misting alone, but you will have to be persistent. Mist on a bi-weekly basis, and try to keep its environment humid rather than directly spraying the plant. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
5. Keep it humid — Most air plants love humidity, which is why they’ve been known to thrive in bathrooms. Because of this, using one of the best humidifiers can help with their growth, as can regular misting, but bear in mind that the more humid it is, the less watering they will need. 
While humidity helps, there should also be good air circulation. Otherwise the air plant will struggle to dry if there’s any residual moisture. This should be considered if you mist an air plant which is kept in a terrarium. The smaller the space, the less often you should spritz. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
6. Feed it fertilizer — Fertilizer can help your air plant thrive. Just follow the instructions for recommended dose and frequency. This will encourage it to blossom and later develop pups. 
We recommend Miracle-Gro Indoor Plant Food ($4.48, Amazon) 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
7. Trim away any dead leaves — Trimming away any dead leaves won’t harm your air plant and this will keep it looking good. Try to cut the leaves back at a diagonal angle to blend it in with the other leaves. 
You can also trim the roots off should you choose. They are only used to grip the air plant to a host and cutting them back won’t damage it. 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
8. Nurture any pups — If you’re lucky enough to have pups growing from your air plant, you can separate and grow them independently. These pups will look like baby versions of your air plant, and you need to wait until they’re about ⅓ the size of the mother to remove. You can use a pair of scissors to carefully cut away the pups once they reach this size. 
Alternatively, you can leave the pups to continue to grow while attached. They will grow, flower and eventually form a ‘clump’ which can look spectacular in its own right. 
How to get your air plant to bloom 

(Image credit: Shutterstock)
If you follow the above steps and properly care for your air plant, you will be giving it the best chance to bloom. This process is not a race — some species can take years to flower so you need to be patient, but it’s certainly worth the wait. 
The pups will generally develop after the flowering, and once they’re ready to be removed you can grow the next generation. After your air plant has bloomed, it will have reached the peak of its life cycle and will eventually die.
For more planting tips, tricks, and how-tos, check out our guides on how to prune hydrangeas, how to care for an orchid, and 5 things to get your garden ready for spring. 

#care #air #plants #thrive

Trả lời

Email của bạn sẽ không được hiển thị công khai. Các trường bắt buộc được đánh dấu *

Back to top button