How Often To Fertilize Air Plants

If you know how to fertilize air plants correctly, your indoor air plants will grow.

Air plant fertilizer is a fantastic approach to add back the crucial trace elements your air plants require to grow because most municipal tap and purified water lacks the vital nutrients that are found in natural rainwater.

There are numerous air plant fertilizer solutions with a somewhat varied combination of nutrients on the market. Always begin by following the directions on the packaging of your plant food.

Most nutrients for air plants are available as powders. This type of air plant food must first be dissolved in a tiny amount of water because it is highly concentrated. A little pinch is usually plenty for 1 gallon of water. The directions for your particular plant food should be listed on the packaging. When in doubt, use less fertilizer to keep your air plants from burning.

The majority of air plants don’t really care what kind of water you use. Whenever possible, use filtered water without minerals or rainwater. If you want to fertilize the air plants, your plant food should have a well-balanced mixture of trace minerals.

If you’re using tap water to water your plants, let it sit in a container overnight to let the chlorine in the water break down before using it. Allowing your water to breathe also enables the air’s carbon dioxide to interact with the liquid. As carbonic acid forms in the water as a result, the acidity of the water rises.

The finest water to use to nourish air plants is slightly acidic water. The fertilizer absorbs nutrients most effectively when it is dissolved in water with a PH of 5.5 to 6.0.

The time of year and whether your air plant is blooming will determine how frequently you should fertilize it. When your air plants aren’t blooming, between March and November, fertilize them once or twice a month. To extend the life of your air plants’ blossoms, avoid fertilizing them between the time they start to budding and the time they finish flowering.

If you choose, you can use a very tiny amount of air plant food every time you water your plants, but if you fertilize quite regularly, you must reduce the amount to no more than 1/4 of the suggested dosage.

If you want to water your air plants by soaking them, follow the directions on the fertilizer’s container to dissolve it immediately in the soaking water. Use the same day to fertilize all of your air plants with this fertilized soaking water.

After 24 hours, you shouldn’t use the same soaking water with fertilizer because the salinity may have grown as some of the water evaporated. If you use this extremely salted water again, your air plants can catch fire.

Select a liquid fertilizer that has already been diluted and is prepared to be applied to your air plants, or diluted your powdered air plant food in a spray bottle before sprinkling your air plant. Use this fertilized water to sprinkle your air plant liberally until extra moisture drips from the leaves. After watering as usual, allow to dry in 4 hours.

Some bromeliad and orchid fertilizer formulations can be used with air plants with reasonable success. If the fertilizers are primarily composed of water-soluble nitrogen and don’t contain any copper or zinc, you may use them.

Remember that your air plants might find these fertilizers to be too potent. When fertilizing air plants, using too potent a fertilizer might cause the leaves to burn. If you choose to experiment with various fertilizers created for other plants, make sure you diluted it with a lot more water.

You can easily make a homemade fertilizer using the following method:

  • Grab a handful of vibrantly colored, fresh, damp moss. You can purchase moss online or from a tree, logs, yard, or sidewalk. Or learn how to grow your own moss by watching this YouTube video.
  • Make sure it is connected to a few live strands.
  • Reduce it to a texture that mimics granular fertilizer by finely chopping it.
  • 80 percent of the moss and 20 percent of blood meal should be combined before being placed in a zip-top plastic bag. Give the mixture a vigorous shake before applying if any dried blood settles at the base.
  • It is advisable to utilize the fertilizer as soon as possible.
  • Before submerging your plants, mix some of this homemade fertilizer into the water.

Is fertilizer truly necessary for air plants?

We frequently receive inquiries about when, how much, and what sort of fertilizer to use when fertilizing air plants. Fertilizer aids in the development, bloom cycle, and offset (pup) production of your air plants, however it is not vital for their survival.

We prefer to use a low-nitrogen fertilizer for bromeliads. Low-nitrogen fertilizers are ideal for air plants since they promote blooming and reduce Tillandsia output. Utilizing a nitrogen fertilizer that is not urea-based is also crucial since it will deliver nitrogen that Tillandsia can utilise. Since Tillandsia are not grown in soil, they are unable to utilize urea-based nitrogen, which relies on soil bacteria to transform the nitrogen into a form that plants can use.

Can fertilizer be applied to air plants?

It is not a difficult nor a necessary task to fertilize air plants. Even though fertilizer should be used regularly or quarterly to assist air plants grow, skipping this step is not fatal, especially if you water your plants with rainwater, aquarium water, or pond water.

Use a bromeliad fertilizer or an air plant-specific fertilizer a few times a year to feed your air plants. A standard, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer can also be used, but only at 1/4 the suggested strength.

The plants are fed and watered at the same time when the fertilizer is diluted and added to irrigation water. Do this whether you spritz the plants or immerse them in water to water them.

How Much Light Does an Air Plant Need?

Air plants require strong, indirect light to grow. Good possibilities are rooms with windows that face the south or east because the sun will shine brightly in these areas for the majority of the day. As long as the plant is put close to the window and the window is not covered by trees or an adjacent apartment building, rooms with North-facing windows also perform effectively. Western light typically arrives later in the day and has a tendency to be quite warm and powerful. Take care not to burn your air plant!

The air plant will generally withstand more light as the humidity level in your area increases. This means that you should plan to spritz your air plant more frequently, such as twice a week or even every day, if you’re placing it where it will get a lot of light. An air plant will thrive in a bright bathroom or bustling kitchen since the humidity from your shower or boiling water will take care of the majority of plant misting for you.

Air Plants and Artificial Light

A lot of customers ask us if they can put their air plant in a basement or office where there won’t be any windows for natural light. The answer is yes, but there are a few particular guidelines to follow to guarantee the success of your plant.

Fluorescent light must be full-spectrum. These plants can’t photosynthesize in the kind of light that regular incandescent bulbs produce. Place your Tillandsia no more than three feet from the source of light. Additionally, if you plan to use fluorescent lighting, the plants will require at least 12 hours every day.

We advise purchasing a dedicated bulb for your plant (such as a Gro-Lux, Repta-Sun, or Vita-Lite) and setting it on a 12-hour timer if you live in a basement or wish to keep an air plant in your office to ensure that it receives the proper amount of light to survive.

Sand, rocks, and dried wood arranged in a shallow dish make a wonderful air plant display.

Can air plants be grown with Miracle Grow?

Tillandsia, also known as air plants, are botanical oddities that can be found in jungles, rain forests, or deserts, from sea level to high mountain regions. They are also becoming more and more popular in offices and homes due to their low maintenance requirements and intriguing shapes. Although these plants require little maintenance, that does not equate to no care at all. Tillandsia will flourish for you if you give them the light, water, and airflow they require!

The largest genus in the bromeliad family, which also includes pineapples, is called Tillandsia. and they’re all indigenous to the new globe. Air plants are valued for their overall structure, but they also regularly change color throughout the year in response to biological cues and bloom. Air plants are unique in that they rely solely on food and water that can be absorbed via their leaves; tillandsia roots are only employed to attach themselves in place. This is in addition to the astounding variety of forms and colors that they come in. This qualifies them as epiphytes and makes them amenable to inventive mounting for breathtaking display.

While air plants can thrive in a variety of environments, they do require proper lighting. You should place your tillandsia in bright, indirect sunshine or under artificial lights (like from fluorescent bulbs). They can withstand a few hours in direct sun, but this is highly drying, so if they do, make sure to give them extra water. Although air plants may tolerate brief periods of darkness, such as when they are being transported or if they are momentarily placed in a dark corner, they do require excellent lighting to flourish to their full potential. Tillandsia can grow both inside and outside.

Tillandsia are frequently referred to as “air plants” since they can survive fully in their natural environments on the nutrients and moisture found in the air. Tillandsia are frequently discovered in trees, tucked away in a branch fork where moisture and mist gather to produce wet pockets. To capture as much moisture from the air as possible, each leaf has a texture. The plant’s many leaves subsequently direct water droplets to the plant’s base for usage. You will need to supply the water your air plants require unless you reside in a warm, humid rain jungle.

Plan to water your tillandsia using a combination of techniques. Tap water and well water are typically acceptable for air plants, while rainwater is preferred. Never use softened or distilled water. If you plan to water your plants using tap water, let the water sit in a basin on the counter for a few hours first. In this manner, the chlorine can evaportate before the air plants are added. Your air plants should be submerged in the water, and you should give them an hour to soak. After a bath, gently shake out the excess water from the plants, then hang them upside down to dry in a well-ventilated area, letting any retained moisture drip out and evaporate. Observe the plants four hours later. Return them to their display after they are completely dry. The plants must not stay damp for too long or they may decay.

In most places, weekly soakings will keep your tillandsia content. A couple of times per week, spritz your air plants to supplement (not to replace) the soaking. Mist more frequently and think about taking an extra bath once a week if you live in a particularly dry area or are experiencing extreme heat. Before taking a long, hot shower, you might also try bringing your air plants into the bathroom; they will enjoy the steamy humidity.

Pay close attention to how your air plants feel and appear both before and after their soaking. You’ll notice a change in how well-hydrated your plants are. The color is clearer, and the leaves are more flexible and open. Despite being able to survive on much less water, air plants benefit greatly from proper watering in terms of growth, reproduction, and flowering. In essence, they will prosper.

In order to protect the delicate blossom, air plants in bloom should be cleaned under flowing water as opposed to submerged. As the air plants blossom, increase misting.

The ideal temperature range for your air plants is between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

Although it is not technically necessary, fertilizing your air plants does result in improved blooming, growing, and health. Additionally, well-fed air plants are more able to adapt to difficult circumstances, such as a two-week vacation without watering, a heat wave, etc. Once a month, apply a fertilizer made especially for bromeliads or air plants, or dilute Miracle-Grow or other water-soluble plant foods to 1/4 strength. Once a month, fill a spray bottle with the food water, add the fertilizer water, and thoroughly spritz.

A staggering variety of sizes and forms are produced when air plants grow. They are quite adaptable in terms of how they can be presented due to their low maintenance requirements and capacity to grow without being planted in soil. The only thing stopping you is your imagination! Air plants can be placed on driftwood, vine wreaths, coral, shells, stones, wood plaques, crystals, or fitted inside terrariums, glass globes, or miniature vases. I like to mount my air plants with florist wire so they are simple to take out for their water bath. However, if you want to glue your tillandsia in place, use something non-toxic and non-water soluble like E-6000 or Goop. Use a lower setting on your hot glue gun if you don’t want to burn the leaves.

Copper wire and pipes, particularly those that are frequently exposed to dampness, can be hazardous to air plants. Before utilizing it with your air plants, be sure to completely cover it with a clear coating like Flex Clear if you simply adore the way copper looks, as I do.

Tillandsia air plants are an easy and fun way to enjoy plants in a variety of settings, bringing live decor into your home or office, whether you are an experienced gardener or are completely new to the idea. Are you planning to explore with air plants? I’m curious to know! Please take a moment to share which tillandsia is your favorite in the comments section!