How To Care For Air Plants Outside

Air plants take in water through their leaves and cling to rocks and trees using their root systems. They are easy to mount and don’t need much maintenance.


  • It is advised to use bright light or filtered sun. Place beneath a broad-spectrum fluorescent light if this is not an option.
  • If you spritz (spray as described above) your plant once or twice a week, it should remain healthy.


  • Outside, air plants thrive quite well. Place your plant behind a backyard tree, under a screened porch, or on a patio to give it the filtered light it need.
  • Plants should be misted once every week because they thrive in humid outdoor surroundings.
  • A dryer climate might require more frequent spraying.
  • The onset of curling or rolling leaves may be a sign of dehydration.
  • To fix this, immerse your plant in water for 15 minutes, shake off the excess water from the core of the plant, and then continue misting it as usual.
  • About once a month, fertilize. With the help of their foliage, air plants can absorb and store nutrients, albeit they can be vulnerable to overfertilization.
  • Utilize a high-quality, low-copper liquid or water-soluble fertilizer. Air plants are poisonous when copper concentrations are high.
  • Per gallon of water, 1/4 teaspoon of fertilizer is advised. Although it is not strictly necessary for survival, fertilizing will boost your plants’ growth and vigor as well as their blossoms.
  • If you want to avoid burning your plant, make sure you follow the above instructions regarding fertilizer.
  • Air plants can withstand a wide range of temperatures with ease. The range of sixty to ninety degrees is ideal for air plant growth. They can survive in temperatures well into the nineties, though they prefer temperatures in the seventies with more water, air movement, and shade.
  • There are several types of lovely air plants. Some of the slower growing plants might have blooms that linger for up to a year. Most flowers typically endure four to six weeks.
  • Your air plant can reproduce through seed or an offset (pup).
  • Many pups emerge from the mother plant’s base or in the spaces between its leaves. Four to eight puppies frequently occur before, during, or after flowering in some plants.
  • When young plants are between one-third and one-half the size of their mother, they can be detached from her.
  • You can mount media anyway you like. Examples include driftwood, tree limbs, cork, clay pottery, and rock and stone. Just make sure your mounting doesn’t collect water because your plant needs drainage.
  • Make sure that water doesn’t collect in the bottom if your plant is sitting in a bowl (or shell).
  • To maintain the health of your plant, spray it well with water two times per week.

Can air plants be maintained outdoors?

Conditions that are normally warm are ideal for air plants (a good range is 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit). They may spend the entire year outside in places with little or little frost. Similar to most indoor plants, you can bring them outside during the warmer months and place them on a patio or balcony. However, avoid exposing them to extremes of heat or light.

Every now and again, everyone needs a little grooming! As your tillandsia develops or acclimates to a new location, it is typical for some of the lower leaves to dry out. These leaves can be gently peeled straight off of the plant. The same can be done for the plant’s roots if the plant’s leaf tips have dried up. Try pruning at an angle to leave a pointed tip that looks natural. Your plants won’t suffer any damage from grooming; they will grow back.

Although it is not necessary to fertilize your plants, doing so will keep them healthy and should encourage blooming and reproduction. Every month, we advise using our Grow More Air Plants and Bromeliad Fertilizer. Over 10 gallons of fertilizer and water can be made from one little package. The diluted fertilizer mixture can be stored for later use in an old milk jug.

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.

In the summer, can I leave my air plants outside?

We still like to water our air plants at least once a week, sometimes more or less depending on how hot it is outside or how much rain we had, even though Florida, where we are located, has a lot of humidity in the air and ample rain during the rainy season. Water your plants if you see any signs of dryness or wilting. Just be careful not to water them when it’s hot and the light is the strongest. Your air plants’ leaves might really burn if you do this, and they won’t be able to absorb as much water. In order to give our air plants the best chance of soaking up as much water as possible before the sun comes out, we prefer to water them early in the morning while it is still shaded outside.

The cyclical nature of the seasons is another important consideration. Although Florida doesn’t see sharp temperature swings as most other states do, we nevertheless keep an eye on the weather and have had to bring in plants when it was too hot, too wet (looking at you, rainy season), or when it got too cold. If you notice that nighttime temperatures are dropping below 50 degrees, it would be a good time to move your air plants inside. In most places, air plants may grow outside in the summer and early fall. Because they are tropical plants, air plants dislike cooler temperatures.

Your air plants can be shown outside in terrariums, hanging baskets, bowls, tables, trees, and many other locations. There are numerous methods to use air plants as outdoor decorations, so we hope our piece has encouraged you to give it a try.

Where can air plants be kept in the optimum conditions?

All air plants are native to tropical regions where freezing temperatures never occur. It’s crucial to keep them at a reasonable temperature without a sweater, right? typically from the 1960s or earlier. Keep them away from windows that are cold in the winter and air conditioner vents.

At least a few hours of bright, indirect sun each day are necessary for air plants to thrive. The optimal placement is between one and three feet from an east or west-facing window, or around two feet from a source of artificial light. They can be exposed to hotter, more direct sun for longer periods of time if you maintain them well-hydrated. Avoid areas that are poorly lit.

How long does an air plant live?

Perennial plants are tillandsias, also referred to as air plants. According to the source, they have a lifespan of between two and five years, which indicates that they normally survive longer than two years.

The type of air plant and the growing conditions have an impact on how long they live, though. They reside in deserts, on various surfaces, and on tree branches in their natural habitat (other surfaces they can grow on).

Air plants only experience one flowering during their existence, which marks the culmination of their development and maturity.

Depending on the species, the flowers might remain in bloom for a number of months. However, the air plant will begin to die when the blossoms start to wilt and fade. Air plants develop pups or offsets before they die to carry on the same growth cycle.

Despite the mother plant dying, you can take the pups out and raise them separately. Separating the pups from the mother is referred to as “division is a method of air plant propagation.

As an alternative, you might leave those puppies grouped together ” (also known as “tillandsia balls).

Do you soak air plants with their tops up?

It is best to provide air plants with water that is rich in minerals and nutrients because they obtain many of their nutrients directly from the water. The best water is rainwater, although spring water is a close second if you don’t have a convenient way to collect rainwater. Alternatively, you might utilize well, lake, or creek water. Never use filtered or distilled water. Less minerals and nutrients are present in distilled and filtered water. Many municipal water systems include fewer minerals and nutrients and more contaminants. If you are concerned about your pH level, air plants enjoy slightly acidic water. The ideal range for alkalinity is between 5.5 and 6.0. Most frequently, tap water from the city is higher than this range, making it unsuitable for air plants. Do not worry yourself too much about PH levels. Any good, pure water would do.

After watering your air plants, thoroughly drying them off is the second most crucial step. To ensure that your air plants completely dry, put them down on a dish towel on their side or upside down. For the larger species like Xerographica, Streptophylla, and Sparkler, this is especially crucial. Within two hours of their bath, they should be completely dry to the touch. Wait until your air plants are completely dry before putting them back in terrariums and vases. If you water your plants and then put them in an enclosure right away, your plant can get rot. Your air plants will be content and healthy if you follow these straightforward watering guidelines.

Do my air plants need to be misted?

The final technique in our series on watering air plants is misting, which you can employ in between regular soaking or immersing. Read more in our earlier blog posts to learn more about the dunk method and soaking.

If you notice that your plant’s leaves are starting to seem a bit dry or if you live in a dry region with low air humidity, misting is an excellent approach to give it a little additional hydration. Misting is probably not enough water for your plant to grow, therefore you shouldn’t utilize this method as its only supply of water.

The T. tectorum, which has a lot of trichomes, is an exception to this rule and prefers misting to soaking or submerging. In a temperate area, you might only need to mist once a month with one of these guys, or once a week in a hotter environment.

In contrast to other plants with bigger leaves, plants with wispy leaves such the T. ionantha, T. andreana, or T. fuchsii v gracilis may require misting more regularly in addition to weekly watering.

  • It’s easy to spritz plants; just use a spray bottle or hose attachment set to the “mist” setting. Make sure the entire plant gets soaked before misting. As previously mentioned, if this is their sole source of water, this is not the greatest approach for watering. If you mist your plants, remember to additionally soak or dip them once a week at the very least.

A useful generalization to remember is that a healthy air plant will have leaves that are wide open, whereas a dehydrated air plant would have leaves that curl inward. Bring on the mist if you see that your plant is starting to appear a touch dry between your regular waterings!

How frequently should I water my air plant?

I frequently receive queries concerning caring for air plants that are kept in glass globes because they have become so popular. To enjoy your plant in a glass enclosure for many years, follow these few instructions. If you’re seeking for glass globes, our shop has a wide variety of unusual patterns.

  • The more attention you can provide your plant, the bigger the globe.
  • When you initially get your plant, give it a 20 to 30-minute bath. Keep an eye on the size and color to determine how content the plant is. Consider this “image” constantly.
  • Before inserting your plant into the globe, let it almost entirely dry out.
  • Every 4-5 days, mist your plant with one spray for small globes, two or three sprays for globes 3-5 inches in diameter, and more if the plant is in a wide open globe. The objective is to estimate the drying time; the longer the plant can retain moisture, the smaller the globe and less circulation. Overwatering will cause the plant to perish.
  • Do you recall how your plant seemed after soaking? If it no longer has that cheerful, healthy appearance, remove it, soak it for 30 to 60 minutes, shake, and let it almost completely dry before replacing in the globe.
  • Place your globes away from windows or other areas where they will receive direct sunlight. Keep in mind that the glass will make the heat and sunlight more intense. Some plants may even grow in low to moderate light, though indirect light is preferred.