How To Make Air Plants Grow

Since air plants don’t require soil to survive and, like succulents, store surplus water in their leaves, they require no upkeep. As a result, air plants are preferred by DIY house decorators. The following air plant care advice can help you cultivate air plants at home:

  • 1. Regularly mist. Mist the leaves of your air plants to provide water. For easy-care misting, use a spray bottle filled with tap water.
  • 2. Plant hanging planters with air plants. You can grow air plants everywhere, not only in conventional pots because they don’t need soil. Instead, think about getting your air plants hanging wire planters or pendants. The Tillandsia xerographica air plant, which typically grows on tree limbs, can flourish when kept suspended inside.
  • 3. Plant terrariums with air plants. The majority of air plants, including Tillandsia ionantha air plants, thrive in glass terrariums (also known as sky plants). Just add some driftwood or other organic material to the terrarium so the air plants have something to anchor to. The fact that air plants may grow on top of healthy plants without causing any harm should be noted. They are not parasitic.
  • 4. Ensure adequate airflow. Make sure your air plants have airflow, but don’t put them next to vents for the HVAC system.
  • 5. Make sure your air plants receive UV light. Either utilize a UV-producing artificial light or hang your air plants in a window.
  • 6. Occasionally fertilize. Consider fertilizing your air plants using bromeliad fertilizer, which is typically sold at garden centers, during the growing season (spring and summer).
  • 7. Spread your air plants’ seeds. In order to reproduce, air plants produce offsets or pups. From the mother plant’s base, smaller plants sprout. Before separating, wet the mother plant and offsets, then take care not to damage the young air plants.

How can I speed up the growth of my air plant?

You’ve had your air plant for a few months, but despite your tender care and attention, it seems to be doing nothing. What is happening? How quickly do air plants actually grow? Don’t give up just yet; air plants called tillandsias actually grow quite slowly. They will eventually grow and blossom if given the right care; it just takes time!

Although certain species of Tillandsia grow more quickly than others, on the whole, they grow quite slowly, which makes them all the more unique when you have a huge specimen plant to exhibit! The growth rate of an air plant will also vary depending on whether it is a tillandsia seedling or an offset from propagation. The first two years of a seedling’s existence are spent growing slowly, rarely exceeding one inch in size. After the first few years, they begin to grow slightly more quickly as they reach bigger in size. Even though plants grown from seeds grow more slowly, they often are larger and better specimens than plants grown from offsets. In comparison to plants grown from seeds, plants developed from offsets or “propagation” grow far more quickly and typically blossom within the first few years as the cycle continues and they create offset of their own!

It can take a long time for the Tillandsia fasciculata tropiflora to reach this size.

Consider the locations where your species of air plant grows in the wild when caring for your air plants. Does the species come from a dry, arid desert with little water (xeric), a cloud forest at a high elevation, or a humid, rainy rainforest (mesic)? Due to the changes in climate, plants located in these particular climates will exhibit particular features and grow accordingly. Plants may develop more slowly in dry climates than in more humid, moisture-rich conditions.

Look at our blog entry (Mesic Vs. Xeric Air Plants) for more information on the distinctions between mesic and xeric plants, as well as what conditions each will require in terms of water and light.

Your ability to accurately recreate the plant’s natural environment will have a significant impact on how quickly it grows. Patience is essential because it might take years for a small air plant to develop and blossom. Although it’s not an exact science, your plant can surprise you and grow and blossom more quickly than usual!

If your plant hasn’t produced pups or offsets yet, don’t worry; it might just be a slower-growing plant. Most air plants will produce pups or offsets during the first year of their existence, after blooming. Just keep giving your plant the attention it needs and making sure it gets enough water and light.

This puppy is developing slowly. It can take a long time for T. xerographica to reach maturity.

T. xerographica is one of the Tillandsia species that grows slowlyest; it can take years for it to reach a size where it can bloom and produce pups. Small T. xerographica plants, which have a diameter of 4-5 inches, may be 3-5 years old! The T. capitata and T. harrisii are two other slow-growing plants that get rather big.

These large-growing Tillandsia plants, which are all slow-growing (top to bottom, left to right): T. harrisii, T. xerographica, T. xerographica in bud, and T. capitata

The T. ionantha variant, T. stricta, T. aeranthos, and T. brachycaulos are some of the air plants with the fastest growth rates. These plants are all categorized as mesic varieties, which implies they prefer more water and filtered indirect light.

These Tillandsia species that develop more quickly bloom and produce pups than other species. (From top to bottom, left to right) T. ionantha, T. stricta, T. brachycaulos, and T. aeranthos

In addition to routine watering, you can give your plants a boost by fertilizing them once a month. This will promote quicker growth, blooming, and pup production. To encourage the growth of your air plant, check out and buy our specially designed Tillandsia fertilizer!

Be patient with your plants; they will grow best with the right amount of light, water, and airflow. When the seasons change, such in the summer or winter, you need alter your care routine. You should have a healthy air plant that eventually blooms and gives birth to pups! You could even manage to cultivate a sizable specimen air plant!

Why are my air plants not growing?

Beautiful and hardy, air plants can even flourish in unfavorable environments. However, you might be wondering how quickly air plants develop and why my air plant is currently expanding. You may learn about the growth of air plants (tillandsia) and how to encourage them to grow more quickly in this post.

In general, air plants, especially xeric air plants, develop slowly. Underwatering (air plants love adequate watering), a lack of sunlight, poor air circulation, and other factors can all prevent your air plant from flourishing.

How do air plants naturally enlarge?

Air plants are one of nature’s many wonders and by far one of the most unusual plant species. We will discuss what they are, how to best care for them, how to display them, and our top three favorites in this journal.

A Brief Overview

Tillandsia, the Latin word for air plants, are indigenous to South and Central America’s mountains, deserts, and woods, and certain varieties can even be found in the southern United States. Air plants grow on and around trees because they are epiphytic, but they are not parasitic. Instead, they absorb nutrients from the air and sporadic rainfall through their leaves. Their leaves have layers of trichomes, which are small, hair-like structures that are silver in color and help the plants easily absorb water. Unexpectedly, the tiny roots that air plants have serve to hold the plant to a surface rather than to absorb nutrition. It’s normal practice to trim the roots off of plants before bringing them indoors for a cleaner appearance.

Life Cycle

Air plants have a predictable life cycle, in contrast to many other tropical indoor plants. Years after reaching maturity, the air plant will blossom, with the majority of the blooms featuring extremely strong violets, pinks, reds, and oranges. After they have blossomed, the mother air plant will gradually start to generate offshoots known as “pups.” You can carefully remove these pups, which will grow into new, healthy air plants once they are roughly one-third the size of the mother plant. Following this stage, the mother plant will gradually start to die, leaving behind a sizable number of baby air plants, and the cycle will then begin again.


You can be sure that air plants don’t require (or even particularly appreciate) that kind of harsh, direct sunlight, despite the fact that some of them may resemble succulents, cacti, and other light-loving plants in appearance. Since air plants typically grow around the shady canopies of trees in their natural habitat, they enjoy bright indirect light when housed indoors [find out more about lighting here].

Contrary to popular belief, air plants do need water to survive and can’t thrive on air alone.

Once a week, immerse your air plant in water for about an hour. After giving the air plant its weekly wash, gently shake it out to get rid of any extra water that may have gotten between its leaves. Before returning your air plant to its normal position, turn it upside down for a couple of hours to let any remaining water drain from the plant. By doing this, your air plant’s risk of developing rot is significantly reduced. Your air plant will have a longer, happier life if you follow these maintenance advice.

Ways to Display

Because air plants don’t require soil (i.e., a container) to survive, one of its most intriguing characteristics is that they may be placed almost anyplace. They can be displayed in a transparent glass container with pea gravel to support them or left alone on a desk or countertop to give off a more natural appearance. There are countless options.

Our Favorites

This tiny T. tectorum specimen resembles a fuzzy snowball. Because of the abundance of its silvery trichomes, it can tolerate extreme heat and drought.

T. xerogrpahica: These air plants, sometimes known as the queen of the air plants, can grow to be quite large. They form a rosette and have long, silvery-green leaves that spiral around one another.

T. streptophylla: This air plant, which is bulbous and has ringlet-like leaves, curls more tightly the longer it goes without water.

I hope this post has helped you learn a little bit more about air plants. They are wonderful plants that everyone ought to use. Please feel free to ask any more questions regarding them in the section below.

Do air plants swell and expand in size?

The most common queries that air plant owners and potential owners have about their plants are listed below. Please post any further questions you may have about air plants in the comment area below.

Do Air Plants Purify Air?

Air plants are less successful in air filtration than other plants, although they do remove carbon dioxide and some trace chemical pollutants. However, some research imply that they may be useful in clearing the air of pollutants like mercury.

Do Air Plants Grow Bigger?

Depending on the species, your air plant will reach its full size if it is a pup (baby air plant). As was previously mentioned, air plants may grow from two inches to seven feet tall, so do some research on the kind you choose to learn more about how big it will get. An air plant that you purchase at a market is probably fully developed.

Do Tillandsia Die After Flowering?

Unfortunately, most air plant kinds that bloom are elderly and will soon pass away. On the plus side, air plants produce tiny pups before they die that will eventually reach the size of their parents.

Why Do My Air Plants Keep Dying?

The most frequent factor that causes air plants to die is overwatering. They are very susceptible to root rot, which will destroy them, if they are overwatered. Make sure your air plants dry off within three hours of watering to prevent root rot. Underwatering is the second most typical reason, which the plant can generally overcome. See our suggestions below to rejuvenate a dry plant.

How Do You Revive an Air Plant?

Give your plant an extra bath and then continue your regular watering schedule if you notice that you’ve only slightly under-watered it (for example, if the tips of your plant are turning brown or feeling a little dry). The steps listed below can be used to revitalize a brown or very dry plant:

Place the plant and water container in a room with plenty of light and a temperature between 65 and 75 degrees Fahrenheit (1823C).

Repeat the procedure if the plant continues to wilt three days after being soaked, but this time soak it for just three to four hours.

Air plants are wonderful additions to your plant collection and can make wonderful presents for friends who also enjoy plants. Cute air plant jewelry can be made from the tiniest ones. Ingenious crafts like air plant string art and do-it-yourself terrariums may also be made using air plants. Have you thought of a unique way to use your air plant? Tell us in the comments section below!

How often should my air plant be soaked?

For the best care, your plants should be watered 2-3 times each week in addition to once every week. Every 2-3 weeks, a 2-hour bath should be taken. You will need to water or mist your plants more frequently if you live in a hotter, drier region. Your plant’s leaves will start to feel heavier and more wet after watering, and they will be softer and lighter in color when they require more water. Dehydration may be indicated by leaves that are wrinkled or rolled.

How can I determine the health of my air plant?

Unique and hassle-free indoor plants, air plants (Tillandsia) add significant visual charm to your home. These unique plants come in a variety of sizes, have health benefits for your home during the photosynthesis process, and need very little upkeep from you, which appeals to busy professionals. How can you know whether your air plant is healthy considering that they require less maintenance than other plants?

Hydration of the plant is essential to avoid underwatering and determine the health of your air plant. To determine whether the plant is getting too much or not enough moisture, regularly look for discolored leaves or dry or wet rot. An air plant is in good health if it blooms and produces fluff.

There are numerous techniques to determine whether your air plant is healthy, and the majority of them only require a visual examination. They could quickly get ill by doing some unexpected activities. Continue reading to learn more about 11 quick ways to assess the general health of your air plant.