How To Pot Air Plants

Don’t be deterred by the lack of soil. Once you understand what they require, caring for air plants is simple. Although you don’t have to bother about potting them, they still need the correct temperatures, as well as the right amounts of water and light, just like any other houseplant. When an air plant sends up blooms, you’ll know it’s getting everything it needs. Simply cut the dried blossom off, and your air plant will continue to grow and eventually produce additional blooms.

Watering Air Plants

Unlike other plants, air plants only have a few tiny roots that serve to anchor them to the surface they are growing on. High humidity and copious rainfall provide the conditions that air plants require in their natural habitats throughout the Southern US, Mexico, Central, and South America. You should water your indoor air plants around once a week. Some types don’t need watering for two weeks. Watch them to discover when your plants appear to need a drink.

Put your plants in the sink or a small container with water in it to water them. After letting them soak for about 30 minutes, gently shake them to remove any remaining water before flipping them upside down on a towel to drain. Return them to their designated location once they have dried. In order to keep them looking new, you can mist them every other day in between baths, especially in the winter when our houses tend to have lower humidity levels.

Air Plant Light Requirements

Keep your air plants out of direct sunlight as a general rule. Keep in mind that many types of air plants prefer to grow up in the safe, shaded canopy of trees. If you can place them away from the sun’s rays in an area with good lighting, that would be ideal. A few species, like T. cyanea or T. lindenii, can tolerate some early sunlight or dappled shade.

Air Plant Temperature Requirements

You need to pay attention to the opposite end of the thermometer since air plants prefer warm temperatures. Anything colder than 45 degrees should be avoided; plants will perish there. If you keep your air plant dry during the winter and reside in Zone 9 or a warmer climate, you can grow it outdoors all year.

Need dirt for air plants?

More like pets than other plants, air plants are adorable. It doesn’t matter if a variety is fuzzy, furry, spiky, or trailing—it is impossible to resist. Usually very little, soilless air plants are simple to grow. As their name suggests, air plants use scales on their leaves to absorb nutrients and water from the atmosphere. Because they are simple to maintain and don’t require a lot of light to thrive, they are popular as indoor plants right now.

What kind of container is ideal for an air plant?

Tillandsia, often known as air plants, have grown more and more popular in recent years. The peculiarity of these tiny epiphytes intrigues us since it contradicts our understanding of the needs of conventional plants. Because of their mystique, air plants are wonderful gifts because producing stunning displays of them is so simple that anyone can do it. Unfortunately, they can also be rather simple to kill if they are not cultivated in the proper conditions. We will go over Tillandsia development patterns, general care instructions, how to create a Tillandsia terrarium, and the tools required for them to thrive in this article.

In order to properly care for Tillandsia, as with all air plants, we must be aware of how they develop. Tillandsia are epiphytes, which means they often coexist parasitically with other plants. They can be divided into two groups: mesic and xeric. In the American tropics, mesic species are frequently found high in the tree canopy, which tells us that they typically like brilliant indirect light, good airflow, regular rainfall, and roots designed for anchoring. Xeric varieties, on the other hand, flourish on rocky outcrops and exposed cliff slopes. These kinds of air plants also have roots designed for anchoring and require much less water, little direct sunlight, and lots of air movement. The trichomes that cover the leaves of the xeric kinds, which suck additional moisture from the air, set them apart from the mesic varieties. In contrast to the mesic air plants’ shinier greenish tint, they almost have the appearance of silver fur.

We may improve the environment for Tillandsia in our homes by being aware of the natural circumstances in which they flourish. I always advise maintaining Tillandsia in an open terrarium because they all thrive in humid environments. The goal is to create an environment that has a higher relative humidity than our ordinary homes, but also has good airflow. A Tillandsia kept in a confined terrarium or under a cloche is bound to fail. So search for glass containers with large top openings or side holes.

A standard terrarium needs many layers, but an air plant terrarium really only needs one: the drainage layer, as was covered in a previous blog post. The drainage media can be made of nearly anything that won’t decay and has the purpose of preventing the plants from ever sitting in water. For decoration and to raise the humidity, you can also add some moss or lichen.

Finally, and maybe most critically, Tillandsia require the right amount of light. Many individuals attempt to maintain their air plants in too little light. In comparison to their natural surroundings, our dwellings are like caves. Keep them in an east or west facing window if at all possible. They may also be outside of or adjacent to a sunny south-facing window. With a few hours of direct daylight either in the morning or afternoon, the goal is to have bright indirect light throughout the day.

To sum up, the prerequisites for making a suitable habitat for Tillandsia are an open glass vessel, inert drainage media, possibly some attractive moss, and adequate lighting.

Most of the supplies needed to properly feed and water these tiny curiosities can be found around the house. Zenaida Sengo compares air plants to a kitchen sponge in her book Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias to better explain how to hydrate them. You can water the sponge in a variety of ways, including routine drenching, frequent misting, and sporadic soaking. You don’t want the sponge to entirely dry out.

Every day or every other day, misting with a little spray bottle is recommended. You can dip a plant two to three times per week in a bowl of water, in a terrarium with a deep drainage layer, or under the sink in a colander. Once a week, take the plants out of their container and soak them in a bowl of water for 10 to 1 hour. Whatever method you use, make sure to shake off any water that has accumulated in the cup of the leaves to keep the plants from decaying. Keep in mind that xeric cultivars require less frequent watering.

Tillandsia, like all plants, require occasional feedings for optimum growth. I advise mixing a solution of kelp with a well-balanced water-soluble orchid food. Half a dose every couple of weeks or a full dose every month to three months are also acceptable feeding schedules.

You should be able to successfully develop these small wonders now that you have this fundamental understanding!

How are air plants planted?

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.

Can air plants be placed on ground?

Terrariums are a wonderful way to add some greenery to any area, and you can really make your terrarium stand out by using several types of bases! We frequently receive inquiries regarding how to exhibit air plants in terrariums, including what types of bases to use and whether they require soil. The bases and decorations you should pick to create a stunning air plant terrarium are discussed below.

You can use small pebbles, seashells, bark, marbles, preserved reindeer moss, beautiful sand, etc. for the base. Have fun with it! There are countless options for the colors and textures of the sand and rock used in terrariums.

There is no need to provide soil because air plants can survive without it. Most air plants, in fact, shouldn’t be planted in soil. Layering moss, sand, or rock is a simple way to add variety and texture to your terrarium.

Make sure the base you use is entirely dry. You don’t want your air plants to be resting against any moisture in their terrariums or containers.

You should also consider the type and size of the terrarium you are creating. This terrarium will be presented where? Will it hang or rest on a table? You can choose the substrate for your terrarium by responding to these questions. Since moss is lighter than sand and won’t shift as much if the terrarium sways, using it as a base layer may be preferable for hanging terrariums.

Small bits of bark or driftwood can give your terrarium a charmingly rustic appearance as a base or accent, but make sure the wood you pick is pest-free. We like to use orchid bark, which is available at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Use caution when utilizing logs or bark that you may find outside because they could contain insects or pests that could harm your plant.

Watering Terrariums and Plants:

  • If you water your plants while they are in your terrarium, too much moisture may become trapped amid the moss, rock, etc., leading to the rot of your plants.
  • Before putting the plants back in your terrarium, remove them, soak or mist them, and then make sure they are totally dry.
  • No water or moisture should be present in your terrarium or next to the Tillandsia.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer a kit that includes everything you need, look no further—we also carry those!

Check out these DIY terrarium kits, which include everything you need to build one.

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).

My air plant will fit in a jar, right?

Fill the remaining third of the jar with tiny stones. First, place the lichens in the jar in the desired order. Then use your finger to make a little hole in the pebbles. Set the air plant firmly inside the opening.

How frequently do I need to water my air plant?

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.

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.