How To Take Care Of Air Plant Tillandsia

Your air plant will require routine watering. It’s a common fallacy that these plants can survive indoors or in gardens without irrigation. Water is essential unless your airplants are growing outside in a climate that closely resembles their natural home. There are several fundamental rules one may abide by to keep their Tillandsia happy, even though your particular environment and the species being grown have an impact on watering.

For indoor cultivation, we advise immersing your airplant for 6–12 hours once every 7–10 days. Make sure there are no soap or chemical residues in your soaking container that could harm your plant. Make sure your plant thoroughly dries in 4 hours after soaking. Place the plant in a well-lit area with good airflow, and be sure to shake off any extra water by turning the plant upside down. A little spritz from a water bottle or the steam from your shower is unlikely to satisfy your Tillandsia’s water needs for very long due to the dry air brought on by air conditioning and heat.

The following water qualities are preferred by tillandsia:

1) Rain

2) Refined

3) Allow tap water to stand for 15 minutes (for chlorine to dissipate)

4) Never use distilled water since it depletes nutrients through osmosis, which can kill your plant.

The amount of outside watering depends on your climate. While no irrigation may be needed in a damp, rainy environment, regular watering through spraying or soaking may be necessary in hot, dry conditions.

How is a Tillandsia plant cared for?

Since they grow differently from the majority of other house plants, tillandsias can be challenging for beginners. They take significantly less care than other house plants because they are actually incredibly hardy. The instructions are summarized below, however you can scroll down for much more detailed information.

  • They can get by with water misting and the occasional bath as long as the air is not too dry.
  • Never plant in the ground.
  • Give them filtered, bright light.
  • Keep them from being frozen.
  • It is necessary to immerse the plant in water for at least 2-3 hours every two weeks if you are growing them indoors where the air is dry.
  • You can apply a soaking mist once or twice a week in the summer and once a month in the winter in a shaded or unheated home.

By sprinkling a little bromeliad or orchid fertilizer into your mister, you can fertilize. Here you may find our entire year’s worth of air plant fertilizer.

How can I keep my air plant in good health?

Under-watering is the main reason why air plants die in new owners’ care. The overwatering that follows is a close second. According to a longstanding myth, these plants draw all the water they need from the atmosphere and don’t even need to be watered at all. While living in a climate similar to the Tillandsia’s natural environment and having them outside, this may be true, for the rest of us, watering is necessary. No need to worry; your plants will thrive if you follow these easy watering instructions. Pick one of the techniques listed below to water your plants like a pro.

The easiest approach to keep your air plant happy, particularly indoors, is to submerge it. People are frequently shocked to learn that you can completely submerge an aerial plant, but they adore it nonetheless! The only effective method for completely rehydrating your air plant is this. When water enters the plant’s root through the entire leaf surface, a stunning metamorphosis occurs. Curly leaves will frequently straighten, and although your Tillandsia won’t have meaty leaves like succulents, there will be a distinct fullness after soaking.

THE AMOUNT A dry tillandsia can benefit greatly from even a brief 30-minute bath, although they are capable of holding their breath for up to 12–24 hours. Our general rule is to soak for 6–12 hours once every week. Ours normally soaks for 12 hours or so. Even without losing too many of them, we’ve occasionally forgotten about them. Some xeric species, such as Tectorum and Xerographica, should be handled with caution. Since they are more delicate, they favor spraying.

Another method of watering your air plant is to spray it until it is completely saturated. It’s important to keep in mind that this isn’t a light sprinkling. For optimal watering, your plant needs to be totally submerged. While spraying your air plant is a good technique to hydrate it, you’ll need to do it much more frequently than soaking, which results in a more thorough rehydration.

THE AMOUNT 2-3 times each week, spray until completely saturated. This will be greater if you reside in Arizona and less if you reside in Hawaii. Whether your plant is indoors or outdoors, as well as the type of light it receives, are the two most crucial aspects to consider when deciding when and how much water to apply. More water will be appreciated if there is a lot of sun. Regular watering is essential indoors, where there is heat, air conditioning, and generally dry circumstances.

Watch the leaves of your plants to see if they are showing signs of thirst. A healthy white fuzz really indicates that your plant is healthy and not necessarily drying out because curly leaves are drier. Other indicators that you are under-watering include brown leaf tips and a generally withered appearance. Watch how your plant appears after a thorough soak. What is that like right now? Because every plant is unique, pay attention to what yours is now telling you.

Choosing your water

I’ll admit that for a long time, my air plants consumed more expensive water than I did. While my collection grew, I would tirelessly transport containers of purified water for them to enjoy. Tillandsia are accustomed to rainwater that has a pH balance and the ideal ratio of nutrients. The perfect balance is provided by well-filtered water, and I would even conduct my own PH testing to make sure the water was properly balanced between acidic and alkaline.

Tap water frequently contains high levels of chlorine and elements like calcium that can clog the delicate leaves of air plants. Interestingly, distilled water kills air plants by removing all of their nutrients through osmosis. Reverse osmosis systems are frequently used by nursery producers to guarantee that their plants receive the best water and produce the greatest outcomes.

But after many years and painful arms, I decided that my plants needed to become more resilient because I can no longer stand it. I turned on the hose and haven’t turned around since. However, I always make sure to take all of my tillandsia outside when it rains so they can take a lovely, refreshing shower. For similar advantages, you can utilize spring water or pond water.

Tip: Tap water’s chlorine levels drop after about 15 minutes. Before adding your air plants, try filling your soaking bin with water and waiting for this to happen.

How often should a Tillandsia be watered?

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.

Does Tillandsia require sun exposure?

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!

Is direct sunshine required for tillandsia?

The fact that air plants require less upkeep than many other house plants is one of their best qualities. The three essential factors that might affect their health and lifespan are air, water, and light. This does not, however, imply that they require no maintenance. We’ve covered watering air plants rather extensively, so today we’ll focus more on light.

Tillandsias, often known as air plants, favor strong, filtered light that is indirect but not direct. Instead of east or west facing windows, we advise choosing windows that face south or north because they typically receive more indirect light.

Throughout our home, we’ve experimented with air plants, and the ones that appear to thrive the most are those that are close to our kitchen window, which is somewhat shaded by nearby trees so they receive a lot of natural, filtered light.

The amount of direct light that air plants can tolerate depends on the humidity of your surroundings. In general, your air plants will be able to tolerate a little bit more sunshine if they are living in a more humid environment because they won’t dry up as quickly. For instance, air plants that are grown outdoors in Florida’s humid climate frequently adapt well to additional sunlight. Most air plants struggle in full or direct sunlight.

Air plants make excellent office plants since they need indirect light; this light can come from windows or artificially from full spectrum fluorescent lights.

Of course, there are exceptions, as there always are in nature. Some of the air plants with silver leaves can tolerate more direct sunshine. One of the very few tillandsias that can tolerate full light is the enormous Xerographica air plant (read more about the Xerographica here).

To determine how your air plants will respond best, try situating them in various lighting conditions. Where did your air plants seem to thrive the most? What type of illumination has failed to grow your air plants?


DO LED LIGHTS WORK WITH AIR PLANTS. I have one that is 2 feet away and under a 5W LED.

I have a bathroom with no windows at all. Can air plants live with only the overhead and the light from the makeup mirror?

Dear Amanda: The glue ought to come off without harming the plants. When gluing plants to objects, hot glue or super glue are truly safe to use. Hope this is useful!

I recently bought two globes with air plants. When I went home and saw that the plants were glued in, I was extremely unhappy! Can the glue be removed without harming the plants? I should definitely simply try returning them! Any suggestions? Thanks