What Does Air Plant Rot Look Like

Your air plant seemed great a few days ago. After watering it as usual, it’s now in utter disrepair after just a few days! What is going on?

Sorry to report, but damp rot may have already done damage to your little air plant. Maybe you neglected to shake the extra water off the leaves before placing them back in their spot, or you kept your plants in their bath for a little bit too long. Whatever it was, water found its way into the spaces between your plant’s leaves and base and eventually rotted it. In addition, your air plant may have dry rot, which happens when there is inadequate ventilation and the plant becomes ill. Most often, excessive watering and prolonged wet/damp periods allow fungus and harmful bacteria to establish a foothold and harm the plant.

Your air plant may have rot or fungus if the base is brown and too squishy or mushy to the touch. A decaying air plant frequently loses leaves at its base, may begin to crumble, or may even have the center of the plant come out. It might be difficult to detect inner rot because it usually doesn’t manifest itself until the plant suddenly collapses, usually starting with the interior leaves.

A few air plants, such as the melanocrater tricolor, will naturally have darker bases. Additionally, good air plants may occasionally shed a few leaves. **

The outer leaves can also develop leaf rot and other fungal problems, which are much more obvious than the inner leaves. Dark stains at the plant’s base may be the first indication of this, and they will spread over time. In this situation, it is recommended to try to remove the damaged leaves from the base of the plant in an effort to rescue the plant and halt the development of the fungus/rot.

Below are some images of a T. stricta that has some leaf damage and may have a fungus problem. There is a dark circular portion of the leaf that doesn’t appear normal, despite the fact that it’s typical for some of the leaves at the base of an air plant (Tillandsia) to dry out, become brown, and die off. In order to assist stop the spread of any potential fungus, we carefully plucked a few of the leaves near the plant’s base in this instance. The plant has been cleaned up and the damaged leaves have been removed in the image on the right. It’s acceptable if the base’s very tip shows some browning or appears callused because here is where the stem’s base will develop roots.

There are a few easy techniques to prevent rot:

  • Maintain a watering schedule and watch out for overwatering. To avoid overwatering, keep in mind that Tillandsia vary from many typical house plants in that they absorb moisture through their leaves and trichomes rather than their roots.
  • Never submerge an air plant in water for an extended period of time.
  • According to the type of Tillandsia (air plant) you have, adjust your care and watering schedule. When compared to Mesic green-leaved kinds, silver-leaved cultivars—which are Xeric—need different amounts of water and even require different watering techniques. Check read this post about Xeric and Mesic air plants to find out more about the many varieties of air plants. Visit our article on Air Plant Care for information on general maintenance.
  • Once you’ve watered your air plant, be sure to shake off any extra water, and then wait until the plant is totally dry before reintroducing it to your terrarium, shell, or other display container. Avoid misting air plants within their terrariums or placing them near wetness.
  • Pay great attention to air plants with bulbous shapes and those with deep pockets at the base of their leaves since they may be more likely to retain water in their base.
  • Airflow is crucial! Never put your air plant in a container or terrarium that is completely sealed off. Leave the lid off of your terrarium if it has one. To thrive, air plants require adequate air flow; otherwise, rot might develop.
  • If any external leaves are starting to rot or exhibit indications of fungus, remove them at the base. If the plant has inner rot, removing the inner leaves won’t help and probably will do more harm than good.

Rot is unfortunately one of the things that, once it starts, is difficult to stop and save the plant from. Preventing decay is the greatest cure! As a natural fungicide, cinnamon has been shown to help minimize or stop rot/fungus on plant bases, so it might be worth a try! We also advise removing those leaves as previously shown if only a few of the outer leaves are impacted.


fantastic article I can’t believe I let a lovely xerographica go to waste recently. Additionally, I spotted clumps of odd-colored fragments of a sticky gel-like substance.

I tried cleaning it, but it made no difference. A different plant with pockets and a bulbous shape experienced this. They resembled rounder balls; could they perhaps be eggs?

When submerged in water, an airplane that has rot spreads the rot spores to all the others. I experienced it. In the following few months, I lost 35 plants.

They are daily sprayed well, gently shook, and then placed back on the wall; there are no longer any communal baths. I lost my Tectorum and it mineralized in spring water.

I appreciate you teaching me how to care for my air plants. I need all the assistance I can get because I’m new at this.

Please describe the procedure and recommended frequency for applying cinnamon to plants.

Can you revive a dead air plant?

A reddish or black hue that gradually spreads up from the plant’s base into the foliage is the first sign that an air plant is decomposing. The air plant will start to disintegrate as well; the foliage may start to come off or the heart of the plant may separate.

Is my air plant rotting? is definitely a yes if you notice any of these symptoms. What can you do about it, that is the question? Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do if your air plant is disintegrating. Positively, if the air plant rot is just affecting the outer leaves, you may be able to salvage the plant by removing the affected leaves and then maintaining a rigorous watering and drying schedule.

Why is the browning of my air plant’s bottom?

There are a few possible causes of browning air plant leaves. Underwatering and age are two of the main causes of your air plant’s browning leaves.

Air plant underwatering symptoms include:

  • Underwatering is indicated by brown, dry, and extremely curled or shriveled leaves.
  • The tips of the leaves will also start to dry up and shrivel.
  • The air plant will begin to coil inward and take on a clumpy, round appearance.
  • Even though the leaves may appear twisted, they will straighten up again after receiving additional water.

Please be aware that as your air plant ages, the bases of its leaves will likewise turn brown. The base of your air plant will usually have aging leaves that are slowly becoming yellow, then brown and crunchy.

You can snap them from the base if this is normal. Before cutting off any leaves, always look behind them to see if there are any puppies you can harm.

You may choose to remove yellow leaves with clean scissors since they are also withering leaves. That will encourage your plant to focus its efforts on producing fresh foliage rather than clinging to its dead leaves.

Browning leaves, on the other hand, are typical if you only observe them at the base, behind fresh leaves. If the centre or even the tops of your plant are going brown, it is quite likely that it needs extra water.

Check to see whether it’s not too soft by giving it a small squeeze. If there is no small resistance, your plant may be internally decomposing.

Be aware that certain air plants may have brown, dry tops, which is another sign of aging. You can remove the brown leaf tips without harming the plant, so you shouldn’t be discouraged from purchasing a plant with some brown leaf tips.

Spotting and discoloration on air plants

Small patches on your air plants may indicate that they aren’t getting enough sunlight, so keep an eye out for them. Your air plant will gradually stop functioning if there is not enough light for it to be able to photosynthesize.

The majority of air plants take a while to develop low light signs before abruptly dying. Color fading across the plant is another indicator of poor lighting.

If you’ve detected any spots on the air plant, it might still be possible for you to save it. Consider the environment and container you will use to showcase your air plant.

Is it placed in an area with a lot of light that is both bright and indirect, or is it on a shelf that is completely dark? Does the plant’s entire body get sunlight? As soon as you can, make sure to move it to a brighter area.

Your air plant may be sitting deeply in some displays, which prevents the lower section of the plant (base) from receiving enough light. You might notice fallen leaves as a result of this. You should use full-spectrum plant lights like these throughout the winter to keep your air plants healthy due to the absence of sunlight.

Additionally, if any water is trapped at the base, the entire plant may rot. The base may be soft or mushy, the plant may be coming apart, or there may be an odd odor.

Any brown or yellow areas on your air plant could be signs of burns. How much direct, brilliant light does your air plant receive? Make sure that mesic kinds receive no direct sunshine, and xeric types receive no more than 30 to 60 minutes of direct sunlight each day in an open area with air exchange—not in a terrarium or something similar—and more frequent watering.

Why are my air plant leaves turning crispy?

The most likely reason for your air plant’s leaves going crispy is underwatering. During the warmer months of the year, tillandsias need deeper watering approximately once every 7 days for mesic varieties and once every 10 days for xeric types.

While misting in between is equally vital, don’t rely on misting alone (unless your air plant variety must not be soaked, such as Tillandsia tectorum).

The air plant is aging and dying, which is another natural explanation for why the leaves are turning brown and crispy. The parent plant will begin to dry out and die once it has reached maturity, bloomed, and produced one to a few pups.

Pups need to be separated from their parents; otherwise, the parent plant will eventually get smaller. The pups will then group together.

Why is my air plant turning black?

Your air plant may be becoming black for a number of reasons, including decay, frost, and inadequate lighting.

One of the most frequent causes of tillandsia owners losing their plants is rot. Overwatering an air plant is not simple, but it is feasible. You must shake off extra water after watering your air plant when you water it.

After watering, your air plant needs to dry out for three to four hours; otherwise, rot and fungus risk developing. To ensure appropriate drying of your air plants, make sure to ventilate the area or even use a dryer. Air exchange is also essential.

Never place your air plants on moss or moist substrate. Because substrate absorbs moisture, your air plant’s base will begin to decay. Your air plant is likely rotting within if the base is black, mushy, and covered in falling leaves. Rarely is a plant able to be saved at this point.

Additionally, keep to sprinkling only and give your air plant time to dry out completely if it exhibits any signs of brown or black rot.

Your air plant may start turning black for another reason if it has been freezing. If your air plant is left outside in really cold weather, it will quickly deteriorate to the point that it becomes soft and black, with little prospect of recovery.

The majority of air plants prefer warmer conditions between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit (16-27 Celsius). If you leave your air plant outside when the temperature drops below 45 F (7 C), it could freeze and perish. At 28 F (-2 Celsius).

Once the temperature drops to 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius), bring your air plant inside. Your air plants don’t need to be winterized in order to keep them from freezing; a normal room temperature will do.

As was already discussed, if your air plant isn’t receiving enough light, it will become discolored. However, poor light may also cause your air plant to start turning black and eventually fall apart. Low light may be the cause if you are certain that your air plant hasn’t been overwatered and isn’t in a chilly or wet environment.

Your air plant may be disintegrating for a number of reasons. This post contains further information on it.

Can an overwatered air plant be revived?

Xerographica air plants don’t require much water to survive, but if they don’t get enough, they will become dehydrated and start to exhibit symptoms like; looking a little dull; the tips of the leaves are drying up; and they are beginning to u-shape and become droopy at the same time.

There’s no need to freak out if you notice these symptoms in your air plant because it’s simple to save a dehydrated air plant. Simply adhere to the guidelines listed below, and they ought to quickly begin to thrive once more!

  • Your air plant’s dead portions should be removed. &nbsp
  • Put it in a bowl of water and soak it there for a minimum of 5-8 hours.
  • &nbsp
  • Instead of through their roots, air plants absorb water through their leaves. So make sure the water is completely covering all of the leaves.
  • Use unchlorinated or rainwater whenever possible, especially if you see that the tips of the plant’s leaves are already turning brown. There is a good probability that your air plant is still not getting enough water if the leaves are turning brown even though you are not giving them water that has chlorine in it.