What To Feed Air Plants

The reputation of air plants as being simple to maintain is true if you follow their guidelines. The first tenet of air plants is that they cannot exist only on air. They require a ton of water. The second rule, though? If you give them too much water, they will perish.

It’s confusing, we admit. The trick to watering air plants is as follows, though: Avoid misting them. Submerge them in water The care of an air plant is described here.

  • Put air plants in water and let them sit there for several hours once a week.
  • Use bottled water or rainwater for drinking. Tap water contains minerals that can clog the trichomes on the leaves of air plants, preventing them from collecting nutrients. Softened water is high in salts that will burn the air plants.
  • Dehydrate the air plants. This has major significance. Shake out the excess water after soaking them, then place them in a light area for a few hours to dry.
  • Once a month, feed them by submerging them in water that has been mixed with water-soluble fertilizer for air plants, bromeliads, or epiphytes. These specialist fertilizers have nitrogen in them in an absorbable form.
  • The range of 50 to 90 degrees is ideal for air plants.
  • They benefit from temperature changes. They will thrive if the temperature drops by 10 degrees to simulate the cool nights in the rainforest where they are native.
  • They are not freeze-resistant. They must spend the winter indoors because they are entirely tropical.
  • Make sure they receive 4 to 6 hours a day minimum of bright, filtered light. A room with lots of windows will be their favorite.

Should My Air Plant Be Fed?

It is not a difficult nor a necessary task to fertilize air plants. Even though fertilizer should be used regularly or quarterly to assist air plants grow, skipping this step is not fatal, especially if you water your plants with rainwater, aquarium water, or pond water.

Use a bromeliad fertilizer or an air plant-specific fertilizer a few times a year to feed your air plants. A standard, water-soluble houseplant fertilizer can also be used, but only at 1/4 the suggested strength.

The plants are fed and watered at the same time when the fertilizer is diluted and added to irrigation water. Do this whether you spritz the plants or immerse them in water to water them.

Can air plants be grown with Miracle Grow?

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!

You can easily make a homemade fertilizer using the following method:

  • Grab a handful of vibrantly colored, fresh, damp moss. You can purchase moss online or from a tree, logs, yard, or sidewalk. Or learn how to grow your own moss by watching this YouTube video.
  • Make sure it is connected to a few live strands.
  • Reduce it to a texture that mimics granular fertilizer by finely chopping it.
  • 80 percent of the moss and 20 percent of blood meal should be combined before being placed in a zip-top plastic bag. Give the mixture a vigorous shake before applying if any dried blood settles at the base.
  • It is advisable to utilize the fertilizer as soon as possible.
  • Before submerging your plants, mix some of this homemade fertilizer into the water.

Need fertilizers for air plants?

Tillandsias, often known as air plants, are a common and simple to grow plant. They’ve become incredibly popular and are frequently utilized in homes and workplaces. They naturally grow on another host, tree, or item and are considered an epiphyte, along with orchids and bromeliads, without taking nutrition from its host. They need water, light, and nutrients but no soil to flourish. Through microscopic capillaries on their leaves known as trichomes, air plants can absorb moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere. What a cool thing!

Despite being incredibly easy to maintain, air plants nevertheless require some care in order to flourish. Tillandsias can live for several years with proper care and give birth to “pups” (baby air plants) for added enjoyment. We’ve provided highly detailed care advice that is supposed to be helpful. We merely want to arm you with the knowledge you need to take excellent care of your tillandsias. Keep in mind that air plants are quite simple to maintain.


  • Any plant needs light to survive, but fortunately, air plants may survive with filter sunlight or even artificial light.
  • Place your air plant between three and five feet from a window or close to a source of artificial light.
  • An air plant should not receive too much sunshine, even inside. Choose a spot that is only somewhat shaded if you are growing outside. Few plants can withstand full-day sun.


  • The most crucial thing to keep in mind is that each air plant will need a different amount of water depending on its variety, size, and environment of growth. These are recommendations, not unalterable laws.
  • Watering air plants at least once a week is beneficial when growing them inside. The location’s humidity affects frequency. In comparison to a plant grown in a more humid environment, an air plant grown close to a heater will dry up considerably more quickly and require more frequent watering.
  • Place your air plant face down in water, in a container or in your sink, and let it soak there for 10 to 20 minutes to hydrate it. Alternately, you might repeatedly submerge plants in water. To avoid rotting or damage, gently shake off extra water after soaking.
  • Water should ideally be applied early in the day so that moisture can evaporate. After four hours, they should be dry enough to be put back in a container or on display.
  • While spraying your tillandsia sometimes can be helpful, it is not always advised.
  • Use a houseplant or orchid fertilizer with a low copper content if you want to feed your air plant because they are extremely sensitive to copper. Don’t fertilize your plant too frequently because it’s quite easy to overfeed it; diluting your fertilizer can help.
  • You can soak your air plants in water (in a bowl or sink) for several hours or overnight if they ever appear “thirsty” or like they are having trouble. This frequently aids in reviving your tillandsia.
  • Rainwater or pond water work best for watering tillandsia. Never use distilled or artificially softened water to water your plants.
  • Dehydrated plants’ leaves are closed and coiled, while healthy air plants have wide, open leaves.
  • An air plant’s flower or blossom should never be submerged because doing so can cause rotting.


  • Your air plants will thrive in a bathroom or kitchen window, where the steam and moisture will make them extremely content.
  • The growth and water requirements of air plants can be impacted by temperature. Between 10 and 32 degrees Celsius, air plants thrive (50F-90F). Since tillandsia are extremely sensitive to cold, freezing temperatures are one thing they do not enjoy.
  • It makes sense that air plants need clean, healthy air to grow. They require considerable air movement after watering so that they can dry out in 4 hours.
  • Although it is fairly common to place tillandsia in containers or terrariums and they have thrived there, it is not advised that they be completely enclosed in them. No air circulation means your plant won’t have any moisture or nutrients.
  • Keep your plants away from heater and air conditioner vents so they don’t dry out too quickly and require additional watering.

Other Tips

  • Do not ever submerge an air plant in soil. They don’t need soil because it will just make them decay.
  • In addition to gaining new leaves, your air plant will also shed some. You can use scissors to clip off any brown or dead leaves for aesthetic purposes. Cut at a sharp angle so that the leaves still have a natural appearance to “conceal” this trimming.
  • Although they are not necessary and just serve to anchor the plant to a host, roots may already be present or continue to grow. Depending on your preference, you can either leave the roots on or chop them off.
  • You can use E3000 super glue (other glues can come loose over time/when wet or harm your plant) or string to secure your air plant in place on decorative “hosts.” With your air plant, stay away from pressure-treated wood and copper.
  • As air plants develop, they can produce both blooms and pups, which are their young. Pups can either be removed when they are 1/3 the size of the mother plant or left on the mother plant to form a “clump” that hangs in a longer string.