More air plants perish from overwatering than from underwatering. The telltale indicator is when the bottom of your air plant appears brown and slimy. Instead of submerging or soaking your air plants, try misting them with a spray bottle. In between waterings, make sure your air plant has completely dried out. Only mist your air plants 1-3 times each week. Less can be more. It’s crucial to dry your air plant within four hours because they can become overwatered if they don’t. Get a fan for your air plant if it doesn’t dry after four hours of watering, and water it less the following time.
2. Insufficient air causes air plants to lack nutrients. It results in “dry rot.” There won’t be enough food if there isn’t enough air movement around air plants. Keep in mind that air plants consume nourishment. Terrariums and small, quiet locations like toilets shouldn’t be used to house air plants because there isn’t enough airflow in these areas. Instead, pick a place with lots of natural light and fresh air, such as close to an open window, in a large room with other rooms adjacent to it, in a courtyard or on a veranda. Lack of air flow can also lead to overwatering because it delays the air plants’ ability to fully dry up. The problem with air plant holders is dry rot. Your air plant may develop dry rot on the area of the plant that has poor air flow from the planter if the base is placed in a planter, such as a pot, hanger, or pouch, that has no ventilation. Before you notice the rot, it will have spread and your air plant will be dead.
3. Lack of Light – To produce their own nourishment, air plants require light. If your air plants are indoors, make sure they are one meter or less from a window. They’ll definitely perish from lack of sunshine if you put them in a dark hallway.
4. Too much direct sunlight will burn your plant or severely dry the foliage. Generally speaking, 45 minutes of moderate early morning or late afternoon direct sunshine is acceptable. However, it is advised to use filtered sunlight or total shade.
5. Frost – Because they are sensitive to the cold, air plants. They dislike temperatures below 0 degrees Celsius. If you live in a chilly climate, you might want to think about bringing your air plants inside during the winter.
6. Humidity – some types of air plants like it when the humidity is high. If the leaves of your air plant are too curled, the air may be too dry for the plant. Spraying or soaking air plants in water just isn’t enough moisture if the air is too dry. Consider soaking your air plant for 30 minutes each week in addition to your regular spraying if you believe it died from low humidity. or daily spray your plant. Additionally, you can put the air plant on a piece of driftwood or any object that can hold moisture. Another choice is to make a bed using a mixture of 50% perlite and 50% orchid potting mix. Spray the mixture every time you spray your plants. Your air plants might even drop roots into the mixture since they are so content.
7. Rust – Your air plant will develop dead areas as a result. Keep your plant away from anything that is rusty. Regular wire might rust in the future. For mounting air plants, use plastic-coated or galvanized wire.
8. Copper wire is well recognized for killing air plants. Copper is poisonous to air plants, particularly when it is regularly moist.
9. It’s typical for the mother air plant to pass away. Air plants develop, blossom, give birth to pups, and then go extinct. If your air plant has already bloomed and produced pups, it’s entirely possible that she is about to die. Don’t get rid of her just yet. Before she leaves, she might surprise you by bearing even another pup.
A dead air plant you purchased from us? Give air plants another go with this 20% off coupon. To receive 20% off your upcoming order of air plants, use the promo code AIRDEAD at checkout.
How can air plants be revived?
Most people will at some point in their adventure of cultivating tillandsias wonder how to revive their air plants. Finding the source of the problem is the first step in saving any air plant. After that, you can take the necessary steps to address the issue that is harming your air plant.
Your air plant may occasionally start to seem very white or gray. A naturally green air plant that is going very white or gray could be an early symptom of your air plant drying, even though it is typical for your air plants to be covered in a coat of white or gray hair or trichromes in most circumstances.
When your air plant becomes extremely white or gray, the good news is that it is not dying. When the air plant is dehydrated, the trichromes are simply becoming more noticeable and making the plant appear paler than usual.
A dry air plant can be brought back to life by soaking in water for 5-8 hours. After soaking, shake out any excess water, and let your air plant to dry out in 4 hours. Up until the plant no longer appears dry, repeat the prolonged soaking every two to three days.
If your air plant is drying out again after being rejuvenated with a series of prolonged soaks, check the light, temperature, and humidity conditions of the immediate area.
To assist your air plant maintain moisture, place it away from direct or extremely bright indirect light. Around 5090 F is the ideal temperature for air plants. If you subject your air plant to severely cold or hot temperatures, it could be difficult to recover it. It’s possible for the air plant to become too dry to survive in extreme temperatures.
The air plant’s brown or black leaves are often an indication of root decay. When air plants are not completely dried off after watering, they might get root rot. The air plant is prone to fungus infections that irreversibly harm the plant cells when the leaves are frequently damp. The air plant would eventually turn brown or black as a result of these dead cells.
As soon as you notice the brown or black leaves, you can carefully remove those leaves to revitalize your air plant and stop the infection from spreading. To prevent root rot, keep the air plant in a place with sufficient airflow and allow it to dry out promptly after each watering.
The air plant may perish in severe cases of root rot that have reached the plant’s center. You will need to try again with a fresh plant if the root rot is so severe that the plant begins to fall apart.
It can take some trial and error to understand how to grow air plants. The most frequent explanation for “why is my air plant dying” is root rot as a result of the air plant not drying out correctly. Air plants might wither from dryness, lack of light, or lack of nutrients in the water.
To lessen the likelihood of root rot in the future, you might try several techniques and situate your air plant somewhere with more air movement.
How can you revive a dead air plant?
It all comes down to watering, or more specifically, drainage, when an air plant is dying of rot. Although they do not like to stay wet, air plants need to be watered by misting or soaking in water. The plant needs to be given time to dry after being soaked or misted. Fungus takes hold and the plant dies if the plant’s center is left damp.
Regardless of how you water your air plant, after you’re done, make sure to tilt the plant so that water can drain and give it about four hours to fully dry off. This can be done using a dish drainer or by turning the plant over onto a dish cloth.
Although different types of air plants require varied amounts of watering, none of them should be immersed for extended periods of time. Last but not least, to promote adequate airflow and lessen the possibility of an air plant going bad, if your air plant is in a terrarium or other container, leave the lid off.
How frequently do air plants need to 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.
Why are my air plant’s lower leaves dying?
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 area 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, turn brown, and die off. In this situation, we gently trimmed some of the leaves at the base of the plant to assist avoid any spread of suspected fungus. 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 other 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.