Why Is My Air Plant Turning Black

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 turning black for a number of reasons, including rot, freezing, 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 possible. 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 proper 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 retains moisture, your air plant’s base will begin to rot. 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 extremely cold weather, it will quickly deteriorate to the point where it becomes soft and black, with no chance 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 mentioned, if your air plant isn’t receiving enough light, it will become discolored. However, low 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.

Why are the leaves on my air plant going black?

Air plant types with wispy, delicate leaves, such as T. ionantha or T. fuchsii v gracilis, are particularly prone to browning leaf tips. It is typical for mild browning to happen shortly after your plants arrive in the mail, so this doesn’t necessarily indicate that you are doing anything incorrectly. This can indicate that your air plant is becoming used to its new surroundings. Plants under stress may exhibit browning leaf tips.

If the T. fuchsii is not given enough water, its wispy leaves may turn brown.

Brown leaf tips can also be caused by another typical offender. You can be giving your air plant too much sun. While they do appreciate filtered sunlight, if they are exposed to direct sunlight all day, your plant may become sunburned and become brown.

Lack of watering your plant might also result in browning leaf tips. It’s a popular fallacy that air plants don’t require much water, if any at all. Despite being nicknamed “air plants,” they nonetheless require weekly watering. To prevent your plant from rotting, make sure to shake out any extra water after watering.

You could notice that your air plant’s base has some browning in addition to the browning of the tips. If you notice the base of your T. xerographica or T. ionantha browning, this may suggest illness such as rot or drying out from lack of water. This is entirely normal for many air plant species, such as the T. juncea or T. melonocrater tricolor.

Can you keep an air plant from rotting?

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.

What can you do to revive an air plant?

Why keep dying my air plants? It’s likely that your Tillandsia is really thirsty if it doesn’t appear its best, especially if it’s shriveled or discolored. Spritzing normally doesn’t give enough moisture to keep the plant healthy and hydrated, despite the fact that misting the plant is frequently advised.

When this is the case, reviving a Tillandsia entails getting the plant back to its previous condition of health and hydration. The simplest way to do this is to submerge the entire plant in lukewarm water in a bucket or basin. To prevent the plant from floating to the surface of the water, you might need to attach it to a hefty item.

Allow the bowl to soak for 12 hours in a warm place. The plant should be taken out of the bowl, laid out on a layer of paper towels, and allowed to air dry before being put back in its usual spot.

Repeat the technique, but this time leave the Tillandsia submerged for only around four hours if the plant seems dry and sickly. Shake the plant lightly while holding it upside-down to drain the leaves of extra moisture.

How can you tell whether your air plant is on its way out?

The leaves of a healthy air plant should range in color from green to gray. The plant should not break when you lift it up. In other words, leaves should not fall from an air plant that is healthy.

You can do a variety of things to resuscitate a plant. Here are the steps I take to aid in the recovery of my air plants’ health.

Give the Air Plant an Overnight Soak

When I’m trying to revive an air plant, I always start by watering it. Keep in mind that although air plants don’t need soil, that doesn’t imply they don’t need water. Water is a necessity for all living things, even air plants.

Since air plants don’t have roots, they must instead collect moisture and water through their leaves because they lack soil. I’ve heard it much too often that garden centers advise misting air plants with water a few times per week. This is not enough water, in my opinion, and the plant will become thirsty. Sadly, if this persists for a long enough period of time, the air plant will die.

How Long Should I Soak my Air Plant?

I give my air plants an hour-long bath to make sure they receive the water they need. In the warmer summer months, I do this weekly, and in the winter about every three weeks or so. I enjoy using rainwater because I live in a rainforest. But you can also use regular tap water! To let the chlorine vaporize, simply leave the water out for 24 hours.

Simply take the air plant out of its current container and place it in a bowl of water after that. The basin needs to be big enough for the plant to fully submerge. After a half-hour or so, remove it from the bath. To make sure that water isn’t gathering in your air plant’s leaves while it’s upside down, give it a couple gentle shakes. After that, return the plant to its location. It’s that simple!

Make Sure Your Air Plant has Air!

Even though it might seem simple, your air plant requires oxygen to survive. There are numerous pictures of air plants being kept in tightly sealed jars floating about, and they make me scoff since plants cannot survive in that kind of environment!

The answer is simple.

You can continue to preserve your adorable jar terrarium, but be careful to keep the lid slightly ajar or open to allow air to flow freely.

Remove Dead Leaves

A sick air plant should also have any dead leaves removed by gently tugging on them to check if they fall off. They are dead if they are simple to remove. Unfortunately, you have a dead air plant that has already perished if the entire plant crumbles when you do this.

Your air plant will survive, though, if only a few leaves fall off and the interior leaves are green and healthy-looking.

Look at the Tips of Your Air Plant

Try using rainwater or unchlorinated water as mentioned above if the tips of your air plant are starting to turn brown. Your plant may not be getting enough water if you are not giving them chlorine yet they are still turning brown.

After giving them an overnight bath, make sure you give them baths more frequently.

What if my Air Plant Falls Apart?

You have a dead air plant on your hands if your green air plant just falls apart. This probably happened as a result of spending too much time in water that was left standing or from not adequately shaking off after a bath.

Reread the section about watering, and the next one will undoubtedly go more smoothly.

Can air plants receive much sunlight?

As we’ve previously indicated, air plants thrive in indirect sunlight. Your air plants will lose moisture due to too much sunshine, and if they are kept in the sun for an extended period of time, they will burn and eventually perish. Tiny scales on the leaves of air plants—properly referred to as trichomes—serve two main purposes. They first aid the plant’s absorption of nutrients and water. They also aid in reflecting sunlight off the leaf surface.

Tectorum Ecuador’s tall, white, and bright trichomes aid in reflecting the intense light in its open, natural habitat. High elevation cliff sides in Peru and Ecuador are home to this species.

In general, you want to keep all of your air plants as far away from direct sunlight as you can, however depending on the plant’s species and climate, certain tillandsia can tolerate more sun than others. Your plant won’t likely fare well in direct sunlight if its leaves are thinner and wispier. This form of air plant may be better able to handle some direct sunlight for sections of the day since its thicker, broader leaves can hold moisture better. Direct sunlight is typically best handled by silver-leaved air plant species like xerographica.

Avoid exposing your air plants to direct sunlight if you live in a southern state or a desert region where the sun is very powerful. Take extra care in arid environments like the desert because the lack of humidity may cause your plants’ damage and drying out from the sun much faster.

We advise placing your indoor air plants near windows if you intend to keep them there. They could also be maintained close to a window that receives shade from a tree or any other form of solar protection. Many people also choose to maintain their air plants at an office with either bright fluorescent lighting or indirect sunlight from windows.

The same rules apply if you keep your air plants outside; just make sure they are totally covered from direct sunlight or in a location where they won’t receive more than an hour of direct sunshine every day. It should be fine to sit on your porch, lanai, or under a tree.

Air plants thrive in shaded patios and porches that only receive light in the early morning and late afternoon.

Brown stains, dried-out patches that emerge on internal growth, and highly unhealthy splotchy appearances of exterior leaves where completely wet are all symptoms of sunburn. If you see any of these symptoms, remove the plant from its current place right away, and ready to perform some little care. Remove the completely damaged exterior leaves by gently pulling them off. If they are difficult to remove, use a pair of scissors to cut away any damaged sections. After removing the plant’s worst damaged areas, give the air plant a nice soak before moving it to a better, shaded location. Continue watering the air plant as usual and add a few daily, light mistings; do not fertilize it until it is fully healthy again. Avoid oversoaking since if the plant is left wet for too long, it may fall apart. Your air plant should quickly return to its happy, healthy self if you are persistent and patient.