Why Is My Air Plant Turning Pink

Have you ever questioned whether the plants your neighbor has growing in a tiny magnetic pot on their fridge are real or artificial? Or have you noticed plants growing seemingly out of nowhere as you make your way around the block? The likelihood that the plants in question are Air Plants, which, as their name suggests, grow off air, is very high.

This blog attempts to increase your awareness of these fascinating yet mysterious plants. It concentrates on how to care for air plants and addresses particular queries like how often to water them and why their leaves are turning red. or what causes my air plant to become pink?

What Causes My Air Plant to Turn Red? Maturity is a straightforward solution. Various plants display different maturational traits. The color of air plants changes to pink or red. Therefore, an air plant that is red or pink is a good indicator because it may indicate that the plant is getting enough water and sunlight. Simply said, an air plant that is turning red has been well-cared for, is mature, and is about to bloom.

Do air plants develop pink hues?

These blossoms can be a wide range of stunning brilliant colors, including pink, red, and purple, and can last anywhere from a few days to a few months, depending on the species. According to merchant Pistils Nursery, flowering represents the culmination of the air plant life cycle but also the beginning of the plant’s old age. After flowering, the plant will eventually pass away.

When air plants turn red, what does that mean?

When exposed to intense light, certain types of air plants, like Tillandsia brachycaulos and Tillandsia bradeana, are known to become a shade of red. Plant collectors who look for them specifically to add this lovely tone to their collection find this attribute attractive.

If the tops of your air plant’s leaves start to become brown rather than red, this indicates that it is being dried out by too much direct sunshine.

Make sure to mist your air plant at least twice a week if you intend to keep it indoors where it will receive plenty of light in a dry environment.

If you’re unsure of the conditions your indoor plant requires to thrive, using indirect light is always a safer option.

The answer is yes if you follow a few guidelines to ensure that your plant can continue photosynthesizing and growing as it would in natural sunlight. If you’re wondering if you can use artificial light to help your air plant turn red, here’s what you need to know.

  • Use full spectrum lighting because conventional lightbulbs don’t contain the wavelengths necessary for your plants to fully photosynthesize and develop.
  • Keep your plant three feet or less from any artificial lighting: Your air plant won’t be able to absorb enough light to stay healthy if you place it too far from a weak light source, even one that is completely spectrum.
  • Consider using supplemental lighting for at least 12 hours a day in areas with no natural light at all: Since most grow lights include an automated timer, you are virtually simulating natural sunshine here.

What does a sick air plant appear like?

What is it about Tillandsia air plants that is so fascinating? Because they are epiphytic plants, unlike the majority of other plants, air plants can survive without soil. They instead use their leaves to absorb moisture and nutrients. Despite the fact that air plants require little maintenance, they occasionally start to look ill and become limp, discolored, or droopy. In this state, can an air plant be revived? Yes, assuming the plant is still alive. Continue reading to find out how to revive a Tillandsia.

Your Air Plants Got Problems?

I’ve got you covered if you’re wondering how to maintain your air plant alive. Air plants that are dying can be distressing. When we’re unsure of the cause, this frustration is even worse. We have taken the first step toward solving the issue and are now ready to avert further issues.

Air Plant Rot

Let’s start with rot, which is an air plant’s main weakness. Rot can result from allowing water to build up in the plant’s cup, deep into its core. If this is the case, you will see a purple or black tint at the plant’s base, which denotes the presence of rot. The unfortunate fact is that decay kills.

The good news is that rot is completely avoidable. This is how: After soaking in water, place the plant on its side or upside-down to dry for approximately 4 hours. This will prevent extra water from accumulating inside the air plant and allow it to drip away. Before putting the plant back on display, wait until it is entirely dry.

Tip: Overwatering Air Plants: After watering your air plant, worry more about allowing the water drain away from the plant rather than worrying about overwatering it. Return the plant to its display once it has dry, which should take about 4 hours.

Keep in mind that the roots of air plants do not absorb water. Never put an air plant on exhibit where water will collect. Whether the air plant is to be displayed on rocks, pottery, sand, or in a terrarium, the platform must be entirely dry.

Allow the air plant to dry on its side or upside-down after watering. Thus, rot will be avoided.

Dehydrated Air Plant

Dehydration is the opposite situation. The most common myth about air plants is that they can obtain all the water they require from the surrounding atmosphere. They are frequently sold as being absolutely carefree. Despite the fact that air plants are incredibly simple to maintain, they do need three things: air, light, and water. Once a week, submerge your air plant in a basin of water for a few hours to hydrate it. Ensure that all of the leaves are submerged in the water entirely. After that, as was already mentioned, let the plant dry before putting it back on display.


Perhaps the poisons copper, boron, iron, zinc, or rust are causing your air plant to respond. Check your air plant display first. Is your air plant in contact with rust, pressure-treated wood, or copper wire? Do you use fertilizer, secondly? Fertilizers frequently contain the following elements: copper, boron, iron, and zinc. Use a fertilizer designed especially for bromeliads, tillandsias, or air plants to avoid these poisons.

Fertilizer Burn

Fertilizer burn is another thing to think about. Use a fertilizer specifically designed for air plants, as suggested above, to avoid using metals that are beneficial to most other plants but hazardous to air plants.

Although fertilizer can encourage faster growth and more vivid flowers in tillandsias, it should only be applied once a month, after watering.

How to spot fertilizer burn on air plants: If you know they are hydrated yet they appear dry and crispy with browning leaves, they may have fertilizer burn.

What causes air plants to blush?

An air plant will occasionally blush, turning red or pink through its leaves when it is ripe and ready. Not all air plants become red, but Tillandsia ionantha varieties frequently do so just before flowering. A flower spike, or inflorescence, will eventually appear from the center. Inflorescences on different air plants might be gentle and rounded on some and harsh and spiky on others. The shapes and colors of the blooms might range amongst species, making them diverse as well.

Can air plants tolerate the sun’s rays?

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.

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. I do this on a weekly basis during the summer when it’s warmer and roughly every three weeks throughout the winter. 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.