I recently bought some air plants and I wanted to share how I take care of them! Air plants improve the air quality of your home and are a very creative way to decorate your home – there are limitless display options! They are also highly resistant to pests and disease!
Air plants, or Tillandsia, are from the orchid family. Despite their name they do not just live on air, they need water and sunlight! The roots on an air plant are not used to soak up water like a normal plant. Instead they are actually used to anchor onto a tree or rock in its natural environment. An air plant absorbs all its nutrients and moisture through its leaves. If your plant’s leaves start to curl or look really silver, it is probably time to soak it. I soak my air plants in the morning so they are not damp during the night.
My home is usually on the dry side due to the furnace or the air conditioner, therefore I mist my air plants between waterings. I mist my air plants every few days, this is my main method of watering them. However, if you have your air plants in a humid environment they might not need to be soaked as often or as long as mine would. I soak my air plants once every 1-2 months in water that has been sitting out for over 24 hours. I fully submerge them then take them out right after. If I soak them longer or more often, they die on me. If you live in a very dry environment, you might have to submerge them for longer. After, I take them out and lightly shake the excess water off.
It is very important to allow them to completely dry before you return them to their normal spot. I usually lay them out on a tea towel for a few hours to help the drying process. Air plants can rot, so it is important to not leave them soaking for very long and to ensure they are able to air off after soaking. They also need sunlight, however it cannot be direct sunlight. Direct sunlight might kill an air plant. Air plants prefer bright but indirect light.
Air plants will usually bloom once in their life, then put out pups. Make sure that if your air plant is blooming that you do not submerge the bloom in the water! Also, you might have to adjust watering based on the season, I soak my air plants less during the winter. I also (very seldom) add a very small spray of orchid fertilizer into the water I am soaking my air plants in so they are able to absorb some nutrients. Good luck!