Air Plant Care E-Book
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Need a quick and portable guide for taking care of tillandsias? Read our guide created by Jody James.
Air Plant Care Basics
Air plants are very hardy and easy to care for. We have seen them survive up to 2 weeks in a shipping box with no light or water (Do not try that at home). When your new air plants arrive you will want to open the box immediately. We ship our air plants via fast 2 to 3 day Priority Mail but like all plants they want light, air and water.
To lower the stress of the shipping you will want to soak your air plants in room temperature water for 20 to 60 minutes. Just fill a bowl with good water and submerge the plants completely. Municipal water often has some chemicals such as chlorine and/or fluoride. If you have well water, pond water, creek water or rain water, your air plants will love that. You can also use bottled spring water. Do not use distilled water as it has fewer natural minerals and nutrients that air plants like. As air plants do not live in soil they get all of their moisture, light and nutrients through their leaves.
You may notice that your air plants have a white, fuzzy, layer on their leaves, especially after a good watering. These are called Trichomes. Trichomes are small outgrowths on the leaves which absorb water and nutrients for the plants. They are not mold or a fungus.
After their soak, remove your air plants from the water, gently shake off the excess water and lay the plants out on their side or upside down so they can dry completely before placing them in a display. A nice sunny window sill is a perfect place to let them dry and soak up some sunlight. Do not place your air plants in direct sunlight. They like bright indirect sunlight. If you are planning on putting them in a glass terrarium, a wall hanging display, or any kind of enclosure (or in a hole to stand them up), it is important that you allow your air plants to dry completely. Letting the air plants dry completely reduces the risk of your plants rotting.
Your air plants should dry within one to two hours. Once they are dry you will want to display them in an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Do not place them in direct sunlight as this will dry them out very quickly. Typically, your air plants will only need a 30 minute soak in water once per week. If they are in a very dry or warm environment you may need to spritz them with water once a week in addition to the soak. You will know if they are getting too dry if their leaves begin to curl. Give them a good soak if you see this happening. Remember that despite their name, air plants need a little more than just air to live happily.
If you display your air plants in a manner that does not allow soaking them in a bowl of water you can spray them with water two or three times per week instead.
More than Air
Yes, Air Plants Need Water to Survive
Should I mist or should I soak my air plants? Read about the different hydration techniques in our air plant watering blog.
Air Plant Design
Making Cork Bark Arrangements with Air Plants
Learn how to make beautiful wall hangings and centerpieces with our renewable cork bark slabs.
Air Plant Shop News
Discover Air Plants in Nature
Follow along on an air plant Safari in Parque Nacional Laguna del Tigre, Petén, Guatemala as explore native Central American Tillandsias.
Air Plant Care Tips
1. Do not plant your air plants in soil
2. Do not let them stay wet for long periods of time to avoid rotting
3. Let them dry completely before placing in a glass terrarium
4. You may cut the unsightly roots off and peel or trim off the brown leaves.
5. Yes, air plants need more than air to survive. Read our care blog for more air plant care topics.