Caring for Air Plants

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I recently picked up a bunch of air plants, Ionantha Guatemalan specifically, and have set them up in some hanging vases. This blog is a quick tutorial on how to care for air plants!

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Plants need two things; light and water. Air plants like lots of light (natural daylight or 12 hours daily of fluorescent light) and occasional watering. How do you water a plant that has no dirt though? There are two methods; misting and soaking.

I soak my air plants once every month in room temperature water for about half an hour. After soaking I gently tap off all excess water and set the plant down on a towel to absorb extra moisture. The key to a happy air plant is to ensure it isn’t soggy, which will bring on rot. After soaking you want your air plant to be fully dry within 1-3 hours. If after 3 hours it is still wet try moving it into a sunnier spot or give it a gentle blast with a fan or a hair dryer on its coolest setting. Careful not to scorch or over dry your plant. Air circulation is important for drying, so don’t place it back into a glass vessel or terrarium until it is completely dry.

In addition to monthly soakings, once a week give the plant a thorough misting with water or an air plant spray. Again, remove it from the vessel or terrarium and allow it to dry before placing it back in. If it’s really hot and sunny out you may have to mist more often to keep the plant from drying out. If you have a window in your bathroom that is ideal as the humidity from your baths and showers will keep the plant misted and you may not have to spray it at all.

Always mist or soak in the morning and not the evening so it has time to dry before the night as that is when the plant respires (breathes). That’s it! Air plants are pretty easy!

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^ Dry air plant in the window

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^ Freshly misted plants air drying

20 comments

  1. I just had one of mine rot on me – the other I’ve had for a couple of years now and seems to be pretty resilient, but I didn’t know about the light, and I’ve been bad at regular watering. I think I’m going to get it one of those pretty little blown glass bubbles and hang it in front of the bathroom window. It’s just a little bitty thing. I’m probably going get a few more at the blooms show in February πŸ™‚ Thanks for sharing! Blessed be! )0(

  2. There are some really great tips here thank you! I usually stick to the soaking method but have been known to throw my little guy back into his glass terrarium too quickly without letting him completely dry off.

  3. I’ve been told to soak once a week for 10 minutes – is that too often? I have about 8-9 of the little tillandsias and some feel a little “crunchier” than the others and I want to keep them for a long time lol

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