About Air Plants
Easy-care green for your home: Tillandsia, also known as air plants, are foolproof plants, perfect for even the most neglectful gardener.
A low-maintenance houseplant that grows without soil.
They are in the Bromeliad family and grow naturally in South and Central America and the southern parts of the United States. Hundreds of different varieties grow on trees, rocks, or cliffs. No soil is needed to grow these amazing and unique plants. All water and nutrients are taken through the leaves. Their roots are used as anchors only.
Air plants have a growth cycle starting with one plant growing to maturity and then blooming. One to two months after the bloom has finished, new plants form around the base of the "mother" plant. They will eventually mature and complete their own blooming cycle.
Lighting for Tillandsias should be bright, but filtered. They may be grown in the house directly in front of a window, an east-, south-, or west-facing window will work. As a general rule, the thicker or stiffer the leaves and the more gray or white their color, the more light the plants need.
The best way to water an air plant is to submerge the whole plant in a dish of water for up to 12 hours or overnight. Air plants take up only as much water as they need, so you won't overwater by doing this. In a typical indoor setting, an air plant watered this way, shouldn't need watering for 1-2 weeks, depending on temperature, humidity, plant specie, plant size, and air circulation. Monitor your plant's appearance to learn when to water. Take note of how the plant looks after watering. In general, plants with thinner leaves will need more frequent watering than plants with fleshy leaves. Plants should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours after watering. Plants with thick fleshy leaves that tend to trap water in their centers should be turned upside down and gently shaken to remove trapped water.
An alternative method of watering is by drenching so the plants end up thoroughly wet (to point of runoff). For indoor plants, you can do this in your kitchen sink and use a watering can or your sink hose sprayer....it only takes a few seconds to get the plants thoroughly wet. Watering 2 - 3 times per week is required, if this method is used.
Spray misting is insufficient as the sole means of watering even if done daily but may be beneficial between regular waterings in dry climates to increase the humidity.
Water quality is not important for most Tillandsias so you may use tap water, rain water, or bottled drinking water. Don`t use distilled water.
Optimum temperature range is 50 - 90 degrees F.
Use Bromeliad fertilizer twice a month. It is great for blooming and reproduction! Other water-soluble fertilizers can be used at 1/4 strength (Rapid Grow, Miracle-Grow, etc.) if Bromeliad fertilizer is not available.
Trim away any brown, dried, or injured (bent) leaves. This will not harm the plant.
If the roots are bothering you, cut them off, they will grow back.
Don't soak the flower while in bloom, prolonged periods of soaking will rot them.