Air plants are a trendy little plant species that gets its name from its ability to grow without soil, and draw nutrients from ambient humidity. Air plants grow wherever they can, clinging to telephone wires, boulder rocks, and even other plants. These adorable little plants have become the next super fad, because they’re easy to care for and super low maintenance. They literally live off air right? Well, not exactly.
Although air plants aren’t the hardest plants to keep up with, they do require a little love and some work to keep them alive. With that said, check out these five essential tips for caring for your air plants.
8 The Right Space For Your Plant
Air plants are a special kind of plant, and although they don’t need soil to grow, they do need some special accommodations in order to thrive and photosynthesize. They need to get the appropriate amounts of light, water, and air, and to do that, you have to find the perfect space for these plants to live out their lives. According to an article by Pistils Nursery, Air plants need bright and indirect light to thrive. With that said, have your plants in a space that is full of light for most of the day, but without too much direct sunlight so the plants don’t bake.
So whether you hang your plants, or put them in a terrarium, location is one of the keys to keeping your plants alive. Also, air plants love moisture, and the more moisture in the room with the air plants, the less they will need to be watered. So a space like the bathroom would be a good place for your air plants because the steam from the shower will always keep them moist. But be sure to keep the doors open because your air plants need air of course.
7 Air Plants Need Air
Of course one the main keys to keeping your air plant alive is air, but we’re not talking about sitting your plant in front of the fan for a while. Having good circulation and ventilation in the room where your air plants will live is essential to keeping them alive. Just as us humans need air to live and grow free, these awesome little plants need the same. So make sure those terrariums have an opening of some kind because enclosed air plants are good candidates for disaster.
And while you're at it, make sure the air that is circulating around your air plants is not too hot or too cold because air plants are peculiar about temperature. Although they can thrive at a range of temperatures, in order to keep them happy and healthy, keep the room your air plants are in above 50 degrees, but below 90 degrees, for the perfect plant palace.
6 Air Plants Need Water Too
Just like all other living things in the world, air plants can’t live without water. However, because air plants are not planted in soil, watering them takes a little more than a spray bottle and a watering can. Air plants absorb water through their leaves, and aren’t able to draw water from their roots when it's dry, so watering air plants regularly is essentially to keeping them alive.
Depending on the climate surrounding your air plant, you may have to water them more often, but its pretty standard to water them about once a week, and spritz them daily if the climate is really dry.
5 How To Water Your Air Plants
Watering your air plants takes time. You’ll need a bowl, or bucket big enough to fully submerge them, and be sure to only use filtered, bottled, or tap water that’s been sitting out overnight. Then let your plants soak! Your air plants need to soak for at least half an hour to an hour, and then need to be set out to dry for about 3 hours. Make sure your plants are fully dry before putting them back on display. A damp air plant is a dead air plant. Do these plant baths about 2-3 times per week for optimal plant health, and if your plants are a little hungry, it’s okay to mix a little fertilizer in your spay bottle to feed you plants.
4 Light is Key
Like the majority of plants we are familiar with, Air Plants need light to really thrive and grow. Without the proper amount of light, your air plants can’t properly photosynthesize, and will definitely not be able to survive. Air plants love bright but indirect light, so the sunniest room in your house can be a gift or a curse to your air plants. Try to put your plants in a room that has lots of indirect sunlight, because too much sun will bake them like an oven.
Also, remember that humidity plays a big role in caring for your air plants. Air plants placed in a room with high humidity can take a higher amount of light. But what if your house doesn’t get enough sunlight?
3 Growing Your Air Plants with Artificial Light
If you find the need to use artificial light to properly light your air plants, full spectrum fluorescent light is your best friend. Your light should be position anywhere between 6-36 feet from your air plants, and your plants should receive no more or less than 12 hours of constant light per day. Getting the right amount of light assures that your plants will live a happy life, but too much of a good thing can also kill your plants, so be on the look out for brown spots or dry leaves.
2 What If Your Plants Are Dying?
So you’ve done all you can right? You followed all the rules for caring for your air plant, and it still begins to die, what do you do?Since you can’t completely prevent your air plant form dying, it is extremely important that you become familiar with the symptoms of a dying plant, so you can act quickly to save it. There are many reason why your plant my be dying, and knowing what to look for is critical. Whether is the environment, lack of water, or sunlight, if you plant starts to dry out or turn brown, you know it’s time to take action.
1 How To Save Your Plants
If the decay is exclusive to the roots, promptly cut the rotten roots before they overtake the healthy ones. If the rot has overtaking the crown of the plant, this is a fatal blow, and your plant should be discarded. However, once you’ve cut to rotten roots off, it’s time for a soak. Water you plants for 8 hours or more, and if you have to time time, an overnight work is best. After the soak, let your plants dry for a least four hours, and repeat until your plant no longer looks dry.
Air Plants are an adorable and sensitive little plant that if taken care of, can live and thrive for many years. So keep your plants hydrated, let them breath good air, and make sure they get to glow in the sun. Your plants will love you for it.
But what did we miss? Do you have tips you use for caring for air plants? Tell us in the comments below!