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Care of Air Plants

By Tricia Goss ; Updated September 21, 2017

Tillandsia and other types of bromeliads are known as air plants. This means that they are able to grow and thrive without soil. Air plants absorb the nutrients they need by means of their leaves rather than their roots, the way most plants do. Even though you do not need to plant an air plant in potting soil, they do need care and attention including adequate water, appropriate lighting and even fertilization in order to flourish.

Give your air plant plenty of water. Soak the air plant in a water-filled sink or container for two to three minutes. Turn the air plant upside down and shake it gently to drain off excess water. Mist your air plant using a spray bottle two or three times a week, as well.

Place or hang your air plant in a location that allows for adequate circulation, especially after watering. Standing water or too much moisture will damage the plant.

Provide ample indirect sunlight to your air plant, if possible. These plants love the sun but are prone to sunburn, as well. Hang or place an indoor air plant within three feet of a sunny window. Outdoor plants will do well on a porch or patio that partially shades them from direct sunlight.

Prevent air plants from extreme temperatures. Air plants are tropical and can withstand temperatures in the high 80's. Freezing temps, though, can harm an air plant, as can severely hot weather. If you keep your air plant outdoors, consider moving it inside during cold winter or scorching summer weather.

Fertilize your air plant in order to encourage blooms. Most varieties of air plants will produce dazzling flowers in tropical pinks, purples and oranges when fertilized. Once or twice a month, add special bromeliad fertilizer to your air plant's water.


About the Author


Tricia Goss' credits include Fitness Plus, Good News Tucson and Layover Magazine. She is certified in Microsoft application and served as the newsletter editor for OfficeUsers.org. She has also contributed to The Dollar Stretcher, Life Tips and Childcare Magazine.