Air Plant Upkeep

Tillandsias, commonly known as air plants, are popular house plants because of their unique, spiky shape and a notion that they’re easy to care for. In truth, the plants can actually be a little tricky.

Light and water are the two most important factors to consider when caring for your air plant.

Air plants like bright light, but don’t do well in direct sunlight.  An ideal indoor location for the plant is near an east, west, or south-facing window, possibly behind a light curtain. If you want to keep your air plant outside, look for a space that gets sunshine, but is shaded from direct sunlight.

For watering, you can mist, rinse, or soak your air plant to keep it from drying out. Misting should be done whenever the plant’s surface appears dry. Be sure to give it a thorough spray, to the point where water drips off.

For rinsing, run water over your plants a couple times a week and set them on a paper towel to absorb any extra water. If you want to try the soaking technique instead, submerge your air plant in water for 20 minutes to an hour once a week, and then drain it well. You can mist plants in between submersions if needed.

Whatever technique you use, it is best to make sure your air plant is dry before watering again to avoid watering.

Additionally, air flow is essential to these plants. Be sure to keep your air plants in a well-ventilated area. 

If your air plants are outside, you will want to consider temperature. Air plants should not be exposed to temperatures below 54 degrees or above 86 degree, so bring your plants inside when extreme temperatures are in the forecast.

Once the balance of water and light is set, air plants require little care. All that’s left to do is enjoy your plants! 


Catherine Martin
Public Information Officer

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