PLANT CARE | AIR PLANT CARE
There are several different types of air plants. But there are a couple rules that apply to caring for all air plants. When you first buy an air plant you will want to determine when they last bathed. Yep, that's right air plants bathe, they soak in water weekly instead of daily. Knowing when your air plant has last had a watering, will help you know when next to water your new little air plant buddy; either immediately or in two weeks.
Air plant do need water to survive, they are still a living organism. And this is what truly makes air plants great first plants! Air plants can survive long draughts. Allow your air plant to fully dry up before watering it.
Soak your air plant in water, covering the full plant for approximately twenty minutes. After your air plant has had a good soak, take your air plant out of water and gentle shake it. This will remove excess water. Place your air plant in bright light, with good circulation to dry off. You can also mist your air plants with a spray bottle more frequently than soaking. A plant in bloom should be rinsed rather than submerged in water, and take care when rinsing the delicate flowers.
The air plant will appear dusty and lighter in colour when they're in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign of dehydration. Your plants should be watered once per week. Watering your air plants two to three times per week is recommended for optimal care. A longer soak is recommended second week. If you are in a drier, hotter climate, more frequent watering or misting will be needed.
Light and Temperature
Air plants will do best in warm temperature, around 10 degrees celsius. Your air plant will need to be placed where it will receive a good amount of light. An area that receives too long, too hot of sunlight will not be a good place for your air plant to live. Place your air plant where it will stay warm and will receive light for several hours a day. Mist your place every couple of days to keep it moist if it is placed in a spot with good light.
Air plants need bright, indirect light. Rooms with a southern or eastern facing windows are perfect! This is because these spaces will brightly shine the sun for most of the day. Rooms with north facing windows, as long as the plant is placed close to the window and the window isn’t blocked by are also a good spot for your air plant. Western light comes late in the day and can be very hot and intense. If placing your air plant in a western facing window, be careful of the heat on your air plant, you do not want it to fry in the sun.
Grooming and Maintenance
There will be a bit of pruning maintenance with air plants. For example, some of the lower leaves of on a tillandsias may dry out as the plant grows or acclimates to a new environment. Remove these leaves from the base of the air plant. If your air plants leaf tips dry out and look brown, you can cut them off, trim on an angle. Your air plant's leaves will re-grow!
You can use Bromedliad Fertilizer once per month or other water-soluble fertilizers used at 1/4 strength. For example, Rapid Grow, Miracle-Grow, houseplant fertilizer, etc. if Bromeliad fertilizer is not available.
Blooming and Propagation
Some air plants may bloom. Different species bloom at different times, tillandsias live for several years and will bloom and produce flowers only one time during their lifetime. A plant will most likely go into bloom sometime between mid-winter and mid-summer.
When an air plant blooms, it will produce pups. Pups are distinct, generated air plants that are produced from the parent air plant. When the pup reaches at least 1/3 the size of the parent plant, remove the pup, gently pulling it apart from the parent. To remove the pup from the parent plant, hold the parent plant firmly and gently twist downward to detach the pup. You can you use a clean knife instead of your hands if easier.
The air plant pup will grow into a parent plant and regenerate it's own pup.
An enclosed vessel encourages wet, stagnant conditions, and this spells disaster. If you just can’t get over glass, choose a vessel with as wide a hole as possible, and be sure to let plants dry fully before you place them back inside.