We are already familiar with ornamental plants that depend on soil, water, and fertilizers. It’s time we should change to plants that are easy to grow, easy to care for, and still have fresh air conditioning. They are air plants.
We asked the experts about some outstanding air plants and how to care for them. The main points include:
- You don’t need to water them daily
- You should place air plants in a well-lit place.
- Some types of air plants: Ionantha Guatemala, Orchids,…
Paulas Pattersons from My Garden Plant
As their name suggests, air plants can grow in the air and need no ground to grow – how interesting is that! They are such a stunning feature to add to homes and the perfect solution for people who live in apartments without gardens but would still love to add a dash of green to their daily lives.
Air plants generally grow on top of other plant species, meaning they are in a symbiotic relationship with these plants. They can adapt and survive without soil and thrive by obtaining their nutrient needs from the immediate surroundings. You can also water these plants through misting.
Which type of air plants are there? Loads! Such as those from the bromeliad family, the orchid family, and the Polypodiales family.
Shane Pliska from Planterra
Air plants and epiphytes, these plants naturally absorb moisture in humid environments. Therefore, a bathroom with good natural night can be an excellent location to place your Tillandsia collection, as the plant will appreciate the mist and humidity from showers.
Even when dry, the Tillandsia can still look attractive and can even be revived if the plant hasn’t been droughted for too long.
Don’t be afraid to get creative when you display air plants. Since these plants don’t require soil, it gives a design-minded person a great deal of freedom to decorate with this type of plant. Just make sure the plants are in good light and get moisture or soaking regularly.
The easiest way to keep an air plant hydrated is to soak the plant in a tub or the sink for 30 mins, do this once every 10 days. Then mist between soakings. Don’t let the plant sit in standing water for more than a half-day.
Cameron Pullano from Falcon Marketing
Air plants are a unique type of plant called epiphytes, meaning that they generally grow on other plants instead of soil, often in the crooks of tree branches in their native jungles.
As indoor plants, this adaptation makes them well-suited to nearly any place in the home as long as they can get bright, indirect light.
Air plants come in an incredible variety of shapes and appearances. Still, our excellent Ionantha Guatemala plants generally sport attractive silvery-green leaves with a spiky look that changes to a striking pinkish-red when in bloom.
Air plants are an excellent choice for people new to caring for houseplants, too. All they need is regular misting or a weekly dunk in water and they’ll be happy and healthy.
Too much direct sunlight can burn the leaves, and chilly temperatures of under 50 degrees Fahrenheit will also lead to issues. When kept happy, air plants will bloom and produce exotic flowers in an array of colors.
Air plants are a great choice for homes with pets and kids, too. They’re non-toxic and their versatility can allow you to place them far out of reach of any curious hands or snouts.
Julie from Sprouts and Stems
Tillandsia Xerographica is very easy to care for and makes a great beginner plant. This air plant has gorgeous, silvery-green leaves that burst out from the center, kind of like a ball of ribbons!
Tillandsia Xerographica likes bright, indirect light. Too much light will hurt the plant.
You must water the roots with other houseplants, but with air plants, you need to water the entire plant. Their silvery-green leaves are covered with trichomes that help absorb water and nutrients.
When watering the Tillandsia Xerographica, you can either soak the entire plant in a bowl of water or mist your entire plant with a plant mister.
I choose to soak my Tillandsia Xerographica. If you live in a highly humid environment, you may decide to mist to keep your plant from remaining too wet all the time.
I soak my Tillandsia Xerographica in a bowl of water for an hour once a week, making sure the entire plant is submerged. You might have to turn your plant upside-down in the bowl to accomplish this.
Keep in mind soaking time and frequency depends on your climate. The plant will need much less watering in colder weather and less light.
After watering, give your Tillandsia Xerographica a shake (gently) to get out the water that might be sitting in its crevices. This could cause rot. Make sure you put it in a spot where it will be able to dry out within a few hours.
It’s recommended to use rainwater, but, understandably, collecting rainwater is not an easy thing to do. Tap water is generally OK, but you might experience crispy leaf edges from the chlorine in some tap water.
Jason Webster from Barbeque Review
Air plant’s roots are not alive to conserve water, so they take in the moisture they need directly from the air. As mentioned in another response above, you want to avoid a lot of light.
In most cases, you want to place them in a relatively dark corner. However, this is one of the only plants that thrive better in more light than less light. You have to find that happy medium.
Secondly, they love high humidity. You really shouldn’t buy one of these and place it by an open window. The best thing to do is just keep it in a bathroom or terrace.
The next tip is just one of those fun random facts. Because air plants don’t need soil, it has been said that they can be called desert plants, and they just happen to grow well in humid/damp climates.
Air plants are low maintenance. They’re very hardy and generally require very little attention to keep them looking great.
Air plants can do well both indoors and outdoors, although they do best when kept outdoors. When kept inside, air plants may struggle to find the moisture in the air they need to survive, so they will need watering more frequently.
The more humidity in the air, the more direct sunlight an air plant can tolerate. If they don’t have enough moisture, and air plant can bake, especially if exposed to direct sunlight.
Air plants are very portable. Since they aren’t planted in the dirt, it’s easy to pick them up and move them wherever you’d like. People often make their own tiny air plant terrariums, which are a great indoor decorative feature.
Since you don’t plant them in soil, watering air plants is thoroughly for outdoor plantsYoudifferent from watering your average pot plant. For indoor plants, you want to soak them in water for 10 minutes every 2 weeks or so, or more often if the air is very hot and dry.
Give the plant 3 hours to dry fully before returning it to its display. You also want to give your air plant a light spray about twice a week, to ensure it is getting consistent moisture.
For outdoor plants, you can follow a similar schedule, but keep a close eye on the weather. In the summer you’ll need to water your plant more often, especially if there is not much moisture in the air.
But if it’s very humid, you might only need to spray the plant once a week, rather than twice a week. To avoid overwatering, keep a close eye on how long it takes the plant to dry.
If it isn’t able to dry naturally within 3 hours out of direct sunlight, this is a sign you are overwatering the plant, and it may begin to rot.
You can keep some tougher types of air plants such as Xerographica in full sun in very humid conditions. However, it’s generally best to ensure that they aren’t in full sun all day. Otherwise, you’ll need to water them constantly to prevent the leaves from drying out.
It’s best to keep your air plant somewhere with lots of natural light, but where it gets no more than an hour of direct sunlight each day.
One common way to keep your air plant is to put it in a glass globe. Rather than planting it in the dirt, you can support the air plant with a base of shells, decorative sand, pebbles, or even marbles.
Using a glass globe helps the air plant to get light from all angles and allows you to create a cool-looking terrarium if that’s what you’d like to do. Notably, the globe should have a large opening so that plenty of air can get in.
A fishbowl is a great place to put your air plant first if you don’t want to buy a specialized glass globe.
Mark Johnson from Fishing Gear Enthusiast
While these plants don’t need soil to grow, they need some of the nutrients found in soil to develop normally. Many people who own these plants try to supply their plants with some of these nutrients by coating the roots with a fertilizer once or twice a month.
However, it seems that a lot of owners don’t do this, and the plants don’t seem to suffer too much from it. If you are trying to propagate these plants by growing them from seeds, you will often find that the seeds have a hard time sprouting.
Charles McMillan from Stand With Main Street
I have a mini garden at home, and in the middle of the global pandemic last year, I became a huge fan of air plants. Some of my gardening tips for them to last are:
- Place them in partial shade or put them in full sun but make sure it is filtered.
- Make sure to submerge them in filtered water at least once every 2 weeks; they are not that needy of water. Again, filtered water because they are not a fan of fluoride.
Above is the information that you will probably need to grow and care for air plants effectively. A beautiful small pot with the included accessories will make your room glow.
So do not miss them in the list of plants to plant.