How To Water Air Plants: Watering & Care Tips

by | Last updated May 20, 2022

What Are Air Plants

Air plants, also known as Tillandsias, are more difficult to care for than other houseplants. However, they are extremely strong and require little maintenance to grow, making them a great plant for beginners or busy office workers. This post will explain how to water air plants and how often you should do so. Hopefully, after reading this article, you will know how to hydrate your thriving Tillandsia of any kind.

watering air plants
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit

What Are Air Plants?

Tillandsia is known as the “air plant” because it grows without soil in the air. One of the most popular myths about air plants stems from the fact that they just require air to survive. 

It does, however, imply that they must continually absorb water through their leaves. This is caused by either extremely high humidity or frequent wetting.

How To Water Air Plants

While an air plant does not require soil, it does require food. Here’s how to water air plants.

Depending on how hot or dry your air is, you may need to water your air plants more frequently. If the leaves are shriveling, it’s time to water your air plants. But, as with other houseplants, it’s preferable to overwater than underwater.

Your air plant’s watering technique will also be determined by its installation style. Tillandsia can be watered in three different ways. 

  • Rinsing
  • Misting and, 
  • Soaking. 

Know that the last two methods will not work if you have mounted your plant somewhere, i.e., unless the mount is okay to be wet.

Rinsing Method

To rinse the plants, you must remove them from their stand and lay them in a strainer. From the leaves to the roots, all portions must be thoroughly soaked and then rinsed.

How Often Should I Rinse Air Plants?

Rinsing of air plants depends on the weather conditions. You can rinse them once a week during the summertime, and once every three weeks or so during the cool winter months will be enough.

Misting Method

Misting air plants many times a week is another alternative to watering them. If your air plant is part of a mounted display that is difficult to remove for soaking, this may be your only alternative. Some people like this approach. Some don’t. Spritzing is too erratic and does not deliver adequate moisture to the air plant. 

However, because greenhouses and plant centers are already humid environments, they just mist them. You can also spray them if you live in a humid climate.

How Often Should I Mist Air Plants?

If your air plants have small orbs, mist them every 4-5 times a week. If it has large orbs, mist them 5-7 times a week. Make sure you mist your plant thoroughly.

Soaking Method

The soaking method is the best approach to water air plants. It’s quite straightforward. Fill a large and deep dish, or you can even use a partially blocked sink with clean water. Soak the air plants for an hour in the water.

To ensure that all areas and ends of the leaves get a long soak, turn it over midway through. Some of the air plants can be seen plumping up as they absorb moisture. When thoroughly watered, the curly variety will lessen their curl. You can add a mild solution of liquid plant fertilizer to the water once a month. 

How Often Should I Soak Air Plants?

Soaking is the more comprehensive procedure, but it necessitates the removal of the plant from its display once again. Soak the plant for 5 hours once or twice a week.

The Most Beneficial Water for Air Plants

Air plants shouldn’t be given chlorinated water because it can hurt them. If at all possible, use rainwater or filtered water instead. 

Rainwater is the best choice for air plants, but pond or aquarium water can also suffice because they all have nutrients. Allow tap water to remain in a bowl for a day to ensure the chlorine evaporates before using, as it can cause browning of the leaf tips.

Signs of A Rotten Air Plant

It’s possible that overwatering is causing your air plant to suffer. Underwatering may be indicated by brittle tips that are becoming brown. When there isn’t enough water, the air plant’s concave shape becomes more obvious.

Overwatering signs, on the other hand, are difficult to reverse. The air plant has gone rotten if it is fast-dropping leaves and the root has become black or brown. In that case, refrain from watering and keep your fingers crossed!

How to Avoid it

Rot is the sole disease that poses a serious threat to air plants. And with proper care, it can be avoided 99 percent of the time. After soaking your air plants, dry them for at least an hour by turning them upside down on a towel. This keeps water from accumulating in the plant’s crown, which is the leading cause of rot.

Air Plant Care Tips

Air Plant Care Tips
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • reddit

Light

From April through October, air plants require strong, indirect, or filtered light to grow. However, this is still dependent on the air plant species you have and the humidity in its growth environment. Bright, filtered light is preferred for Tillandsia. The “day length” should be around 12 hours if utilizing artificial light such as grow lights.

Temperature and Humidity

Keep in mind that Tillandsias like temperatures of 50 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 10 degrees cooler at night. In other words, in terms of temperature, they’ll be perfectly content in a normal home. 

However, the lack of humidity in a typical home does not make some of them happy. Therefore, air plants should be kept away from heat vents and fires.

In general, they prefer humidity levels of 50-70 percent. So it’s not far off from the usual indoor humidity level, which hovers around 40-60%, but not quite enough for them to survive without additional water.

It also depends on your location and the time of year. 

Air plants are about as tolerant as a houseplant gets. They don’t even require you to plant them!

Fertilizer

Tillandsias don’t need to be fertilized. They can survive without one, but it is a terrific method to keep them happy and urge them to blossom and produce offsets more frequently.

Simply add a pinch of Bromeliad or air plant-specific fertilizer to your water once or twice a month to nourish your air plant. You can also apply 1/4 of the suggested strength of standard water-soluble houseplant fertilizer.

Wrapping Up

To keep your air plant healthy and happy, water it about once a week, giving it a good soaking. Allow the plant to dry out completely before watering again. In addition to watering, misting your air plant regularly will also help to keep it hydrated. Be sure to place your air plant in a bright location, but out of direct sunlight. With proper care, your air plant will thrive! Leave a comment if you have any questions about watering or caring for air plants. Thanks for reading!

Shelbi Clifford

Shelbi Clifford

Hi, I'm Shelbi! I am the founder of Houseplant Advisor - a blog for all things houseplants. Whether you are looking to add some green to your home or want to learn about how plants can help improve air quality in your space, Houseplant Advisor is here with the answers. Do you have any questions? Feel free to reach out and ask me anything!

0 Comments

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

About Houseplant Advisor

Our aim? Simple. Cut through the jargon and help you make the right decisions for your indoor plants and leafy green friends.
Learn More

Join Our Community

Houseplant Advisor is reader-supported. We may earn a commission through products purchased using links on this page.

Explore Related Topics

10 Best Plant Identifier Apps

10 Best Plant Identifier Apps

Gone are the days when you would see a plant you didn’t know about and had to go through all possible mediums to find out about it. These days, all you need is one of the best plant identification apps on your smartphone, and you’ll have your answer in a matter of...

Best Succulent Subscription Boxes: A Savvy Buyers Guide

Best Succulent Subscription Boxes: A Savvy Buyers Guide

Succulents are some of the most low-maintenance houseplants you can have. There are thousands of succulent varieties out there. Subscribing to a succulent subscription service is one of the best ways to explore the large, leafy world of succulents!  [affiliatable...

Plants and Vinegar: 7 Amazing Vinegar Hacks For Plants

Plants and Vinegar: 7 Amazing Vinegar Hacks For Plants

Thinking of using vinegar in your garden? If yes, you will be glad to know that there are many uses for vinegar in your little grassland. From repelling insects to promoting germination, it can help a plant in various ways. Read on for our 7 amazing vinegar hacks for...

Pin It on Pinterest