Look, I get it. It can be incredibly tricky to find a few houseplants that work with the levels of sun in your home. However, I think the trickier part is learning how to care for each houseplant on an individual level. If you have a hard time figuring out how to get your plants to grow, it might be a good idea to try a few air plant varieties, instead! Here’s how to grow air plants to keep them alive for longer than just a few weeks!
To begin, let’s discuss why air plants are some of the most unique houseplants around. The answer is simple: air plants are unique because they literally don’t need any kind of soil to thrive. They need water, sunlight, and air. As many gardeners know, the type of soil the plant is rooted in definitely makes a difference–and if you don’t have to worry about soil, you don’t have to worry about all of the diseases that come with growing a plant in soil.
How to Care for Your Air Plants
If you’ve just purchased your plants, now is a good time to fully submerge them in water for a period of 20-30 minutes. Shake any excess water from the plants when the 30 minutes have expired, and place them in an area with bright light and good air flow. Because it can be shocking for plants to go from one environment to the other, submerging the plants will make the transition less rough. Once dry, you can place your plants in the container of your choosing.
Air plants should be placed in areas of bright and indirect sunlight, or under fluorescent lighting if need be. It is best that you keep your air plants out of direct sunlight for an extended period of time because the heat tends to “zap!” the plants of their moisture. If your air plants live in an area of bright sunlight, the plants will need to be misted regularly to prevent dehydration.
Though air plants don’t grow in soil, they still need a hearty drink now and again! Follow the directions on your plant label to adequately determine how often you should be watering your plants. Generally, air plants will survive on their own, as long as there is some sort of water source present. However, if you forget to water them for a week or two, air plants are known for being forgiving, so you should be able to keep them alive! When watering, follow the directions from the first slide: simply let your plants soak in water for 20-30 minutes. Shake to dry, and leave them in an area of good air flow so they dry completely. If you have a plant that is in bloom, rinse it instead of submerging in water for 20-30 minutes.
Air plants don’t require fertilizer, but as with many plants, it’s never a bad idea to use one! If you use fertilizer, air plants should be fertilized at least once a month to promote blooming and good plant health. I recommend using a Bromedliad fertilizer for the best results!
Over time, leaves of your air plants may begin to wither out and become dry. Gently remove the dead leaves as you see them, by pulling them away from the stem of the plant. If you notice your plant tips beginning to brown or discolor, you can simply “snip” the ends off to make your plant look a little healthier.
There you have it, the care basics for air plants. They’re easy to grow, aren’t they?