Whether you love them for being low maintenance or because of their unique appearance, we can agree that air plants are a statement on their own. Although they are easy to care for, there are a few things to have in mind to keep your air plants healthy. It is essential to keep your Tillandsia well-watered but also prevent rotting.
If you don’t know how to water air plants, you are in the right place. We share the ultimate guide on watering, frequency of watering, misting, and other crucial things you need to know. After reading, you will learn how to properly water your air plants to prevent them from dying.
1. Do Air Plants Even Need Water?
Even though they are called air plants, this doesn’t mean that they thrive off air. In nature, they live in humid areas and absorb the moisture from the air. Since the indoor air doesn’t mimic the proper conditions, you need to water your air plants. However, have in mind that you should do it correctly to avoid root rotting.
Air plants belong in the family of epiphytes, meaning that it grows on other plants in nature. Unlike other plants, they don’t rely on soil to provide them with water. With that being said, these plants use their roots for attaching to tree trunks, rocks, and bushes.
2. How to Water Air Plants
Fill a bowl with water and let your plant soak up as much as it needs for 30 minutes. Keep in mind that you should use room temperature water for this. When your air plant has absorbed the required quantity, let the excess drain by turning it upside down. This is a crucial step in the process because it will provide good air circulation to release the excess moisture. Wait for 15 minutes, and place the plant in a well-ventilated area. Ensure not to add it immediately to closed terrariums or containers since the water needs time to evaporate.
After 2 hours of drying, you are free to display your air plant in a decorative pot or terrarium. Wait for at least a week before the next watering.
3. How Often to Water Air Plants
The frequency of watering depends on the season and your home’s humidity. Watering should be done 2-4 times per month, but you can adjust the schedule according to the signs your plants give. Water your air plant once a week or once in two weeks if it needs less water. While you will need to give your plants a nice soaking once a week in summer, you can do it every two weeks in winter.
4. How to Water Air Plants in Terrariums
Tillandsia is an excellent choice for decorative arrangements and terrariums. These lovely glass terrariums look stylish while allowing easy removal for watering. If you can easily remove the plant, go for the watering process we already explained. Make sure to allow plenty of time for drying since the excess moisture will get trapped into the terrarium and cause rotting.
What happens when you can’t remove the air plant from the terrarium? When you can’t remove the Tillandsia to give it a warm soak, go for the misting method. Spray the leaves with a convenient misting bottle, but make sure to avoid the base. In this case, misting should be done a few times per week. Go 2-3 times per week and see how your air plant reacts. However, you need to mist the plant more often if living in a dry area. The same applies if you use air conditioning and heating since these can suck out the moisture from the indoor air. In this case, go for 4-5 times per week.
If you keep your air plant in a glass terrarium, have in mind that they will need less frequent watering. The terrarium maintains a humid environment, and therefore, your plant will require less water.
5. What Type of Water to Use
While rainwater is the ideal pick for an air plant, not everyone has access to it. However, you can still water them with tap water. Make sure to let the water sit for 24 hours before soaking so that the chlorine will evaporate. Or, get bottled distilled water for a convenient watering process.
6. How to Mist Air Plants
While misting will provide your lovely plant with humidity, you should do it correctly to avoid rotting. Get a refillable spray bottle, add water, and carefully mist the plant’s surface while avoiding the roots. Make sure that the leaves get lightly misted, and water isn’t dripping. While misting is an excellent way to provide your Tillandsia with humidity, keep in mind that this shouldn’t be the only way to provide water for indoor plants. If you live in a humid area, misting would be fine. However, it would be best if you paired misting and soaking for the best results.
7. How to Tell if Your Air Plant is Under Watered
If your air plant doesn’t get enough water, its leaf tips will start drying. Inspect your plant often to notice. However, this doesn’t have to mean that your plant will die. Remove the plant from its container and give it a nice soaking for an hour. Shake off the excess water gently and let it dry for two hours so that the water won’t gather in the base. Make sure to adjust the watering schedule accordingly and mist the plant more often.
8. How to Tell if Your Air Plant is Overwatered
While under watering is something you can get away with, we can’t say the same for over watering. If water settles in the plant’s base, this can lead to rotting and kill the plant. You can tell if the plant is overwatered by looking at its base. If you notice a color change and it gets black, this is a clear sign of rotting. Other signs that indicate excess water are falling leaves or a concave shape. If you notice any of these signs, be prepared to say goodbye to your Tillandsia since there is no way to save it. However, you can prevent this by following the steps that we already explained for proper watering.