Air Plants, also known as Tillandsia, originally come from Mexico, South and Central America. These incredible plants are part of Bromeliad family, with over 550 recognized species, including air trees, succulent and cacti.
Air Plants absorb water and all necessary nutrients through their leaf system – and not the roots like other ‘regular’ plants. The roots, when present, work as an anchor to hold onto the trees and rocks.
Air trees don’t need soil to grow – they only need air! That’s what makes them such a popular choice for homes and offices around the world. You can grow them in a bowl, on a stand, hanging upside down or even in a picture frame – get creative!
But remember, while these plants are low maintenance, they still need water, nutrients and light to blossom. Below we focus on the basic care necessary when looking after the air trees.
Light is crucial in plant care – and air plants are no exception! If you grow your air trees indoors, keep them close to a natural light source – within 3-5 feet from a window or in conservatory. At the same time shield them from a direct sun, as it can be harmful, even indoors.
Air plants love bathrooms and kitchens! They thrive in humid settings, and they will bloom on a bathroom shelf or a kitchen table. Artificial light is also a great, as long as there’s plenty of it during a day.
Air plants need watering once a week if grown indoors. They often dry out from air conditioning or heaters, so topping up their moisture levels is crucial. A good idea is to mist your air trees regularly between watering with our specially designed spritzer. Remember, air trees still need watering, even if spritzer is used.
Love dunking? That’s a perfect way to water your air plant! Simply dunk your plant few times in clean water and gently shake off any excess.
If you notice your plant your plant thirsty or dry, leave it in bowl for a longer - few hours or even overnight.
As a rule of thumb, healthy air plant has wide open leaves, while dry dehydrated one can be closed with curled leaves!
Never dip the bloom or flower, as it can cause a rot. Remember that each air plant is different, and needs unique watering schedule.
That is another important ingredient of air plant care. They need it… as air! Air trees use tiny vessels called trichomes, located beneath their leaves, to capture necessary nutrients from the air. They need good clean air to survive and blossom.
Air circulation is key. These plants need to dry within 4 hours from watering so good air circulation is vital.
Air plants are perfectly fine in containers, but make sure they are not enclosed to allow for a healthy air circulation. Always check your plant is completely dry before placing it back in a display container.
Air plants love terrariums and globes. While it’s a great way to display your air tree, ensure to remove it for a weekly watering and allow drying before putting it back. Mist your air plant on regular basis to create humid settings. The smaller the globe, the less misting is needed.
If you grow your air plant in large terrarium with a good air circulation, spray it few times a week with clean water. Ensure your plant is not over misted and it’s dry within 4 hours while in terrarium.
We recommend using Bromeliad fertilizer once a month in small quantities. You can also use orchid or any other indoor plant fertilizer with low copper contents. Air Plants are sensitive to fertilizers so make sure not to over-do it!
Air plants have yearly life cycles, just like regular plants. They bloom and produce offspring, called pups. Most air plants can have between 2 and 8 pups. These in turn mature within a year, bloom and produce own pups.
How to know your air plant is blooming? It will grow pretty pink or red flowers. The babies – pups – appear next. You can either remove each pup once it reaches 1/3 size of a mother plant, or leave it until it forms a ‘clump’.
Each flower can grow from few days to several months, depending on a species. Most air plants bloom from late winter to mid-summer.
While having one plant this year, you can have 6 next year and 36 year after!
As you welcome air plants into your home, caring for them will become your second nature. These low maintenance beautiful species will not only decorate your home, but allow you a care-free lifestyle.