I’ve been fascinated by air plants since they started popping up recently along with trendy succulents. Such odd little things. Plants that live off air? They’re like the breatharians of the plant world (if you’ve never read about breatharians, you’re in for a treat). And like breatharians (even though contrary to their beliefs), these little plants do need water and food. But no soil. Just a little place to call home.
This will do just fine.
Now that I am the keeper of these creatures, I’ve been educating myself on caring for them. It always bums me out when a plant dies, so I’m bound and determined to try and make these plants last. Through my research, here are the tips I’ve gathered on how to take care of airplants:
- Watering will vary depending on climate. I live in a very dry climate, so I am giving my plants water every 2-3 days or so. I’ve been taking them our of their homes and holding them under a gentle stream from the faucet to give them a good soaking. Then I allow them to air dry. In the sink or on a towel or drying mat. My tap water isn’t too chlorinated, but if yours is, you should use filtered water (like from a Brita), or you can fill a spray bottle with water and let it sit for several hours to allow the chlorine to dissipate, then use that to give your plants their watering. Be sure to turn your plants upside down and shake the excess water out of their base out!
- Airplants also need a good bath every 30 days or so. Again, the water needs to be light on the chlorine side, so the night before bathtime, fill a bowl with tap water to allow the chlorine to dissipate. Upon bathtime, gently submerge each plant to make sure it gets fully soaked (they won’t stay submerged), and let them sit in the bath for 30-60 minutes (the dryer the climate, the longer you should let them sit). Allow to dry thoroughly before returning to their homes. Again, be sure to turn upside down and shake excess water out.
- Airplants can be mounted to things, but this obviously complicates bath time. I’m choosing to keep my plants in containers that I can easily lift them out of. I’ve read some plants prefer to be attached to a home though. Since this is all new to me, it will be a lesson in patience and paying attention to see if any of my little guys aren’t happy.
- You should fertilize your airplants once a month, unless you are giving them their baths in pond water (yes, they love pond water, but that requires a pond). I purchased fertilizer specific to airplants, but you can also use orchid fertilizer. Just add a pinch to filtered water in a misting spray bottle, and you’re good. Give them a good misting after one of their waterings.
- Most airplants like bright, indirect light, and like a bit of air flow. This just means not keeping them in room that stays shut up. A teenagers bedroom that stays closed up 24/7 (what are they doing in there?), not the best place for an airplant. Your room, where blinds are actually drawn and the window opened? Perfect!
And thus begins a great experiment. How long can I keep these suckers alive? Hopefully for a very long time. For more detailed information on airplant care, check out these sites:
Do you have any tips to share on taking care of airplants? Done anything wrong that lead to the demise of a plant? Done something right and your plant is thriving? Please share your tips in the comments!