Shockingly, air plants, or tillandsia, don’t rely strictly on air; they need regular care and maintenance. Tillandsia species are classified as epiphytes and use their root systems to attach themselves to rocks or trees.
They absorb moisture and nutrients through their interesting shaped leaves. Once you take your adorable Plant Nite air plant garden home, you’ll need to care regularly for your new friends and make sure your plants get proper attention.
Keep your plants inside in the winter because the plants need warm conditions (above 50°F/10°C) in order to survive. Tillandsia do well in filtered bright light. Full, hot sun dries them out quickly and can require lots of misting maintenance. Therefore, it’s better to have them under fluorescent lighting or bright indirect lighting whenever possible. This makes them perfect for your desk at the office or on a table near a window at home.
When watering, make sure the water is room temperature. Water your tillandsia once per week, or up to three times per week if humidity is low. Water the plants by soaking them in a bowl, sink, or bathtub for about 30 minutes.
Once per month, give your tillandsia a long bath and let the plants soak a little longer—between two to three hours. You can also mist your plants because air plants love humidity. If leaf tips on the tillandsia dry out or turn brown, snip off the tips at an angle—as long as you are watering consistently, the tips will regrow.
Fertilize the plants every two months with a bromeliad fertilizer mixed with water, according to directions. You’ll encourage new growth, better blooms, and pups. After the air plants bloom, they produce offsets, or new plants called “pups” which you can divide. In other words, you can make air plant babies at home by caring regularly for your amazing little house plants.
Be cautious about over-fertilization, as tillandsias have the ability to capture and hold nutrients. They are extremely sensitive to copper, so be sure to use a fertilizer formulation low in copper.
Inspired by these cute tillandsia planters and how easy it is to grow air plants? You’ll have even more fun planting a fun planter at a Plant Nite event with your friends. Find an event in your neighborhood. Happy growing!
Shawna Coronado is a successful author, blogger, photographer, and media host who focuses on wellness by teaching green lifestyle living, organic gardening, and anti-inflammatory culinary. Most recently Shawna has written the books, “Grow a Living Wall” and “101 Organic Gardening Hacks”.
Shawna campaigns for social and community good – her garden, food, and eco-adventures have been featured in many media venues including television news programming, radio broadcasting, and PBS television. You can learn more about Shawna at www.shawnacoronado.com.