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How to Care for Air Plants

How to Care for Air Plants

Over here at The Bouqs Co., we’re totally obsessed with air plants at the moment! As Will Ferrell’s villainous fashion mogul Mugatu from Zoolander would say, they’re “so hot right now.”

And it’s not hard to see why air plants are generating so much buzz on interwebz: they’re super low-maintenance, can survive under harsh conditions, and are the perfect plant to add a much-needed touch of green to your home or apartment. And, oh yeah, we almost forgot to mention that they’re pretty much a DIY fangirl’s dream plant.  All it takes is a little knowledge on how to care for air plants, and these little guys will be taking your Instagram up a notch. (Just take a look at these air plant decoration ideas and tell us we’re wrong)!

But just because air plants are fairly durable, it doesn’t mean they are indestructible. In fact, it’s extremely common for us to come across air plants that have been neglected and, as a result, have begun to turn brown and die from thirst or lack of vital nutrients.

That’s why we’re going to tell you exactly how to care for air plants so that they’ll live a long and happy life beautifying your humble abode. And honestly, it’s not that hard at all because—as we mentioned before—they’re super low-maintenance.

But before we dive into proper air plant care, let’s take a second to learn about these strange little creations and what makes them just so special!


Getting to Know Air Plants

We’re going to come right out and say it: air plants are weird! Why? Well… for starters, they don’t even need soil to grow and flourish. Unlike 99 percent of other plants out there, they gobble up nutrients and water from the air (hence the name!).

In fact, air plants, also known as tillandsia, can grow almost anywhere you could imagine from tree branches and rock walls to rooftops and power lines. Gravity and heights just aren’t a huge deal to them!

Caring for Air Plants: The Basics

Submerge Your Air Plants in Water

When it comes to caring for air plants, this is the step where proud air plant owners often drop the ball.

The reason? They falsely assume that air plants can just soak up all the nutrients and water they need straight out of the air alone. This sadly isn’t the case. Sure, in a rainforest environment or perched on a mountaintop, this would be true, but in an AC-filled, enclosed home, no freaking way!

On top of that, some air plant owners think that misting their pretty little green friends is enough to do the trick. Sadly, wrong again…

All plants love, love, love themselves some water, so the key to air plant care is to submerge them overnight in thirst-quenching H2O. And don’t worry about overwatering: air plants will only sip up the amount of water they need.

Doing this once every 10-14 days will work like a charm!

Fully Air Dry Your Air Plants

After they soak up water overnight, you’re going to have to make absolutely sure that your air plants dry completely before being returned to their spot adorning your home. This means turning them upside down and shaking off any excess water from the leaves, then placing them in a sunny or bright spot of your home for a few hours.

In our experience, a damp air plant is on the verge of becoming a dead air plant. Don’t let that happen!

Place in the Right Location

This part of air plant care is pretty darn hard to screw up considering air plants aren’t picky when it comes to where you place them. Honestly, they’ll happily hang out anywhere—well, almost anywhere!

For indoor air plants, we recommend locating them in an area of your home that gets bright, but indirect light. If you mistakenly put them in a spot that sees a lot of direct light, there’s a good chance they’ll dehydrate, which—needless to say—isn’t exactly what you’re going for.

Also, it’s important to keep your air plants away from any cool or warm drafts as well as make sure the temperature of the room they’re in stays between 50-90 degrees.

Give Your Air Plants Some Delicious Food

Caring for air plants is a little like caring for a pet in this sense: don’t let them go hungry! To keep your air plants looking gorgeous for as long as possible, once a month you should add some fertilizer to the water that they soak in overnight.

Just pick up some bromeliad or air plant fertilizer mix from your local hardware store or online and follow the directions on the back. Simple as that!

Get Creative with Your Air Plants

As you can see by now, air plants are not only easy to care for, but also offer endless opportunities for all you DIYers out there, thanks to their no-fuss nature. You can place them inside of virtually any container you can think of, from baskets and tiny filing cabinets to hanging terrariums and wine glasses.

Whatever you can conjure up, air plants can and will happily hang out there! Just make sure that their container gets a decent amount of air circulation (they’re called air plants for a reason after all).

Now that we’ve run through the basics of caring for air plants, that’s one less excuse for not having these adorable green friends all over your house. So what are you waiting for? Go snag some air plants and use them to create a stunning new display of greenery in your home!

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