How To Water Your Tillandsia [Airplants & Airplant Care]

"Air Plant" can be a misleading name, because air plants need more than just air to survive! Air plants are called air plants not because of that, but because they do not require any soil to grow. Some air plants do have some roots, but those are only to attach the plant to the tree it normally grows on, the air plants gain their nutrients from their leaves! 

If you live in a more humid environment, your air plant will likely be able to tolerate more direct light than an airplant in a drier environment would be able to handle. For the most part, air plants need bright, but indirect light. Rooms that have southern or eastern facing windows will generally make good candidates for your airplant's home. Be careful though, with too much direct bright light, your air plants can fry! 

If you are trying to place your airplant in a location that does not have ample natural light [say - your office doesn't have any windows!] - you can still get your air plant to flourish! However - full spectrum [fluorescent light] is a must to get them to survive. Your tillandsia should be no more than 2-3 feet away from the light source, and will require a minimum of 10-12 hours of artificial light per day if they will never see the sun light. 

How to Water an Air Plant

We think it's best to soak your air plants in water every few weeks. If you have rain water or pond water, we recommend using that for the additional nutrients, but if not, room temperature tap water will suffice. Some people swear by misting them alone, some swear by a misting / soaking combo - but it ultimately will depend on how humid your environment is and how much light your air plant is receiving on a daily basis. 

Once you've determined how much light your plant will receive [more light will need more water, less light a little less water] and how humid your environment is [more humid = less water, less humid = more water], you can start experimenting to find the perfect balance for your tillandsia. 

For a starting point, we recommend misting your tillandsia every 3-5 days, and giving them a full soak [fully submerge the plant for 2-3 hours] every 3-4 weeks. 

You will be able to visually tell if your tillandsia needs more water by the quality and color of the leaves. If the leaves feel dry to the touch or are starting to crisp up on the edges, your plant needs more water [and likely a little less sun!] If your plant leaves begin to get soft, or any part of the plant feels mushy - you are overwatering the plant and it is starting to die. 

Overall, be gentle with your tillandsia and pay attention to your placement, the placement of your plant is the biggest factor in your care-taking.