AIR PLANT CARE
CARING FOR YOUR BRAND NEW AIR PLANTS
Yay, they've arrived! After you've unpacked your plants and spent sufficient time marveling at their unique beauty (and possibly giving them names), give them a good soak in a water bath (submerged in the water) for about 30 minutes. Shake gently to remove any excess water and let them dry upside down in a spot with bright light and good air circulation. Follow the directions below for ongoing care of your plants.
Air plants should be kept where they'll receive bright, indirect sunlight. Periods of direct sunlight are just fine, but more than a few hours of hot sun will deplete the plants of their moisture. If your plant will be in a spot with some pretty direct light, try misting them every couple of days to keep them hydrated.
Air plants live on air, right? Uh, not right! While air plants don't grow in soil, they definitely NEED to be watered. While the plants can survive for long periods of drought, they will not grow or thrive and will eventually die off if water is too scarce. Follow the directions below for watering your plants on a regular basis and they will stay alive and well for quite some time. The good news is that since these plants are very forgiving, you shouldn't stress over their care schedule. There's certainly no need to get a babysitter when you go on vacation.
HOW DO I WATER MY AIR PLANTS?
As a main method of watering your plants, we recommend letting them soak in a bath of water for 30 minutes. You can use a bowl, the sink or even the bathtub if you've got a big plant family. After their bath, gently shake the plants to remove any excess water from the base and the leaves, and set out to dry upside down. If your plants need an in-between watering, misting them with a spray bottle is a great method. A plant in bloom should be rinsed rather than submerged in water, and take care when rinsing the delicate flowers.
HOW OFTEN DO I WATER MY AIR PLANTS?
Your plants should be watered once every 2-3 weeks. If you are in a drier, hotter climate, more frequent watering or misting will be needed. You'll begin to notice that after watering, your plant's leaves will feel stiffer and full of water and they'll be softer and lighter in color when they're in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign of dehydration.
Air plants will do best in generally warm conditions. In frost-free or nearly frost-free climates they can live outside for the entire year. Like most house plants, they can be taken outside on a porch or balcony for the warm season, just don't expose them to temperature or sun extremes.
GROOMING & AESTHETIC MAINTENANCE
Everyone needs a little grooming once in a while! It is normal for some of the lower leaves of your air plant to dry out as the plant grows accustomed to a new environment, and those leaves can be gently pulled right off of the plant. If the leaf tips have dried out, you can snip the dried tip off (try trimming at an angle to leave a natural-looking pointy tip), and the same can be done for the plant's roots. Don't worry about harming your plants during grooming-they'll regrow.
Tillandsias are tropical plants that usually live for several years and will bloom and produce flowers only one time during their lifetime. The flowers are striking and brilliantly colored, and the bloom period will last several days to many months, depending on the species. Different species bloom at different times, also depending on their care and environment. A plant will most likely go into bloom sometime between mid-winter and mid-summer.
Around a plant's bloom time, they'll produce offshoots, or "pups." You'll notice the pups have a separate and distinct center of their own, distinguishing them from the other leaves. Once the pup reaches at least one-third the size of the parent plant, the pup can be removed by gently pulling it apart from the parent. Hold both the parent and the pup at their bases and gently twist in a downward motion. You can also cut the plants apart using a clean razor blade, slicing as far down the pup stem as possible. Each pup will follow the life cycle by growing into a parent plant, blooming and producing pups of it's own.
Tillandsias can grow into clumps if the pups are left to grow on the parent plant. Clumps can also be created by wiring multiple plants together, as they'll begin to grow into and around each other.