Air plants care
The name air plants says it all: the plants do not need potting soil to grow. Air plants are epiphytes, plants that originally grow on trees and plants in the jungle and live off the humidity in the air. However, the humidity in the house is not as high as in the jungle. Therefore, air plants need some care to stay as happy, fresh and fit as possible!
Air plants love light, although direct sunlight is less appreciated by some air plant species. Air plants are preferably placed in indirect sunlight so that they can best convert their nutrition and water into glucose, which enables the growth and vitality of the plants.
An important aspect in the care of your air plants is the circulation of air. Air plants originally grow in open environments in the wild and because they are used to this, they love an airy environment. Although air plants also do well in places with less air circulation, fresh air is highly appreciated by our green friends.
Air plants can be watered in two ways. You can either spray the air plants with water in combination with the Tillandsia nutrient spray, or soak them in a bath of water. We call this a airplant-retreat, because this method ensures that your air plants remain extra strong and healthy! We recommend using a combination of both methods. Spray twice a week and use the soaking method once a month. See below for an explanation of the airplant retreat.
It is important to keep an eye on the leaves of the air plant. You can see from the leaves how the air plant feels and if it is thirsty or not.
Step-by-step plan Airplant-Retreat
1. Fill the bath with lukewarm water, preferably rainwater but tap water is also an option.
2. Then immerse your air plants.
During this bathing session, the air plant fills itself with water.
3. Then take them out of the water after 20-30 minutes.
4. Important! Shake the water off your air plants and let them dry. If the water remains between the leaves of the air plants, the leaves might rot.
The bath will make your plant shine again, and its life span will be extended. It is also highly recommended if your air plants are starting to lose colour or look less healthy.
Too much water
Air plants can recover from many neglects. Compared to other plants, they can easily live a longer period (4-8 weeks) without water. However, they cannot recover from an overdose of water.
It is therefore important to keep a close eye on your air plants and to feel if they have not received too much water. Below are a number of symptoms that can give you guidelines for care.
- Curly leaves
- Brown tips on the leaves
- The leaves look soaked
- Air plant does not absorb water within 4 hours
Tip: Are the plants not drying fast? Then put them outside in the sun for a while! In nature, the sun and wind help evaporate excess water.
How do air plants absorb water?
Air plants have no, or very small, roots that are often only used to cling to trees or other plants. Air plants absorb their nutrients through their 'trichomes'. These are small fuzzy hairs on the leaves of the air plant. Through these trichomes, nutrients are extracted from the air and rain. Remarkable, isn't it?