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Air Plant Care: Elevate Your Decor with Healthy Air Plants

This post is all about Air Plant Care.

air plant care

Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are unique and fascinating plants that can be grown without soil.

They are a great addition to any indoor space, as they add a touch of natural beauty and are relatively easy to care for.

In this article, we will cover all aspects of air plant care, from light and temperature requirements to common problems and pests. With our guide, you will be able to care for your air plants with confidence and watch them thrive.


Air Plant Overview

Common Names

​Air plant, or Airplant and sometimes also called Sea Urchin plant

Scientific Name





Some are as small as a few inches, while others can grow up to a foot or more


​Bright, indirect light


These do not require soil to grow


Every one to two weeks by soaking them in water for 20-30 minutes

Pests & Diseases

Root rot, fungal infections, and bacterial infections, mealybugs, and scale insects

Air Plant Care

air plant care

Light & Temperature

Air plants prefer bright, indirect light, as direct sunlight can scorch their leaves. They do best in temperatures between 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit, which makes them perfect for indoor spaces.

Avoid placing air plants near drafty windows or doors, as they prefer stable temperatures.

RELATED: Top 5 Best Grow Lights For Indoor Plants

Water & Humidity

Unlike most plants, air plants do not grow in soil and do not need to be watered regularly. They absorb moisture through their leaves and can be misted with water or soaked in a bowl of water for 30 minutes once a week.

It is important to ensure that your air plant has enough airflow after watering, as stagnant moisture can cause rot.

RELATED: Top 10 Watering Cans to Keep Your Garden Thriving


As mentioned earlier, air plants do not grow in soil, and should not be planted in it. Instead, they can be mounted on driftwood, rocks, or other decorative objects, or simply displayed in a decorative bowl or terrarium.

RELATED: Dirt Matters: A Guide to Choosing the Right Soil for Your Plants


Air plants do not require fertilizer, but if you want to encourage growth and blooming, you can use a water-soluble fertilizer once a month during the growing season (spring and summer).

Be sure to dilute the fertilizer to half the recommended strength, as air plants are sensitive to chemical fertilizers.


Since air plants do not grow in soil, they do not need to be repotted in the traditional sense. However, if your air plant has outgrown its current mount, you can carefully remove it and attach it to a larger one.


Air plants are easy to propagate through their offsets or "pups." Pups are small baby air plants that grow off the main plant. Once they reach about 1/3 the size of the parent plant, they can be separated and grown into new plants.

To propagate an air plant, gently pull the pup away from the parent plant. Make sure it has a few leaves and roots attached.

You can then place the pup in its own container or attach it to a piece of wood or other surface using glue or wire. Mist the pup daily until it takes root and begins to grow.


Air plants don't require much pruning, but you can remove any dead or yellowing leaves to keep the plant looking healthy. Use sharp, clean scissors or pruning shears to snip off the dead or yellowed leaves at their base.

RELATED: 10 Pruning Sheers that will Give your Garden a Professional Touch


Air Plant Care

Air plants are relatively easy to care for, but they can run into a few issues. If you notice your air plant turning brown, it's likely due to under or overwatering. Adjust your watering schedule and make sure the plant is getting the right amount of light and humidity.

Another issue you might run into is mold or mildew on your air plant. This can be caused by excess moisture or poor air circulation.

To avoid this, make sure your plant is getting enough air flow and try not to get water on the leaves when watering.

Growing Problems

If your air plant stops growing or seems to be dying, it may be due to a lack of nutrients. You can mist your air plant with a fertilizer solution once a month to give it a boost of nutrients.

Another issue may be lack of light, which can cause slow growth or even death. Make sure your air plant is getting enough bright, indirect light.


Air plants are relatively pest-free, but they can attract mealybugs or scale insects. These pests can be removed with a solution of water and rubbing alcohol. Gently wipe the leaves with a soft cloth dipped in the solution.

RELATED: 9 Organic Pest Control Methods For a Healthy Garden


Air plants are not susceptible to many diseases, but they can develop root rot if overwatered. To avoid this, make sure your plant is getting proper drainage and don't let it sit in water for too long.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you keep air plants alive?

Air plants (Tillandsia) are relatively easy to care for and can thrive in a variety of conditions. Here are some tips to keep air plants alive:

  1. Watering: Soak the plant in water for 30 minutes once a week or mist it 2-3 times a week. Avoid using tap water, as the chemicals can harm the plant. Instead, use rainwater, filtered water, or bottled water.

  2. Light: Air plants need bright, indirect light. Avoid direct sunlight, which can scorch the leaves.

  3. Temperature: Air plants prefer temperatures between 50-90°F (10-32°C). Avoid placing them in drafty areas or near air conditioning vents.

  4. Humidity: Air plants prefer a humid environment. You can increase humidity by placing the plant near a humidifier, or by grouping it with other plants.

  5. Fertilizer: Air plants don't require fertilizer, but you can use a diluted orchid fertilizer once a month to encourage growth.

  6. Display: Air plants can be displayed in a variety of ways, including in terrariums, on driftwood, or in decorative holders. Make sure the display allows for good air circulation around the plant.

  7. Propagation: Air plants can be propagated by separating the offsets, or "pups," that grow at the base of the plant. Gently twist the pup away from the parent plant and pot it in its own container.

How often should I mist my air plant?

Misting is not necessary for the survival of air plants, but it can help to provide them with the humidity they need to thrive.

The frequency of misting depends on the environment and the humidity levels in the air.

In general, air plants should be misted once or twice a week, or whenever they appear to be dry. It's important to avoid over-misting, as this can lead to rot and other problems.

Instead, focus on providing the plant with enough moisture to keep it healthy, without saturating it with water.

Are air plants hard to keep alive?

Air plants are generally considered easy to care for and can be a great option for beginners or those with limited space.

They don't require soil and can grow in a variety of conditions. However, they do have specific care requirements, such as proper watering and adequate light, that must be met to keep them healthy and thriving. With the right care, air plants can live for several years.

Where is the best place to put an air plant?

Air plants are quite versatile and can be placed in a variety of locations, depending on their light and humidity requirements. Generally, they do well in bright, indirect light, such as near a window that gets morning or evening sun. They can also thrive under artificial lighting, such as fluorescent or LED lights.

As for humidity, air plants prefer a humid environment, so it's a good idea to place them in a room with moderate humidity or to regularly mist them or soak them in water to provide moisture. Additionally, air plants can be placed in a terrarium or enclosed container, which can help to maintain the necessary moisture levels.


In conclusion, air plants are a unique and fascinating addition to any plant collection.

With their minimal care requirements and striking appearance, they are a great choice for those looking for a low-maintenance plant.

By following these care tips, you can keep your air plant healthy and thriving for years to come.

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