10 Air Plant Care Tips You Should Know!

Suyash is a Master Gardener and the Editorial and Strategy Director at BalconyGardenWeb.com. With a focus on houseplant care, he combines over a decade of hands-on horticultural experience with editorial expertise to guide and educate plant enthusiasts.
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Want to grow air plants indoors? We’ve got the most helpful Air Plant Care Tips You Should Know Before You Start!air plant care tips

Have you ever seen those cool air plants hanging around in stores? These unique plants don’t need soil, but they do need a little special care. Don’t worry; keeping your air plants happy is easier than you think! Here are essential air plant care tips to keep those fuzzy fellas thriving.

Air Plant Care Tips

1. Find the Perfect Place

Think of your air like us—they love light and a spot by the window. But unlike us sunbathers, they don’t enjoy baking all day. Harsh direct sunlight can be a bit too much for them.

Instead, aim for bright, indirect sunlight like a window with a sheer curtain. A couple of hours of cool morning sun is okay, but diffused or filtered light is better. Remember, too little light can make them grow slow and pale, while too much sun can cause brown, crispy leaves. Simple as that!

2. Maintain a Warm Temperature

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Air plants thrive in a temperature range of 50-90°F (10-32°C), preferring warmth. However, they can get a bit chilly below 45°F (7°C), so avoid leaving them outside on frosty nights.

On the other hand, if it gets really hot and dry, you might need to water and mist them more often to keep them happy and hydrated.

3. Use Supplemental Lighting

Don’t worry if your cozy corner isn’t bathed in sunlight! If your air plants aren’t getting enough natural light, artificial lighting can be a lifesaver.

Look for fluorescent bulbs that mimic natural sunlight; these are great for keeping your plants happy indoors. Install the lights 6-9 inches above your air plants and aim for around 12 hours of glow time each day. This will keep them thriving even without a bright window!

4. Dunk, Don’t Spritz

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Watering air plants is a bit different than your usual houseplants. Forget the mister bottle; air plants actually prefer a good dunk! Instead of misting, completely submerge your air plant in a container of room-temperature water. A good soak for 30 minutes is perfect, and you can do this every 7-10 days.

However, this watering frequency can change depending on your climate and the air circulation in your home. For example, if you live in a hot and dry climate, you might need to soak your plants 2-3 times a week. Remember, the key is to keep them hydrated but not soggy! Here’s everything you need to know about air plant watering needs.

5. Look Out for Signs of Rot


Uh oh, no one wants to see their air plants go limp! Here’s how to spot trouble–if the roots or the center of your plant (called the crown) turn brownish-gray and mushy, that’s a sign of rot. If it’s just the roots that are unhappy, you can try to save your plant by carefully snipping off the rotten bits.

But if the mushiness is happening right in the crown, that’s a bad sign. Unfortunately, you cannot save rotten air plant crowns. The best thing to do is remove the rotten plant and replace it with a fresh, healthy one.

6. Recognize Fertilizing Needs

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Air plants don’t like being overfed! Fertilizer is great for giving them a little boost, but too much can actually be bad. During their growing season (which is usually spring and summer), you can feed your air plants a special fertilizer designed just for them. Look for a liquid, water-based one at your local plant store.

Remember, air plants are sensitive, so only use half the recommended dose. You can either mix the diluted fertilizer into their soaking water or mist them with it. It’s as easy as that! Just fertilize them once a month during their growing season, and they’ll be happy growers.

7. Provide Ample Air Circulation

Air plants are all about good airflow! Proper circulation helps them dry out completely between waterings. This is important because too much moisture can lead to rot, which shows up as nasty brown spots like we just told you.

If you’re thinking of displaying your air plants in a terrarium or a fancy glass globe, make sure it has openings or ventilation. Stagnant air is a no-no for these little guys! This will help them breathe easily and prevent rot from setting in.

8. Grooming for Health

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A little grooming can keep your air plants looking and feeling their best! Trimming off dead or yellowing leaves is a great way to keep your air plant healthy–it not only makes them look sharper, but it can also help prevent the spread of any yucky diseases or pests.

Grab some clean, sharp scissors and carefully snip off the dead bits, making sure to stay clear of any healthy green parts. Easy peasy!

9. Notice the Resting Period

Air plants go through a natural resting period after blooming. During this rest time, they won’t need as much water or fertilizer. So you can cut back on watering and maybe move them to a spot that’s a bit cooler.

This will help your air plant get all rested up and ready to amaze you with another bloom in the future! Pretty neat, huh? And way less watering for you in the meantime. Win-win!

10. Make Seasonal Adjustments

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Heads up about your air plant! These little troopers need some TLC that changes with the seasons.

Winter’s dry air, thanks to heaters cranking, can parch your air plant. To keep it happy, mist it more often, or think about getting a humidifier for some extra moisture in the air.

Summer’s a whole different story. Hotter temps and brighter sun can be a bit much for your air plant. Keep a close eye on it to avoid it drying out or getting a sunburn. You might need to water it more often than usual during this time.

The No. 1 Air Plant Care Tip You Should Know

Here’s a super important tip that’s not on the list–Rotate your air plants!

Air plants can grow lopsided if they only receive light from one direction. To encourage even growth, gently rotate your air plants every week or so. This will make sure all sides get enough light to keep them growing strong and looking their best.

Bonus tip: If you have a bunch of air plants hanging out together, rotate the whole cluster as well! This will help them all get a chance to bask in the indirect sunlight.

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