by Jennifer Poindexter
Do you enjoy growing different types of plants around your home? Truthfully, I wasn’t super adventurous with my houseplants until I discovered the air plant. From then on, it all changed.
I was scrolling through the internet one day and saw this fascinating plant that wasn’t in water and could grow in many situations. This was a few years ago.
Now, I keep an air plant in my home at all times because they’re so fun. If you’d like to add a little excitement around your home, consider growing an air plant. Here are my top tips to help you get started.
1. Create the Right Environment for an Air Plant
Air plants are tropical plants. Therefore, they can’t handle cold conditions. They will typically be grown indoors unless you live in planting zones ten and eleven.
If you do, you can move the plants outdoors, and they should thrive. Otherwise, the plants should remain indoors where the temperature shouldn’t drop below 60-degrees Fahrenheit.
Be mindful of the placement of the air plant when growing indoors. It shouldn’t be placed near an air conditioning vent, window, or any other drafty location. This could decrease the temperatures around the plant and cause it harm.
2. Provide the Right Amount of Lighting for an Air Plant
As mentioned earlier, air plants are native to tropical areas. Therefore, it shouldn’t be surprising that they enjoy their sunlight.
It’s best to provide indirect light whenever possible. This provides the necessary light without bringing harm to the plant.
However, full sun is better than no sun. Be sure the air plant is provided a minimum of four hours of sunlight per day.
Watch your plant. If it begins to look stressed, and is in full sun, move the plant to a location where the sun isn’t as bright.
3. Understand How to Water an Air Plant
Watering an air plant is important, but you’ll be glad to know these plants are forgiving. If you go prolonged periods of time, without watering, the ends of the plant might brown a little.
However, it shouldn’t be enough to cause the plant to completely die off. It’s every gardener’s hope to help their plants instead of harm them.
Therefore, it’s important to understand the multiple ways to water an air plant. The first method for watering these plants is by spraying them.
Use a spray bottle to spritz the plant, with water, on a daily basis. I’m a fan of doing this in addition to some of the other methods of watering.
However, I haven’t had the same results with this method as I have the others.
The next method of watering is my favorite. This method involves dunking the air plant into water. An air plant can be removed from its container.
Pick it up, and place it under the faucet while the water runs. If you have chlorinated water, this could harm your air plant.
In those cases, I’d recommend dunking the plant into a pot of distilled water. Ensure the plant is thoroughly drenched before removing it.
Shake the remaining water from the plant, and place it back in its growing area. You can do this approximately three days per week to keep the air plant watered adequately.
The final way to water an air plant is wonderful if you’re planning a trip. It should help hold the plant over while you’re gone.
You’ll start by placing the air plant in a pot of water. Leave it in the water for about an hour. When the hour is up, remove any excess water from the plant.
Place the plant back in its growing container, and this should hold it over for approximately one week. These are the main ways gardeners typically water their air plants.
Pick the method which works best for you, and ensure your plant is provided this basic form of care.
4. Fertilize an Air Plant Properly
An air plant typically has bright foliage, no blooms, and is leggy. You might not think you should fertilize this plant.
However, fertilizing is part of providing adequate care. One time per month, apply fertilizer to your plant.
Be sure to use an orchid fertilizer to provide the appropriate nutrients. You should only apply it during the warmer months of the year. Take this into consideration when learning how to properly care for your air plant.
5. Turn Up the Heat
We’ve already discussed how air plants are from a tropical climate. Though they like temperatures around 60-degrees Fahrenheit, and higher, they also like humidity.
It’s wise to place air plants in naturally humid rooms of your home. The kitchen or bathroom are great spaces to provide a tropical climate for your plant.
If you can’t grow the air plant in these areas, in addition to watering, consider spritzing the plant with a spray bottle a few times per week to increase the humidity around the plant.
6. Don’t Stress Over a Container
One thing you don’t need to do, when growing this plant, is stress over the container. Air plants can grow in glass containers, in containers with sand as a growing medium, on pieces of wood, in picture frames, and more.
The options are endless when growing an air plant. Some people hang air plants from the ceiling. If you have a blank spot in your home, consider adding one for natural home decor.
If you’re in need of inspiration, the internet has many ideas on how you can create a magnificent growing space for your air plant. I’m sure you have something around your home, this plant could attach to and begin thriving.
You don’t need to worry about the roots of an air plant. They’re mainly used to attach to whatever the plant is growing on. With an air plant, the sky might actually be the limit.
7. Don’t Block the Airflow
When growing air plants, you must look at their natural habitat. We know they come from tropical growing conditions and like to attach themselves to tree limbs.
In nature, these plants grow where airflow is plentiful. Therefore, it’s wise to ensure the plant has ample airflow around it.
If you create a neat growing area for your air plant, make sure there’s breathing room. Don’t pile so many things around the plant that it suffocates.
8. Don’t Expect a Show
The final tip for growing an air plant is to not expect too much. Most air plants only bloom one time in their life.
Some plants will never bloom. If your air plant blooms, ensure you fertilize regularly to extend the blooming period as much as possible.
However, you must realize that this plant is grown for its unique appearance. It’s also grown because it grows under such unique conditions.
It adds a beautiful, and natural, look to the home. This might have to be enough when growing this plant. If you prefer a more extravagant plant, the air plant may not be right for you.
This concludes my tips on how to grow an air plant. If you’re in the market for a unique houseplant that can grow in a container, on your ceiling, or hanging on your wall, this could be the plant for you.
It’s a wonderful way to bring natural beauty to the inside of your home. Air plants are easy to grow and pack a great deal of character in a small package.
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