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How To Make Your Plants Happy: Air Plant Care Guide

Drawing of Snake Plant

Light

Air plants love bright, indirect light but can also tolerate more dim locations. Be careful to avoid direct sun as this may dry out the leaves of the plant like an oven. Natural light is best but they can also handle artificial, fluorescent light. The more light your air plant has, the more water it will need.

Water

Watering these plants is pretty simple and they can typically avoid long periods of drought but will not thrive if water is too scarce. Simply give your air plants a bath about every 1 to 2 weeks by submerging them into water for 20-30 minutes. After soaking, you must shake off the excess water from your plant and place it in an open, well-lit area to dry fully (otherwise the plant will rot). Be sure to do your soakings in the morning. Additionally, mist your plants lightly once a week to promote moisture. Placing the air plant in your bathroom is a great idea if you tend to forget to water your plants as they will soak up the humidity from your shower. Adjust your water routine as needed to fit your plants lifestyle depending on the amount of light it gets.

Environment

These plants are pretty cooperative with any temperature so long as they are not freezing. Ideal temperature would be 50°F - 90°F. Keep out of freezing temperatures and protect from frosts. Know that the more hot and more dry the climate is, the more you may have to water. Air plants love humidity but are also fine with misting in dry climates (if they are in a humid place like the bathroom, you can skip the misting as the shower will do this for you). The higher the humidity, the more light the plant can handle.

Growth

Air plants are slow growers. Never plant air plants in soil as this will cause them to die. You can fertilize the plant by simply adding Bromeliad fertilizer into your mister and mist onto your plants once a month. They can be sensitive to fertilizer so be sure to not over do it.

Repotting

Air plants are super easy to repot as they don't require soil, you can move them around as you need. Be sure to be gentle when moving the plant to not break its leaves. Terrariums make great homes for air plants. 

Propagating

The best way to propagate an air plant is through the air plant pups. The pups are mini replicas are the plant parent and grow from the base of the air plant. Gently use a sharp implement to remove the pup from the parent and care for it like any other air plant.

Toxicity

Air plants and non-toxic and safe for cats and dogs. If they ingest and air plant, they should be fine. Keep in mind that while air plants are safe for your pets, pets are not necessarily "safe" for your air plants. 

About Air Plants

Botanical Name: Tillandsia

Nicknames: Air Plants

Air plants come in all shapes, sizes and colors. Most air plant are green in color but some may have other shades such as red, purple, or pink. They are a great choice for beginners as they are very hardy and require much less attention than other houseplants. They need to be soaked every 1-2 weeks and prefer a humid environment. If properly taken care of, they can live for several years and leave some air plant pups behind before taking off for additional years of enjoyment. Air plants help to remove carbon dioxide from the air and are non toxic to pets.        

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