AIR PLANT CARE BEYOND COMPARE.
You may be thinking, “If air plants are not only able to maintain, but thrive, on virtually any surface … how much care could be involved?” The answer — not much. The most challenging part is understanding how different the air plant's process is from any other plant. Apples and oranges, really, but don’t fret! Once you’ve mastered the basics of the air plant, it’s smooth para-sailing from then on.
This guide will cover light, water, humidity, temperature, and fertilizer, all of which play a momentous role in the daily
life of a developing air plant.
Insight into [4 of] these areas are pivotal in your new pet's survival [the last is more of an option].
As you continue to peruse our [incomparable] guide, you will find instructions specific to Tillandsias sold by Horticult, as well as what to expect when your Horticult package arrives.
Review of this guide [in it’s entirety] will guarantee the survival of your new air plant(s), no matter what level of expertise your green thumb lands on.
THE 4 REQUIREMENTS OF AIR PLANTS
& 1 LESS DEMANDING, MORE OPTIONAL FEATURE:
LIGHT, WATER, HUMIDITY, TEMPERATURE & FERTILIZER
Tillandsias (similar to your favorite selfie filter) flourish in bright, indirect sunlight. Unfamiliar with the difference between direct & indirect sunlight? Indirect light is filtered (through a tree canopy, a window, or thin curtains, for example). Au contraire, direct sunlight hits the plant full and unfiltered, depleting your air plant’s moisture at an accelerated rate, while potentially burning it’s foliage. Unfortunately for air plants, direct sunlight is unavoidable more times than not. In this case, make sure the plants receive less than 3 hours of unfiltered rays per day & remember to keep them hydrated by misting more frequently. In order for your air plants to receive the healthy, filtered vitamin D they crave, keep them near a window. Stay away from westward facing windows where the sun beams during the hottest part of the day. These incredibly strong rays will cook your plants like there’s a hungry vegan at the dinner table.
Stashing your plants in an area that lacks natural light, such as an office or dungeon? Dissimilar to any amount of makeup, Tillandsias will thrive under fluorescent light. Store your plants 6 - 36 inches away from full spectrum bulbs (regular incandescent bulbs are a no-go) for 12 hours per day and watch in amazement as they flourish just as they would under natural sunlight.
Air plants enjoy a cooperative balance between soaking and misting. Soak your plants once every 15 days & mist them once or twice per week. You can test how much light your plant is receiving by observing how quickly it dries out after being watered. Change your irrigation practices accordingly. For example, if your plant is receiving an above average amount of sunlight, mist more often.
Use a spray bottle to mist air plants until they are drenched from top to bottom. Make sure the entire surface of your air plant is moist, but don't use so much water that the excess drips down the plant.
Soaking: HOT TUB!
Soak your air plants for no more than 12 hours at a time (I usually leave them for less than 5) in a tub filled with bottled or rain water that's room temperature. When time is up remove the air plant from the bath & immediately turn it upside down to promote excess water run off. If necessary, hold plant upside down and gently shake it like a Saul-t shaker to dislodge water from center. Make sure any stagnant water at the base of the leaves is removed to avoid plant rot. Lay your plant right-side-up on a towel & leave it to dry in a bright space.
Your Tillandsia should dry out completely within 3 hours of the removal from it's soak or the end of it's misting. Again, your plant risks rotting if it’s wet longer than 3 hours.
Finally, a plant in bloom should receive a shower (rinse) rather than a bath (soak). The air plant’s dainty petals won’t last if submerged in water. Make sure to take special care when rinsing the fragile flowers [think delicate cycle or hand wash].
[This is a brief explanation of how to water your air plant. Visit the next addition in our Comprehensive Guide to Air Plants: To Mist or To Soak? That is the Question. for a more detailed explanation.]
In a Tillandsia’s natural habitat, relatively high humidity (atmospheric moisture) prevails. Air plants enjoy levels of relative humidity at 50% or higher. Watch for brown leaf tips on your plant! This discoloration is caused by dry air; it's a tell-tale sign your plant's atmosphere isn’t maintaining satisfactory levels of water vapor. You can counteract these splotches with a room humidifier, a humidity tray, or by misting your plants with tepid (lukewarm) water.
Air plants enjoy warmer temperatures.
From spring to early fall, air plants [and I] enjoy temperatures that fall between 65 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. During winter, any temperature below 50 degrees Fahrenheit is too cold [yaas, Tilly]. Furthermore, If winter temperatures maintain 60 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, your plants [and I] are more likely to bloom [in the workout room] during summer months [for that summer bod 💪🏼]. Tillandsias: the most relatable perennial on Plant-It Earth.
The implementation of fertilizer encourages plants to blossom and reproduce. Add a pinch of foliar fertilizer (made specially for air plants) once a month to the water used for soaking & misting. Continue to water your Tillandsia per usual. If necessary, other water-soluble fertilizers can be used if their strength is decreased by 75%, like my will power around everything chocolate.
INSTRUCTION FOR TILLANDSIAS SOLD BY HORTICULT:
TERRARIUM CARE, WREATH CARE, & WHAT TO DO AFTER SHIPPING
Considering the ventilation demands of a terrarium and the lack of soil, there’s a good chance you are able to remove your air plants from their globe. If that’s the case — follow the care instruction mentioned prior.
Alternatively, if you’re unable to remove the plants from their glass cage of devotion, take the following into account:
- Terrariums are glass globes, which are perfect vessels for increased humidity & temperature. Leaving the terrarium in a window, as you would a lone Tillandsia or wreath, may cause the environment inside the globe to become as hot and stuffy as Atlanta in August. Eventually, these elevated temperatures may cause irreversible damage to your new plants. Try to find a happy medium: avoid this situation by experimenting with areas in your home that appear beneficial to an in-globe habitat (ex. a shelf that receives sunlight while maintaining a considerable distance from window).
WATERING YOUR TERRARIUM:
TRICHOMES IT AIN'T EASY BEIN' INDEPENDENT.
[hint: channel your inner 2001 Destiny's Child]
ALL THE TRICHOMES WHO ARE INDEPENDENT, THROW YOUR
HANDS UP AT ME 👋🏼. ALL THE TILLANDSIAS WHO ARE FEELIN' FANCI-AH, THROW YOUR HANDS UP AT ME 👋🏼.
AIR PLANTS, I didn't know you could get down like that!
TILLANDSIA, how your TRICHOMES get down like that?
Directly spraying your air plants is an easy way to accidentally over-water them. Instead, try creating a humid environment by misting the area around the plant. Remember, air plants are covered in trichomes that derive water (& nutrients) from the air. If the air is humid, the trichomes will collect water from it independently ☝🏼👑🐝
🎶 the moisture in the air, they brought it;
from the humidity I created, they got it 🎶.
This is the perfect example of how knowledge of a plant's functions allows you to perform tasks that compliment it's abilities, 'always 50/50 in relationships.'
CONSIDER ... - small globe — less circulation — longer drying — less frequent misting - larger globe — more circulation — shorter drying — more frequent misting Start by misting weekly, adjust as necessary.
Tillandsia wreathes are available for purchase at every arts fair we participate in. They will be available for purchase online soon! Our T-Wreaths consist of air plants attached to grapevine garland. The air plant's attachment to the wreath prevents you from soaking them without separation. Mist the plants more frequently to compensate for absent soaking periods. Start by misting twice per week & adjust accordingly.
Remove air plants from shipping packaging and soak for 20 minutes (if attached to wreath, mist accordingly). After bath, turn upside down and gently shake it like a Saul-t shaker to remove excess water. Leave plants to dry on a towel in the area you’ve selected for your plant's new home (preferably a well ventilated and well lit area, such as a window sill,
Check on plants once every hour for the next three hours to see approximately how long your plant takes to dry completely.
This inspection hints at the environment's temperament & how it affects the air plant. For example, the hour you find the air plant completely dry determines if the length of time the plant spent soaking in water was satisfactory & indicates how humid and/or dry the air is. Moreover, the length of time it took the air plant to dry completely suggests whether or not ventilation is up to par. Collectively, these observations disclose which watering patterns should be implemented. Finally, stay away from fertilizer for at least three weeks following arrival.