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Air Plant Care Tips To Help Your Greenery Thrive

Raise your hand if you’ve ever had an air plant that’s met an untimely end. Hey, no judgment here–my hand is in the air! Despite being known for their low-maintenance quality, air plants can in fact perish (hard to believe, right?)! Maybe we get it in our heads that they’re indestructible. And then we quickly forget to water them! But if we make it a point to learn about the proper air plant care, we can take a big step toward helping them survive and thrive. [Faceted Porcelain Air Plant Holders below from Janelle Gramling]

Faceted porcelain air plant holders Air Plant Care Tips To Help Your Greenery Thrive
Faceted porcelain air plant holders by Janelle Gramling

So what’s the secret to keeping air plants healthy? In short, they need to dwell in a bright area with indirect sunlight and soak in water from time to time. It’s that easy? More or less… Read on for all the details. [air plants from biggerthanlittle]

Air plants from Etsy shop Bigger Than Little Air Plant Care Tips To Help Your Greenery Thrive
Air plants from Etsy shop biggerthanlittle

Caring for Your Air Plants

I’d like to start by saying that nearly all of the featured air plants taking center stage in today’s pics are from beautifully curated Etsy shops. Yes, Etsy is a wonderful place to purchase air plants and stylish containers. You can also find air plants at nurseries, gardening centers, and sometimes even the floral department of your local grocery store! [White Air Plant Pot with Air Plant from Bird and Feather]

Air plant and pod from Bird and Feather
Air plant and pod from Bird and Feather

One of the biggest mistakes people make when caring for air plants is assuming that they get everything they need from the air. These plants DO in fact need water! One warning sign that they’re dehydrated: their leaves begin to curl! So let’s get down to basics… One of the most helpful sources I’ve found for air plant care tips is this article from Gardenista, which reinforces a basic piece of advice: water air plants by soaking them in a sink, bowl or other container about once a week.  [photo by John Merkl via Gardenista]

Air plants soaking in the sink
Air plants soaking in the sink

If your environment is on the dry side, you can water 2-3 times per week for optimal care. If the environment is humid, you have a bit more leeway. Soaking the plant for 15-20 minutes is helpful, as is lightly misting it with a spray bottle in between soakings. [photo from Lifestyle and Design Online]

Air plants drying on a towel
Air plants drying on a towel

Before you return your air plant to its container, be sure to let it dry out on a well-ventilated surface or a towel. Some recommend allowing the plant to dry for a few hours, as water can accumulate in the bulbous areas of air plants and cause rotting. [White Macrame Hanging Planter with Air Plant from Thrifted & Made]

White macrame hanging planter from Thrifted & Made
White macrame hanging planter from Thrifted & Made

Seems simple enough, right? Yet when it comes to air plant care, the more we research, the more information we seem to find. For example, some recommend rinsing the plants under running water rather than soaking them. And when it comes to soaking, bath times range anywhere from 10-30 minutes. So how do you know what’s right for your plant? In the next section, we’ll address this very question! [Hanging Brass Air Plant Holder with Cup from Handmade Sam*made]

Hanging brass air plant holder from Handmade Sammade
Hanging brass air plant holder from Handmade Sam*made

Pay Attention to Your Plants

Remember a little earlier in today’s post when we mentioned that curled leaves can indicate dehydration in your air plant? It’s amazing what simply paying attention to your plant can tell you! And since air plants are displayed in containers rather than planted in pots, they can be removed from their surroundings without any hassle. In other words, it’s easy to check them out, pick them up and observe their health on a regular basis! [Small Geometric Glass Terrarium from Meg A. Myers Designs]

Geometric glass terrarium from Meg A. Myers Designs
Geometric glass terrarium from Meg A. Myers Designs

As mentioned, while general guidelines are available, there is no magic formula for helping all air plants to thrive. Sometimes trial and error is the way to go. For example, over time you may notice that if you occasionally forget to water your air plants, one or two of them hold up remarkably well, while others start to go downhill. Yes, some may be more resilient than others. Observe and learn! [Black and White Hexagon Plant Holder from Melissa Maya Pottery]

Black and white honeycomb air plant holder from Melissa Maya Pottery
Black and white honeycomb air plant holder from Melissa Maya Pottery

Not to mention, if your air plants aren’t holding up as well as can be expected, they may be struggling due to excessive bright light or a less than ideal temperature. Air plants can survive outdoors, but keep in mind that indirect light is best, and temperatures below 50 degrees or over 90 degrees can make it tricky for these plants to thrive. [Ionantha air plants from Twisted Acres]

Iona air plants from Twisted Acres
Iona air plants from Twisted Acres

Don’t be afraid to groom your air plants. Gently removing dead leaves and clipping off dead tips should not hurt your plant and will definitely refresh its appearance. Here’s to the good health of your air plant!

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