How do I take care of air plants?

I was mesmerized the first time I saw an air plant. How could a plant live without soil, roots or constant moisture? Tillandsia, or “air plants” (Bromeliaceae family) are native to South and Central America along with parts of the southern United States. They have become extremely popular recently and are surprisingly easy to care for.

Airplant Care Basics

  • Fully submerge and soak air plants at least once per week in water. Supplement waterings with a light misting using a spray bottle. Always soak air plants in the morning and let them fully dry out before dark.
  • Air plants prefer filtered light and not direct sunlight. The more light they receive the quicker they will dry out. Try placing them in a bright room where the sunlight does not hit them directly.
  • Fertilizer is not required but could help keep your Tillandsia happy and healthy. I have been feeding by misting once per month with Hinterland Trading’s Air Plant Tillandsia Food.
  • Around the same time as a bloom fades, you might see a “pup” growing on your air plant. They are a smaller version of the mother air plant that typically stands out with fresh green new leaves. Do not try to separate your pup until it is at least 1/3 the size of the mother plant. Gently separate by twisting apart or cutting with a sharp clean knife.

Airplant Resources
You can find air plants at local specialty garden stores or online. I have purchased from Hinterland Trading in the past. They have a lot of great air plant resources to read and you can even request a full set of growing instructions. Air Plant Supply Co. is also a great resource.

The Xerographica is known as the “Queen” of all air plants. Known for her light coloring, unique shape and huge size, she is worthy of the crown.


One of my air plants with a “pup” growing after a bloom just faded.img_7733

A beautiful bright white and pink air plant bloom. img_7723

The air plant food I use from Hinterland Trading. img_7730

Do you own any air plants? What are your care tips?

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