How to care for a neglected air plant



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Cathy cared for a few plants at home but did not consider herself a gardener by any stretch of the imagination. A curly xerographica air plant at the flea market caught her eye and she decided she had to have one. This plant seemed so exotic and unique, like nothing she had seen before. Plants that needed no soil? Sign me up!

Content:
  • Air Plants: What are they and how do they survive?
  • Air Plant Dying? Learn How To Revive An Air Plant
  • How To Grow Air Plants
  • Why Are The Tips of Air Plants Turning Brown? How To Prevent It
  • Soak a Tillandsia or Not Soak?
  • How to Get the Tillandsia Air Plant to Bloom
  • How to Grow Air Plants in Ohio
  • How to Care for an Air Plant (And its Flowers and Pups)
WATCH RELATED VIDEO: How to look after Air Plants - Grow at Home - Royal Horticultural Society

Air Plants: What are they and how do they survive?

It was after one of those lazy Sunday brunch with my family that I came across this lifestyle shop selling air plants. Within first sight, I was fascinated by their bizarre and intriguing form. And the fact that they can live and grow out of the soil just amazes me.

Happily, I brought some back home. I tried designing them with different items like sea shells, drift wood, terrariums and pots. And then a few more I brought.

There was so much fun to explore when it comes to designing air plants. My first few batches of air plants lasted only about half to a year before dying away without any blooming. I was not deterred. I started reading more about them and got tips from the experts on how to really care for them well.

Now, at least I have some success with blooms and new pups growing. However, be prepared to experience some setbacks and be ready to bounce back from there.

Some learning curve is expected. As the saying goes; failure is the mother of all success. However, I must say I am not an expert yet though but chances are I might have encountered the same problems as you and maybe can share some pointers here.

First, let me start with some general information about Tillandsias Tillandsias where most people call them as air plants form one of the largest parts of the Bromeliad family.

But air plants epiphytes actually refer to any plants that grow epiphytically; need no soil and possibility on other plants or surfaces but they get their moisture and nutrients from the air. In fact, just like Tillandsias; orchids, ferns and mosses are also considered Epiphytes but people seldom called them air plants. Tillandsias are further broken down into species name e. There are more than species of Tillandsias. And some of their native habitats are jungles and deserts in the Mexico, South, Central Americas and certain part of United States.

However, you can find farms cultivating them and there are many interesting cultivated hybrids developed that exhibit characteristics of their parent species as well.

The root of Tillandsia serve more as a hold for them to their host plant or surface to facilitate best light exposure for growth. It does not have the ability to absorb water hence doing away with it is still fine. And you can find them above and below the leaves. And depending on their species; the density and size of the trichomes varies.

And Tillandsia can be further classified into Xeric Tillandsia and Mesic Tillandsia depending on their climate and trichomes modification. Xeric species are those characterized to adapt to live in hotter and dryer climate and they have larger, denser and more feathery trichomes.

But then again they will need more sunlight exposure to thrive. And Mesic Tillandsia has lesser and smaller trichomes and need more frequent watering. They tend to grow faster than Xeric species and also have smoother and greener leaves.

Tillandsia grows to maturity and bloom with a life cycle of just one plant. And it produces flowers which are very attractive. And be patient; because Tillandsia has a slower growing nature for it to reach maturity and blooms. Allowing maximum allowable sunlight with sufficient watering and fertilizer does help. And just like any other plants; Tillandsia need air, water and light to grow.

But this is hardly the truth. Watering is one of the most important cares for Tillandsias. Just like any other plants; Tillandsias does need water, although they can survive with little or much lesser water for a longer than most plants.

And upon watering, they should be given enough air circulation to dry in no more than 4 hour. The best time to water has to be in the morning.

Air plants take in carbon dioxide from the air at night instead of the day time. At night if the plant is wet, it does not breathe well, unless it can be dried quickly at night. Day also give them the sun to dry faster. Having it wet for too long will result in rot where you will start seeing the accumulation of shiny brown spots on the air plant.

Watering frequency can range from 2 times per week to more often in a hot and dry environment. The frequency really depends on how much sun exposure the air plants are getting and how dry is the environment.

Tillandsias growing outdoor need more watering than Tillandsias growing indoor, as for outdoor; the sun exposure will be more and the wind also dry them out more quickly. And for some air conditioning indoor environment, the air might tend to be dryer and hence more frequent watering is necessary. Dehydration can be observed by the browning of leaves tips, wrinkling or curling of leaves edge inwards creating a tubular shape.

The best watering method is to complete submerge the plant into a bucket to wet it completely. And when a plant has been neglected, a longer soaking an hours or more will be good. Follow by 20 - 30 mins couple of days later. Continue with a good watering schedule upon then. When handling the air plants, try holding it from the plant base rather that the leaves as it will tends to break the smaller and weaker leaves more easily.

Ensure excess water from those fleshy and bulbous types like Tillandsia Selarina are completely shaken off. Avoid the trapping of water in centre of species like Xerographica as it will be potentially harmful. One way is to turn the plant upside down and let go those water.

If instead of soaking, you are going to mist the plant which is a fun and therapeutic thing to do. Try to ensure misting the air plant thoroughly so as to drench wet the whole plant and reaching all its surfaces. Give them as much bright indirect sunlight as possible. An hour or two of gentle direct sunlight in the early morning or late afternoon when the sun light is less strong is very beneficial. Indoor nearer to the window as like 1 - 2 m away , patio or shaded area exposed to the outside sun is good.

However, indoor which are much further away from the window and those areas that are not getting enough light channeling in could be a challenge for your air plant. And very often, we tend to place Tillandsia in area we feel it look good even where the lighting condition is not very ideal. Tillandsia which is lacking in light might do fine for a while says couple of months but will eventually fall apart during a through watering session. Remember light is important for photosynthesis to take place and there has to be sufficient for the plant to perform this function.

A good spectrum fluorescent lighting can compensate for indoor area with lesser natural lighting. Xeric Tillandsia species such as Xerographica and those with thicker leaves and bigger trichomes can tolerate more light exposure and will prefer more sunlight exposure in comparison to Mesic Tillandsia with their leaves being thinner.

Try to observe the air circulation in the area where the plant is to be placed. Place them in area which offers good clean air circulation. This will keep your plant healthy. And an area with good air circulation also help to dry them up faster after watering.

And the air humidity does play a part as well. When the humidity of the air is higher, the plant's ability to withstand higher sun exposure will be better. However, when the air becomes too hot, move the air plants to a better ventilated or cooler area else increase the watering frequency so as to prevent overheating.

Use those with at least one open side. And never plant your Tillandsia into the soil. Take out the Tillandsia for watering and ensure is completely dry before putting it back. This can provide the nutrient that air plants needed just like in their natural habitat. In their natural habitat, they can obtain nutrients more easily from the other living or dead organism within their environment.

In house air plants tend to be disadvantage on that. Hence, regular applications of fertilizer on the air plants can mitigate this disadvantage and let them grow healthy for a long time. Any orchid or bromeliad food or water soluble fertilizer once a month will do. Done properly, it can enhance growth and will result in better flowers and more pups.

Close menu. Home Decor Expand submenu Collapse submenu. Your cart. Close Cart. First, let me start with some general information about Tillandsias:- Tillandsias where most people call them as air plants form one of the largest parts of the Bromeliad family.

Water: Watering is one of the most important cares for Tillandsias. Light: Give them as much bright indirect sunlight as possible. Air Try to observe the air circulation in the area where the plant is to be placed. Terrarium Use those with at least one open side. Fertilizer: This can provide the nutrient that air plants needed just like in their natural habitat.


Air Plant Dying? Learn How To Revive An Air Plant

Air plants Tillandsia are truly unique types of plants. Think about it; they can survive without soil and only need humidity, air, warmth and light. Air plants that have been neglected may start to show signs of rot or decay. So how do you save a rotting air plant? The best way to save a rotting air plant is by practicing proper watering techniques.

Air Plant Care can be simple. Here is a full guide to our best practices for air plant care including light, watering, aeriums and mounted air plants.

How To Grow Air Plants

An air plant will bloom once only in its lifetime. An air plant lifespan is between 2 to 5 years. Air plants are perennials, which means that they live for more than two years. Their life expectancy will be influenced by the Tillandsia species and growth conditions environment, light, temperature, etc. Keeping your air plant healthy and living long is rewarding in so many ways. This is why knowing about the lifespan and life cycle of air plants how long you can expect them to live is a great starting point. Tillandsias, commonly known as air plants, are perennial plants. This means that they typically live for more than two years source , with their lifespan ranging between 2 to 5 years. However, their lifespan varies depending on the type of air plant and also the growing conditions. In their natural habitat, they live on the branches of trees, in deserts and on other substrates other surfaces they can grow on.

Why Are The Tips of Air Plants Turning Brown? How To Prevent It

We took our concerns to our friends at Lazy Gardener who pointed out that while we mean well, plants require some care and attention. Also, it would be good to check if your plant is really dead. How can you tell? If the stem is mushy and rotting, check the root.

Hold the air plant upside down and run it under tap water for 10 seconds until the plant is completely wet. Gently shake the air plant in a downward stroke to get rid of excessive water.

Soak a Tillandsia or Not Soak?

With their colorful flower spikes and gray-green leaves, tillandsia plants Tillandsia spp. As air plants, their roots need air circulation to thrive, and they absorb water from the air. In many villages of central America, people place tillandsia plants on tiled roofs and let them take root naturally. Many tillandsias are hardy in Mediterranean climates, such as Spanish moss Tillandsia usneoides , which is hardy in U. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 8 through

How to Get the Tillandsia Air Plant to Bloom

The family consists of over species, and more are still being discovered. Countless hybrids have been produced from these species and the possibilities are endless. Bromeliads are hardy, easy to grow and survive the neglect imposed upon them by the accelerated pace of modern living. Greatly adaptable, they grow under artificial, air conditioned atmospheres and tolerate abnormal light and moisture situations. They are ideal companion plants to most orchids as they both favour the same conditions for growing.. The Bromeliad family is broken into about 30 different sub-families called genera and some of the more well known of these are as follows:.

Every plant requires a certain amount of care — but some indoor or flowering Kalanchoe), but typically enjoy sunlight and dry air.

How to Grow Air Plants in Ohio

The majority of them are Tillandsias and are a member of the Bromiliad family which just use their roots to cling on as they take in all their nutrients and water through the air. This short video explains that all you need to look after them is a mister; just a slight mist every few days when the weather is cool and every day in summer. Make sure you water them in the morning then they have time to dry out before nightfall; if they are left wet for too long they will eventually rot. You can completely submerge the plant in water every few weeks but make sure that it can dry out quite quickly.

How to Care for an Air Plant (And its Flowers and Pups)

Hours: Monday 7am - 6pm, Tuesday 7am - 6pm, Wednesday 7am - 6pm, Thursday 7am - 8pm, Friday 7am - 8pm, Saturday 7am - 8pm, Sunday 7am - 6pm. If you are looking for a way to have plants around your home, but want to give them as little maintenance as possible, you can hardly do any better than getting an air plant. These unique plants Tillandsia do not need any soil at all, and much of the water they need they obtain from the air in the room. Air plants have become very popular in recent years. There are as many as different varieties to choose from.

Air plants can thrive without any soil and with the minimum of time spent on caring for them! Is this the perfect plant for those of us with busy lives?

It was after one of those lazy Sunday brunch with my family that I came across this lifestyle shop selling air plants. Within first sight, I was fascinated by their bizarre and intriguing form. And the fact that they can live and grow out of the soil just amazes me. Happily, I brought some back home. I tried designing them with different items like sea shells, drift wood, terrariums and pots.

If you are wondering how to properly water air plants, you are not alone. There are a lot of misconceptions about watering air plants. This is unfortunate because these false ideas have led to many premature air plant deaths and disenchanted air plant enthusiasts.



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