Air plants are exceptional and unique varieties of plants that most people are not aware of. These plants are generally small and mostly used for decorative purposes.
People who love gardening are aware of how elegant these small plants are. These plants are mostly kept inside the house as a piece of decor (as mentioned already).
These plants are naturally found on other bigger plants, mostly on the more giant trees’ branches. Because these grow on top of other plants, please do not confuse them for saprophytic plants that derive nourishment from their host’s body. These plants require the host just for the surface to grow.
Even though you might have heard of the air plants, you would be surprised to know that these plants do not require any soil whatsoever for growth. So, what are air plants? Let us learn what air plants are.
What are Air Plants?
Air plants are perennial plants that grow in warmer climates. These usually grow in tropical weather. Air plants do not require soil for growth purposes. It absorbs all its nutrient and moisture requirements from the air around. This is how it gets its name.
If you already possess an air plant or think of getting one for yourself, it might be one of the best decisions in your gardening journey. These plants are lovely, can be moved from place to place as per your convenience, and require very little maintenance.
But despite how low maintenance these small plants are, there are some necessary maintenance activities and caring tips that you should follow for keeping your air plants healthy and ever-growing.
Today we will learn how to care for air plants and some things you need to keep in mind while growing an air plant.
How to Care for Air Plants- Easy Tips
Here we will discuss the basics and the most straightforward tips that you will have to implement for making sure that your air plants are in good health. We have discussed these steps based on the requirements of the air plants.
As already mentioned, an air plant is a tropical plant and requires a fair amount of light to grow. The plants require indirect sunlight to grow. So, the best place to keep them would be indoors in a room or a place that receives sunlight for most of the day. If it does not receive the right amount of sunlight, it will eventually die as it will not carry out photosynthesis.
But there is also a problem with giving your air plants sunlight exposure more than the required amount. If it is put in a dry place and receives hot sunlight in a considerable amount for most parts of the day, then your air plant will die due to dehydration.
So, the position of your air plant should be determined by two factors. If the place where it is placed has less humidity but is also not very warm, it will sustain the air plant. If the place is warm and sunny for most of the day and is highly humid, it will suit your air plant’s growth.
You can also keep your air plants indoors in places that do not receive any sunlight whatsoever. In this case, you will be required a fluorescent growth light, which gives it light for at least 12 hours per day.
Now that you know where to keep your air plant for sunlight and, more importantly, how to decide where to keep it, we will move in towards the next tip for taking care of the air plant.
The next important tip in ” how to care for air plants?” is to make sure that it receives the right watering amount. There are two ways to water your air plants. Both ways are easy, and you can do any one of these.
Misting is one way to water your plant. In this, you must spray water around the plant to eventually absorb it from the surroundings. This process needs to be done a week thrice and sometimes every day of the week (when the weather is dry or hot).
You can place your plant in a place with high humidity so that it does not require your everyday attention. The places can be a pool patio or bathrooms. Misting is not suggested if you have a busy schedule or are forgetful by nature.
Another way to water your plant is by soaking it. You can submerge your plants in a container filled with water at room temperature. The plant needs to be upside down. The soaking should be done for 15 to 20 minutes, and then the plant needs to be removed from the container.
After removing the plant from the container, you are required to keep it in a towel in an upside-down position and let all the excess water drain off. This is very important as any excess water left in the plant may cause it to root, and you do not want that to happen.
To know whether your plant requires watering or not is an easy task. If the plant appears to be dark green with stiff and thick leaves, consider it to be well hydrated, and it does not need further watering.
If the plant appears to be greyish green in color and the leaves get thin and curly, then it is time for a nice soak for your air plant. Be sure to soak the plants only when needed, or false, and over hydrated plant could quickly die of rotting.
Air plants, being tropical, are adaptive to heat. They do not grow well in freezing weather, but they are very adaptive to temperate weather.
They can grow in a temperature ranging from 50 to 90 F, which is a large bracket. The temperature requirement is also dependent on the humidity, just like the sunlight.
A high humid place in the house with a high temperature supports the plant’s growth and the low humid places with low humidity. A mismatch of these conditions is generally not desirable.
If you live in a part of the country that receives cold and wants to have air plants, you should keep your air plants near the fireplace to receive the required warmth.
Although air plants derive their required nutrients from the air around them, it is always good to provide them with some nutrients they may find difficult to access. Regular fertilizer is right for your air plant. Make sure not to use a lot of it.
You can fertilize it every once in two weeks when soaking it in water. You are required to mix the fertilizer (. Just a spoonful). With the water, and then soak the plant in it for the time directed.
If you find that the leaves in the bottom are dying, it is not worth worrying about. As the fresh leaves grow, the older ones die. Feel free to peel off all these leaves out of the plant. This will make your plant look fresh and tidy.
If the end of the leaves appears to have dried up, then you may want to soak it for a bit. Also, you can cut off these dried parts only with a scissor. Make sure to cut in a way that goes well with the rest of the leaves.
You may be surprised to know this, but unlike other plants that bloom once every year, air plants only bloom once in their entire lifetime, so it is essential to take care of them during the blooming season.
Use misting for watering purposes when it is in the blooming stage. When an air plant blooms, it is a unique and auspicious occasion as the bloom is your proper care outcome. The plant generally blooms in different colors, which are very eye-catching and elegant. On seeing them bloom, you would want to take a picture of them.
The bloom also marks the ending days of your air plant. This is because the plant has grown old. But with blooming, a plant can give life to its offspring. These plants grow attached to the parent plants.
They derive the nourishment from the parent plants, and it is advisable to cut off the daughter plant from the mother plant only when it is 1/3rd or 1/2nd of the parent plant. A dying plant gives you knew baby plants, which all will beautifully bloom one day just like the parent plant.
These are some essential tips that you must follow to take good care of your air plant. Air plants can also be grown outside, given that the environment is suitable and has the right amount of humidity.
It would help if you kept in mind that your air plant might not grow as planned despite the best conditions provided because you fail to give it the right amount of attention and take good care of it.
The smaller the plant is, the more attention and care it requires. Only think of getting an air plant if you are sure that you will give it the right care and not forget it.
When the plant’s center appears to be brown or black, and the leaves are falling, then it is time to say goodbye to your little plant as it has rotted due to overhydration.
Please make sure not to over hydrate and not to under hydrate it. Both are harmful to the plant. I hope by now, you know how to care for air plants. You can get them online and from your local stores and nurseries.