Caring for Your Air Plants
Tillandsias grow differently than most other house plants, so they can be confusing to the beginner. They are really very hardy, and require much less attention than other house plants. The following simplifies the instruction but you can scroll down for much more specific information.
- Provided the atmosphere is not too dry they can survive with water misting and the occasional bath.
- Never plant in soil.
- Give them bright, filtered light.
- Protect them from frosts.
- If you are growing them indoors and the air is dry, you will need (at minimum) to submerge the plant in water for 2-3 hours about every two weeks.
- In a shaded-house or unheated home, you can use a soaking mist once or twice a week in summer, once a month in cooler weather.
Air Plants in Glass Globes
Air plants in glass globes have become so popular that I get calls all the time about caring for them. Follow these simple instructions to enjoy your glass surrounded plant for many years. If you are looking for glass globes, find many unique designs in our shop.
- The larger the globe the more care you can give your plant.
- Water your plant when you first receive it by soaking 20-30 minutes. Take note of the size and color and you should see how happy the plant is. Keep this "picture" in your mind.
- Allow your plant to dry almost completely before placing in the globe.
- Mist your plant every 4-5 days with one spray for tiny globes, 2-3 sprays for globes 3-5 inches, more if the plant is in a large open globe. The key is to judge the drying time, the smaller the globe, the less circulation, the longer the plant will hold the moisture. If you over water the plant will die.
- Remember what your plant looked like after soaking? If it has lost that happy healthy look, take it out and soak it for 30 minutes to an hour, shake, allow to almost completely dry and replace on globe.
- Do not place your globes directly in front of a window where they get direct sun. Remember the glass will intensify the sunlight and the heat. Indirect light is best and some will even grow in low to moderate light.
- The following care instructions are more specific, so feel free to really dive-in! I have added things over the last year as I have learned.
Bright filtered light is the general rule, and the higher the humidity of the air the higher light will be tolerated. Outdoors the silvery-leafed varieties (ex: Xerographica, Harissii) can usually be grown in full sun, but in an un-shaded greenhouse or close to un-shaded glass in a sunny room or conservatory the same plant will quickly burn because the air dries out like an oven. In a very sunny spot indoors they may need daily misting or weekly soaking depending on which method you prefer. For more information, read our detailed post about the effects of Summer Sun on your air plants.