Air Plant Care & Advice
How to look after Air Plants...
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Air Plant Care
Tillandsias which are kept in the house need to be watched closely in the initial month until they have established themselves in their new environment. They love fresh air, good light, and humidity – conditions often absent in the home. However, since tillandsias possess the ability to adapt to a wide range of climatic conditions, they will be happy indoors if they are given as much of their natural requirements as possible.
Ideal rooms include kitchens and bathrooms, where the humidity is naturally higher, but they are suitable for anywhere in the home.
Tillandsias kept in the house should receive plenty of indirect or diffused light from a nearby window. They should not be left in the direct sun, especially in the summer months, as this will cause the plant to become scorched, or even ‘sunburned’!
Where natural light is not available, rooms that are just lit by artificial means may be fine, as long as the lights are on for several hours a day, and there is still some air movement.
Watering Air Plants
Watering is critical indoors since there is usually a lack of humidity, especially in homes or offices with air conditioning and/or central heating. Regulate spraying according to growing conditions. The amount of watering required will vary according to temperature, light and air movement.
As a guide, mist or spray thoroughly once a week, more often in a hot, dry environment and through the summer months.
After watering, the air plants should be allowed to dry naturally, shake off excess water if it looks like it is collecting in the leaves. Air circulation helps with this process and ideally your plant should look dry in a few hours after watering.
Generous spray misting is enough as a means of watering in average weather conditions. But additional watering will be required in a dry, hot environment. This can be done by ‘dunking’ air plants, or simply giving more water with the fine rose of a watering can. In the summer, a short while outside in the rain will also do them the power of good.
Where plants have become a little too dry they will need further care. A successful way to water plants which are dehydrating, is to totally submerge them in room temperature rain (or tap) water containing a small amount of fertiliser. They should remain submerged overnight, or at least for a few hours. If submersion is not possible due to them being glued to an arrangement, plants can be held under a running tap, but always shake off excess water, as Tillandsias will not survive standing in water as this will cause the plant to rot.
Under-watering is evident by an exaggerating of the natural concave curve of each leaf.
Holiday Care – One of the joys of air plants is that you can quite happily go away for a few weeks and no harm will come to them. Simply make sure that you give them a generous watering the day before you go and move plants to a more shaded spot in the house. In the Summer months, you could even put the plants outside, in the shade, for their own mini holiday!
Mounting Air Plants
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