If your air plant is drying up and turning brown it needs more than just a little TLC. Contrary to popular belief, they aren’t completely maintenance-free plants. They don’t require as much care as other live foliage, but they must receive adequate hydration and nutrients. They have lighting requirements too. Consider the following tips on how to care for air plants (tillandsia). If they’re still green, it’s not too late to save them.
Do I Have to Water My Air Plants?
Forget what others have told you about indoor air plant care. Unless you’re living in a sauna they need more than just a single drop or two of moisture every other week. They can be misted, but dipping is far more beneficial. It’s a super easy and effective way to water Air Plants. If your air plant is drying up and turning brown it will come back to life after a good soaking, and if it isn’t too far gone it will look healthier and greener almost instantly.
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Are You Feeding Your Air Plants? They Require Nutrients Too –
Needless to say, every living thing requires nutrients to survive and air plants are no exception. If you’ve never fed your air plant it’s lacking vital nutrients. A weekly spritzing of air plant fertilizer will help bring it back to life, stimulate new growth, and maintain healthy green branches. An 8-ounce bottle will feed it once a week for six months. The following is a 16-9-25 formula especially for air plants.
How Often Should I Water My Air Plants?
How often should you water air plants? Every two weeks is a good rule of thumb. It’s it’s exceptionally warm and dry soak them about every 10 days. You can’t provide too much water, especially if your air plant is drying up and turning brown. Tillandsia will only absorb what they require for survival. Don’t do it shortly before or after misting with fertilizer. For best results, space feeding and watering by at least five days.
Soaking Method of Watering Indoor Air Plants
Whatever you do, don’t use tap water, especially if you have a softener. The salt content is far too high. Municipal water really isn’t good either since it contains chlorine and other additives. Bottled varieties are often nothing more than municipal tap water but will work in a pinch.
To water your air plants, collect rainwater or buy distilled water. Submerge the plants overnight. How long should you soak air plants? About 12 hours is ideal. Remember – you can’t over-water them!
Finish by placing them upside down on a clean absorbent cloth or paper towel. All of the excess moisture will drain away. Move the plant back to its usual location after it dries. It will stay healthy and green if it receives plenty of moisture and the right level of lighting. Mine more than doubled in size in a year!
Help! My Air Plant is Drying Up and Turning Brown Even Though it’s Watered
So, what do you do if your air plant is drying up and turning brown enough though it was watered as directed? Consider the environment. Does it receive direct sunlight? Maybe the sun is magnified by a windowpane. They can take some direct sunlight but too much will cause the plant to dry out, especially when the air lacks humidity. The recommended lighting for air plants is indirect bright sunshine. Also, keep it away from a heat source such as a stove or furnace vent. If the plant is still green, it’s not too late to save it. With the right lighting, water, and care it will live, grow, and thrive for many years.