Watering air plants that live indoors require a bit more observation and attention until they become established. People sometimes either make the mistake of overwatering which can cause the plant to rot, or they can under water, which over time can cause the plant to dehydrate to the point where it dies. We have a few tips that you can follow to keep your Tillandsia air plants in good, hydrated condition!
- When to Soak Your Plants:
If you’ve noticed the leaves of your air plant are curling up or pinching, which we call the taco effect (after the look of hard shell tacos), it means your air plant is becoming overly dry (dehydrated or desiccated). If this happens, soak your plant under water for 12 hours. Yes, 12 hours! Or overnight. It is important that you use good water. Rain and bottled water work well. Tap water often contains minerals and other chemicals that can be detrimental to air plants.
“Keeping the plant submerged for 12 hours should keep it hydrated for the next 10 days to 2 weeks (depending on the climate where you live)”
- Weekly Dunking
Our founder, Paul Isley, has bottled drinking water in a large, sealable container and he puts the lid on to prevent evaporation. If you do this, you can reuse the same water each time you water (a quick dunk once to three times a week is sufficient, depending on climate). You can also add a tad of our Epiphyte’s Delight fertilizer during the warmer months. After putting it in, shake the container a bit so the Epiphytes Delight disperses evenly.
- Misting your air plants is also an option if you’re diligent about watering habits. Just be sure not to mist too often if your air plant lives indoors. A lack of airflow means the leaves don’t dry out as quickly which increases the chance that the plant could rot. Also, be sure to turn your Tillandsia upside down for several seconds after watering it, in order to reduce the amount of water that may collect at the base of the plant.
“A lack of airflow means the leaves don’t dry out as quickly which increases the chance that the plant could rot”
- Sunlight Exposure
If you can, take your Tillandsia outside every so often to air it out and give it extra light. Do not leave your plant in direct sunlight for more than an hour or two because the leaves can burn when exposed to too much sunlight.
We hope these tips help you! If you have specific Tillandsia air plant questions you wanted answered, please message us on Facebook or Instagram, or use #AskMrTillandsia on your posts for Paul to answer in our video series!