Air Plants: How to care for a Plant that requires no soil

Guest blog by Anna Linder of Naturally Urban

Air plants or Tillandsia are a hot topic at our store lately. They have been gaining a lot of popularity on Pinterest and other websites and it is for good reason! Air plants do not require any soil. None. At. All. They are low maintenance, can be grown indoors or outdoors and they are very unique.

Air plants are native to South and Central America and are members of the Pineapple Family (aka the Bromeliad family for my fellow plant geeks out there). They prefer indirect light and moist conditions. These plants take in their water and nutrients through specialized leaves. The roots on the plants have no function other than to anchor the plant to whatever it can.

How to care for Air Plants:

Light: place your plant in an area that has indirect lighting. This means the plant should be in a room that has a window, but not right next to the window where the sun rays can reach it.

Water: There a few different options you can use for watering air plants, you can mist them or you can dunk them. If you choose to mist them, you want to mist them 1-2 times per week and make sure the plant is dripping wet. Both sides of the leaves should be wetted this way. If you choose to dunk them, let them sit in a watering can for up to an hour. Typically this only needs to be done once each week.

The number of times you water each week will depend on the season. During the winter time, the sun is less intense and you won’t need to water quite as much, however the humidity in your home will most like be lower so it can be helpful to mist the air around the plants to increase the humidity of the air around it. In the summer time, you may need to water more frequently because the air temperature is warmer and the sun is more intense.

Fertilizer: You can fertilize your air plants once per month during spring, summer and fall. Use a basic house plant fertilizer or an orchid fertilizer and ¼ of the recommended rate on the bottle. If you have one that is water soluble, just add it to your mist bottle or your watering can. Air plants will bloom once a year, depending on what variety you have, fertilizing will encourage the process.

Contain your air plants… or don’t. If you have a cool vase, bowl or some other object you’d like to use to display your airplants, that’s great. But, you totally don’t need any fancy glass terrarium or anything else for that matter. If you just wanted your air plant to grow on your table as a centerpiece, you can. That is the beauty of air plants.

Thanks to Anna Linder for these tips on growing Air Plants. For lots more gardening tips and great new products click through the link below:

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About Anna Linder 2 Articles
Naturally Urban Merchandise Manager Anna has grown up in the gardening industry and is part of the 4th generation of Linder’s to be involved at a Garden Center in St. Paul, MN that has been around for over 100 years. While attending the University of Wisconsin – River Falls, Anna developed a passion for finding a way to get younger people interested in gardening. After graduating in December of 2011 and spending a year working full time, she and her brother (Dave) came up with a new concept called Naturally Urban. This concept is based on small space gardening and showing people how they can grow plants and make them function in small spaces. When Anna is not inspiring people to garden, she can be found enjoying the outdoors. Whether it be running, hiking, gardening, or spending time with her rescue dogs. If you wish to contact Anna, you can reach her via email at anna@linders.com. You can also follow Naturally Urban on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.