When it comes to indoor plant care, air plants (Tillandsia) are supposed to be some of the easiest.

For starters, they don’t even need soil, absorbing water and nutrients through scales on their leaves - in the wild they survive just hanging onto the bark of trees and whatnot, catching whatever bit of rain comes their way.

But just like succulents and orchids, some people have trouble keeping them alive.

Dunking is best

I know you thought you’d be fine just spritzing your tilly every few days, but that isn’t enough. Air plants need just slightly more care than that. Once a week, you dunk them in a container large enough to fully submerge them and let them sit there. For a few hours. Advice: soak them overnight!

Always air dry

After they soak, Tillandsias need to dry out fully. Fully! Shake off any excess water and put them in a bright spot for at least 4 hours. This is key, as dampness is the main foe of an air plant. Their poor little cores will rot if they don’t get to drain and dry out!

Plants get hungry, too

For lush-looking plants, feed your plants once a month by adding fertilizer to the water mix. Use a special airplants fertilizer or a bromeliad mix (air plants are in the bromeliad family), and don’t overdo it - plants can burn from too much fertilizer.

Nice and cozy

The good news here is that you have to work pretty hard to mess this one up. Air plants are happy with a wide range of temps. Just know that the hotter and drier the air, the more often you’ll have to water. And it probably comes as no surprise - these tenderhearted tropical and subtropical babies will bite the dust in freezing temps.

Air circulation

Glass terrariums are adorable, but air plants need circulation of air. Let plants dry fully before you place them back inside a glass.

Marjon Groen

Micquel Groen Green Inspiration

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