#PlantsMakePeopleHappy, Plant Care, Plant Myth Mondays

AIR PLANTS DON’T NEED WATER – PLANT MYTH MONDAY #8

September 26, 2017

MONDAY 09.25.17 MYTH: AIR PLANTS DON’T NEED WATER

The Tillandsia, also nicknamed the “air plant”, receives a lot of hype because of its weird, sea-creature like appearance. But how much do you really know about air plants? Do you assume they don’t need water- because they grow in the “air” instead of in a planter with potting mix like most houseplants?

Tillandsia is a genus of plants native to South and Central American and parts of the southern United States, and they have been come to known as ‘air plants’ because they can grow without soil. Most people don’t know that air plants are in the same family as the common bromeliad – Bromeliaceae! The difference is that the common bromeliad we see at our local plant shops, with big colorful leaves, grows in the soil – whereas air plants don’t. Hundreds of different air plant varieties (over 600!) grow on trees, rocks, and cliffs. Because of their natural habitats, they have adapted, and use their root system to clutch on to surrounding surfaces, rather than for absorbing water- what most plants do with their roots.

But just because they’re not absorbing water through their roots- does not mean they don’t absorb water at all. Actually, they require more water than most common houseplants! How do they receive this water? Air plants absorb most of the water and nutrients they need through their crazy-looking leaves!


Shop our  Tillandz and Air Plants!

The ideal growing conditions for air plants: 

  • Bright, indirect light, or partly sunny (some direct sun is recommended)
  • Water, or mist, your air plants two to three times a week! Remember, the more light it gets, the more frequently you will want to water and mist it!
  • Make sure you shake off excess water after watering. You can also turn it upside-down for 5 minutes before putting it back to its usual spot.
  • Don’t keep your air plants in air-tight containers- they need air circulation! (Opt for an air plant stand instead of a container!)
  • Use warm, purified water when watering and/or misting. In the wild, they only receive warm rainwater, which is very pure. You might want to use purified water when watering. They are also extremely cold-sensitive, so keep out of the way of drafts.

Mount your airplants! Shop plants + stands here.

So remember- air plants DO need water. And arguably even more than other common houseplants. They’re called air plants because they live ‘in the air’, not because they can magically conjure things from the air 😉  Did I mention they are pet-friendly plants too?

Learn more about the Tillandsia HERE, and check out more of our Plant Myth Mondays HERE.

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