How to Grow Air Plants like a Pro

by Sarah Gardiner

Sarah is a horticulturist with a passion for edibles and cottage gardens.

It seems like a mind bending concept that these plants can survive on just air, without the need for any soil. You heard us correctly - no soil. These weird, fuzzy-looking creatures are closely related to Bromeliads and generally grow in trees in their natural environment. Although they don’t need soil to survive, they still do require water, nutrients and natural light. While air plants might seem to thrive on more neglect than your other houseplants, there are still some tricks to growing them like a pro. We’ve rounded up a few tips for growing air plants and enjoying them in your own home.

Air Plant Care

Air Plant Watering
In their natural environment, air plants survive purely on rainfall and high humidity. For best results, it is ideal to try and mimic these conditions. Air plants prefer to be grown outdoors, however indoor growing can be achieved with a bit of fine tuning. At home, air plants should be watered every 1-2 weeks. When growing indoors, keep an eye on them to see if they need a drink.To water, place them in a sink or bucket and let them soak for 20-30 minutes. It is better to do this earlier in the day to ensure they dry properly, to avoid any fungal issues. To dry, air plants can be left on a towel or a drying rack by the sink. Once they are dry, they can be returned to their designated spot. In your home where air might be hot and dry, you can mist air plants with a spray bottle in between soaking, to ensure humidity is maintained.

Air Plant Light
Generally, air plants are happier when they are kept out of harsh, direct sunlight. Thinking about their natural environment and how air plants grow, they naturally thrive when growing up in the sheltered, shady canopy of trees. They will grow best when placed in a position that receives natural, bright light.

Air Plant Temperatures
Being the tropical, humidity lovers that they are, air plants prefer warmer temperatures and are not frost tolerant. It is important to protect your air plants from harsh, cold temperatures below 10°C when grown outdoors - as this is where you might see them perish, particularly if they are not kept dry. To be safe, bring your air plants inside for the cold, winter months and keep them placed in a bright, warm spot indoors with plenty of natural light.

Air Plant Fertilising
Fertilising your air plants can be easily done at the same time as watering, however it is not essential nor an issue when it is missed. Throughout the warmer months you can fertilise by using an indoor plant liquid fertiliser and dilute to 1⁄4 of the recommended strength. Fill a bucket with water and the fertiliser as directed, then leave air plants to soak for 20-30 minutes, as you would when watering them. Once soaked, shake air plants off and leave them out to dry as per usual, then they can be returned to their designated positions. Remember to dispose of the leftover fertiliser solution in your bucket by pouring it into your plants or garden, to avoid it entering our waterways.

Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple
Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple

Ananas comosus var - Mini Pineapple

$10.00
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea
Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea

Tillandsia (syn. Wallisia) cyanea

$25.00
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant
Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant

Tillandsia funckiana - Air Plant

$15.00
Tillandsia ionantha
Tillandsia ionantha
Tillandsia ionantha
Tillandsia ionantha
Tillandsia ionantha
Tillandsia ionantha

Tillandsia ionantha "Druid" - Air plant

$20.00
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant
Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant

Tillandsia Moonlight - Air Plant

$15.00
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants

Tillandsia Ornament - Large (F) Air Plants

$39.00
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants
Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants

Tillandsia Ornament - X Large (G) Air Plants

$59.00
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia
Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia

Tillandsia sp. mounted - T. Aeranthus, T. Ionantha, T. Tenuifolia

$45.00