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Air Plant Care


If you've been in 16 Hands, you know we LOVE air plants. Not only because they look great themselves, but since they don't require dirt to grow and thrive, almost anything can be an air plant holder! Even though we don't sell the plants here online, we have several great holder options available. See some great ideas here!

We've learned that some see air plants as "Indestructible". The ARE easy to care for, but do take some care to keep healthy. Tillandsia, commonly known as air plants, are considered an easy to care for, low-maintenance house plant. There are roughly 650 different species, but all have one thing in common – they draw water from the air and use their leaves to absorb nutrients. Air plants grow naturally in humid and subtropical environments, such as the southern United States, Central America, and South America. These plants do not require soil to grow, and can commonly be found living on other plant life, unobtrusively, such as large trees.

But air plants only need air to survive, right?
Wrong! Unless you live in a humid environment, you will need to provide moisture for your plant regularly. While these plants do not require soil and can hang out just about anywhere inside your home, they do need a few things to keep them healthy. The most important is water.Since not all of us live in a humid climate, you will need to supply your air plant with water every week. Let them soak, root side up and out of the water, once a week for an hour. When finished, gently shake off excess water, and let them remain upside down on a towel until they are fully dried. Water pooling in the leaves is the #1 killer of Tillandsia, as this will lead to rotting and subsequently dying. Additionally, you can add a bromeliad fertilizer once a month to the water to give them an extra boost. Secondly, air plants prefer bright, indirect light. The more sunlight and heat, the more water required. Using a misting bottle in addition to soaking is recommended for very bright light, or a particularly dry space. On the other hand, in the cooler, wet months, air plants don’t need as much water, so misting probably is not necessary. Good air circulation is also important, so avoid placing your plants in a closed terrarium.

Overall, these funky little plants are excellent companions for those of us with less-than-green thumbs, and are a unique addition to any plant collection. These guys can hang out in just about anything, so get creative!