Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are typically epiphytes—plants that grow on another host plant but do not depend upon it. They attach themselves to rocks and tree bark with the help of their roots for support. Air plants can be found in tropical forests where they get plenty of sunlight.
All air plant varieties have an air root which is a specialized stem that allows them to absorb oxygen from the air at night without depending on raindrops or fog droplets like other types of bromeliad species.
Air plants are also called air moss or air ferns because they are a type of plant that needs no soil to grow. This is because air plants absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves.
They have evolved this way in order to survive the harsh conditions of deserts where there is little rainfall and high temperatures for most hours of the day. The lack-of-soil adaptation has served them well all over the world since many areas got dried up periodically (even rainy ones).
Airplants require very little maintenance – just place it near bright light with moderate humidity levels (i.e., not too wet) & voila! You’ll never need to water your air plants again.”
Why are they called air plants?
This is because they do not need soil to grow. Instead, air plants get their nutrients from the air, and water misting it will produce oxygen. These roots are usually shallow in length which helps them reach out into the air so that they can suck up all of these necessary elements for survival.
In addition, air plant leaves also have a sticky substance on them that allows them to collect any dirt or dust particles floating around in the air as well as raindrops from outside. This way, the leaves always remain clean while collecting very important resources with every drop!
How to propagate air plants?
Air plants are air-breathing plants, so they do not need to be rooted in soil. They can grow on rocks or pieces of wood and will only require a bit of water every once in a while. There are 4 different methods of air plant propagation that you can use:
- You can divide the air roots off from mature air plants at their base with blunt cutters to make more plants before trimming them back down to size again (or just leave them long for show).
- Another way is by using an air layer technique where you take part of a stem and strip away some leaves below it then stick it into moist compost or sand, adding extra moss if needed; this should root within about six months but may last for up to two years.
- The air plant can also be grown from seed, which is a great option if the air plants you find are too expensive or hard to come by; air plant seeds should take around six months before they’re ready for use – just make sure that they don’t dry out during this time!
- Finally, air plants can be propagated with leaf cuttings and stem cuttings as well. This method requires more careful care than any of the other methods but it’s worth it in the end because all your new air plants will have exactly the same characteristics as their parents.
General Care For Air Plants
Air plants thrive in bright, indirect light. They will not tolerate direct sunlight or sitting in a dark spot for long periods of time. On the other hand, air plants can survive with low levels of illumination such as fluorescent lighting and window light. As soon as you notice your air plant starting to droop do something about it!
Most air plants will die if they have less than 12 hours of daylight per day.
Watering air plants
They are best grown in the air. They need little to no water, and most of the time they should be misted once or twice a month with an atomizer (or as needed). Be sure not to overwater them because this will cause their leaves to rot. Air Plants can grow anywhere from heights that range between two feet all the way up twenty-five feet tall!
Fertilizing air plants
Fertilizer stimulates the air plant’s chlorophyll production which is essential for photosynthesis, their life cycle, and reproductive success. The fertilizer should include high nitrogen content (N), phosphorus (P) or potassium (K).
Most people use liquid fertilizer because it mixes easier with water than dry fertilizer but make sure not to over-water your plants after applying it! Dry fertilizers typically have higher N: P ratios while liquid has a better balance of nutrients in one application so depending on what you can find locally will depend on which fertilizer is best for fertilizers.
Temperature is the air plants’ friend. If you’re looking to keep your plant alive, then make sure it’s somewhere that has a temperature of at least 20 degrees Celsius all year round. The air should also be moist and humid so as not to dry out their leaves too much. Air Plants are happiest in temperatures between 15°C & 35°C (60°F).
Humidity is the worst enemy of the air plant. These plants do best in a warm, dry atmosphere with low humidity which ranges from 40%-60%. They can only handle about 20% of the moisture that other houseplants need to survive and thrive.
Air plants are generally low maintenance and will not need to be pruned. The flowers may fall off, but the stem will remain.
Pruning is best done with scissors or a sharp knife during summer months from June to August. If air plants become too large for their pot, they can also be divided into two pieces by cutting them in half at their natural breakpoint (usually about halfway up).
Airplants require little root space so it won’t matter if you cut them diagonally or not, as long as each new section has roots on all four sides of the original leaf pad.”
There is no known toxicity.
Pests and diseases
Air plants are generally pest and disease resistant.
9 Tips about air plants you never think of:
- They will not grow in soil. Even if you try to, it won’t work.
- They use roots to attach themselves to things, rather than absorbing their nutrients.
- They need sunlight to grow.
- They can not solely live on air alone
- They will tell you when they need more or less water.
- It is hard to identify Tillandsia varieties.
- An air plant can flower once in its lifetime.
- They can be propagated by harvesting their “pups.”
- They come from a place that is very warm. They like it when it is warm in your home.