Air Plants. We love 'em! We often get asked what they are and how does one take care of them in our dry, Phoenician climate?
Known as Tillandsia by the pros, Air Plants are native to the Southern United States, Central and South America, and the West Indies. These living plants thrive in a wide variety of environments and are unique because their roots anchor themselves to other objects (botanists call this kind of plant an epiphyte). They gather water and nutrients through structures in their leaves called Trichomes, hence living off the "air."
Air Plants are simple to care for, but it is important to know what they need. Here is a quick cheat sheet to guarantee they will survive and thrive!
In the wild, most Air Plants live under the canopy of other plants. This means they prefer as much filtered sunlight as they can get. We recommend keeping them indoors close to a window, or grow light, to ensure they receive enough light.
Due to our dry climate, we prefer to soak our Air Plants instead of mist. For broad and thick leaved varieties, we recommend a one hour soak once a week. For thin and delicate leaved plants, we recommend soaking your plant three times a week for one hour. If you decide to mist your plants instead of soak, ensure you are heavily misting to ensure the plant has absorbed ample moisture.
The majority of Air Plants only bloom once in their lifetime. Once the plant blooms, the mother plant tends to fade off - as all of its energy is focused into producing pups and/or offsets. Pups begin to appear at the base of the plant and look much like new leaves at first. Once the pups are one-third the size of the mother plant, they can be plucked off and survive on their own.
We recommend to fertilize your Air Plant with our Dig It Orchid & Air Plant food once a month, at a rate of ¼ teaspoon per gallon.
With the right conditions, your Air Plants are sure to not only survive - but thrive! Want to learn more about Air Plants? Let us know in the comments below! Be sure to also let us know any other plant questions you have for our next blog post. To keep up to date with all things Dig It, be sure to follow our Facebook and Instagram for event updates, sales, and more!