Watering Tillandsia (a.k.a. Air Plant)

Watering Air PlantWith its epiphytic characteristics, Tillandsia has earned its nickname, air plant. Instead of the roots, the plants absorb water directly through their leaves, and use their roots as wire-like anchors, hanging on trees and rocks without soil.

Underwatering and Overwatering Your Tillandsia

Probably due to Tillandsia’s common name – Air Plant, many of us tend to think that these plants need very little or no water, as living on air. Well… of course, this is not true. Just like all other plants, Tillandsias need water. Although it is amazing how Tillandsias can survive for long periods of drought, these plants need water to thrive and blossom. When water is scarce, Tillandsias will just stop growing and go dormant. And if the situation continues, Tillandsias will eventually die.

On the other hand, Tillandsias will also rot and die if the plants are left wet for too long.

Watering Tillandsias – How Much is the Right Amount?

Here are the quick guidelines for watering your Tillandsias.

  • Water your Tillandsias 2-3 times per week, water more often in hot, dry environment, and less when it is cool or humid.
  • A thorough soaking is required to sufficiently fill the cells of the plants.
  • Give your Tillandsias enough light and air circulation to dry in no longer than 4 hours. Hence, I would suggest you to water your Tillandsias in the morning so for them to dry by nightfall.

Watering Air Plant Watering Air Plant

I hadn’t watered my air plants for a long while already.  The look and touch of their leaves told me that I should water my plants soon.  So I threw them into the water and gave them a good soak.

Watering Air Plant

And in just minutes,  my air plants look so beautiful and lively again!

Know Your Tillandsia

What I have just mentioned is only the basic rule of thumb for watering Tillandsias. The watering needs of Tillandsias depend greatly on the size and species of your plants, as well as the temperature and their surrounding environment. The best way to figure out how much to water your Tillandsias is by getting to know your plants. Touch and feel the leaves. After watering, the leaves of Tillandsias will feel stiff and full of water. And when they are in need of water, the leaves will feel soft to the touch and the plant will be lighter in color.

Tabletop Garden - I Love Air PlantsUnderwatering can be notice by flaccid, wrinkled or rolled leaves. And for Tillandsias, it is better to underwater than to overwater.

Once you have the right system down that works in your given situation, watering your Tillandsias is a breeze.

Here is my tabletop garden – I Love Air Plants

5 comments to Watering Tillandsia (a.k.a. Air Plant)

  • I think that will help me and make MUCH more sense to me. I really didn’t know what was wrong will my air plants. I had heard about how they are often underwatered and need water too, but I thought by the roots. Then they began to go pale and limp. Now I hope I can restore them. They have been that way for about two weeks!

  • Zoe

    I really really really want an air plant for Christmas because my teacher had one and I fed it and cared for it she got it for her wedding and now she took it home with her so look that’s why I want an air plant because she took hers home

  • Thank you so much for this! I picked up Tillandsia at a flea market and the guy said it would “survive” without watering. Weird, no? So I’ve had it for about 6 months and it’s been “surviving” but I just soaked it in water for an hour and already I can tell a difference. I’ll be misting this tiny tillandsia more carefully now. Thanks!

  • miss b.

    My airplant is mexican druid form

  • miss b.

    I bought my air plant when it was still small 1 month ago and when i looked up on the internet it said to mist the plant twice a day, and i did, and it grew so beautifully it even bloomed! Now three days later i noticed the pink part of my air plant getting paler and the leaves looked like they were dying! What did i do!? Is it overwatered? Underwatered? Oh please help me! Please

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>