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March 06, 2024 2 min read

Air plants cannot live on air alone. They need lots of water. But, give them too much water, and they’ll die. Before we can water air plants, we need to understand where they come from. 

Air plants have aerial roots to help hold them onto whatever surface they call home- like trees, or even power lines! In their native habitats across the Southern U.S., Mexico, and Central and South America, air plants get what they need from high humidity and plentiful rainfall. No soil needed. In climates where it's not as humid (like Oregon) we make up for the lack of humidity by soaking or misting as needed. 

For the tabletop, air plants can simply be snuggled into a favorite bowl or even a collection of shells as a centerpiece. Our ceramic wall planters  are the perfect way to showcase air plants and add three dimensional greenery to an existing gallery wall.

From the wild, to styled, we love using air plants as a way to green up a space.
How to water your air plants:
  • Once a week, submerge air plants in water and let them sit for 5-10 minutes. You can soak for longer depending on the climate where you live, or if you've forgotten to water them. Once per week is the general rule of thumb, but remember that this will vary depending on factors such as: weather, running your heater or A/C, sun exposure, and time of year. Air plants will appear less plump, and feel a tad lighter when they're ready for a good soak. Some folks prefer to mist their air plants. This is a great alternative but make sure that there is sufficient air flow to allow moisture to escape the crown area. Allowing moisture to sit for too long can lead to rot in colder environments.
  • Dry air plants out after soaking them by shaking off excess water and placing them in a bright spot for a few hours until dry. Since we live in a colder climate, we like to "flip" our air plants upside down to ensure all water is running off and away from the crown.
  • Make sure they get at least 6 hours of bright, filtered light per day. They’ll love a room with lots of windows. Remember they're accustomed to hanging out in tree canopies with ample sun exposure. A good source of light is essential for long-term health. We're lucky enough to have skylights at the shop and it helps tremendously during Oregon's dreary winters. 
  • Feed them once a month by adding water-soluble fertilizer for epiphytes, to the water you dunk them in. (These specialized fertilizers contain nitrogen in a form they can absorb.)
  • Air plants like temperatures ranging between the 50s and 90s. If possible give them a 10-degree temperature drop that mimics cool nights in their native jungle but make sure they're getting plenty of sunshine during the day. 
Air plants can feel intimidating but they don't have to be. It can take practice understanding their unique watering needs but it's well worth learning. If you've been thinking about it, this is your sign to give air plants a try! You might surprise yourself.