Air plants are members of the diverse Tillandisa genus which is in the bromeliad family. Air plants are plants that grow without soil. This distinctive growth habit means these fun houseplants have special considerations but can be grown where other plants couldn't! In their native habitat of tropical and subtropical North and South America, these epiphytic plants will be found clinging to trunks and branches of other plants or anything else they can sit on including rocks and buildings. While they use other plants to sit on, they do not harm or take from their host. They collect all the water they need through specialized cells on their leaves called trichomes that allow the efficient absorption of any water from the air or rain. They vary widely in size and range from the familiar Spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides) which can be found draping from trees in the southeastern United States to ball moss (T. recurvata) which can be seen clinging to telephone wires, fences, or just about anything else in Central America, to the larger, more colorful species of T. ionantha, T. xerographica, T. capitata or T. bulbosa, all of which are typically referred to as air plants.
Watering: Moderate watering needs. Mist weekly or soak 2x/month during spring/summer ensuring water does not collect in plant's crown which will lead to rot. If plant is kept in a holder of some kind, ensure plant is completely dry before replacing. Cut watering in half during winter months.
Light Requirements: Bright, indirect filtered light.
Humidity Needs: Moderate, prefers 65% or higher.
Soil Preference: n/a
Fertilizing: Benefits from misting with air plant fertilizer 1-2x/month during spring/summer months.
Pet Safe: Yes
Common Issues: Rot due to overwatering. If the base of the plant turns brown or black, and leaves are falling out or off from the center, your plant has likely succumbed to rot.
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