Air Plants 101

  • Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are some of the easiest plants to grow. 

  • Technically known as Epiphytes, air plants grow on trees and are native to South America, South Africa and in some cases, south Florida. They use their roots to anchor themselves to an object, which allows them to grow in a variety of locations. 

  • Air plants use tiny vessels located throughout their leaves called trichomes to capture nutrients and moisture from the air in their environment.

  • While air plants are known for being easy to grow, they still need attention to survive and live a healthy life.  If taken care of, air plants will live for several years and will multiply, yielding additional plants. 



  • If you are keeping your plants indoors, you will want to make sure that they are near an adequate light source. Generally, place them within 3-5 feet of a window or near an artificial light source. With artificial light, make sure the plants are not too far from the source. Air plants love being placed in a bathroom or kitchen window (indirect light). The steam/moisture will keep them happy!


  • Water your air plants every ten days to two weeks. Place the plants face down in a bowl, sink or container and let them soak for 20-30 minutes.  Always take care to gently shake any excess water off the base of the plants because sitting water can cause rot and damage to the roots.

  • Never let your air plant sit in water for prolonged periods. However, if your plant is struggling, you can leave them in a bowl for a few hours or even overnight.  Avoid submerging the bloom or flower which may cause the flower to rot. 

  • After watering, plants need sufficient air circulation to dry within 4 hours. They should be completely dry before being returned to a container that might restrict air circulation. 

  • While air plants will do well in containers, they should not be displayed in totally enclosed containers.


  • Air plants are found in a wide variety of temperatures, but mainly in the 45-90 degree range [Fahrenheit]. 


  • Over time your air plants will grow new leaves and lose some.  Feel free to trim any brown or dead leaves off your plants with scissors, trimming at an angle to give the end of the leaf a natural appearance. 


  • As your air plant begins to mature and run through its bloom cycle, it will produce babies also known as "pups". 

  • You can either remove the pup once it reaches around 1/3 of the size of the mother plant or you can leave the pups on and they will eventually form a “clump."