Your Air plants don’t need fertilizer if you water them with rainwater, pond water, or aquarium water. You have to use air plant fertilizer at least 4 to 6 times a year if you give normal tap water to your plants. This encourages healthy growth and gives nice blooms.
Nowadays most of the house owners like to grow air plants over other houseplants. Because these decorative plants are easy to grow and don’t need any kind of soil to live.
But this doesn’t mean they don’t need nutrients. We all know nutrients are essential for every plant.
If you give proper care and nutrients to your plants, they grow healthy, look good, and become a good piece of decoration.
In this post, you will know how to grow, care, water, and fertilize air plants.
Let’s start from the Basic questions
What are Air Plants?
Before we discuss the best air plant fertilizer and their care steps. Let’s know more about the air plants and their nutritional requirements.
Air plants have more than 100 species. They are the permanent member of the bromeliad group of plants. These plants don’t need soil to live they grow in the air and use their roots to attach themselves to other plants.
The interesting thing is they don’t consider parasites. Because they do not absorb nutrients from other plants. They absorb nutrients from the water through their leaves. In their natural habitat when the raindrops fall on them. They use the tiny pore on their leaves to absorb moisture and nutrients.
This clears that when you grow air plants at home you need to mist nutrient-rich water on their leaves. So that the plants can absorb nutrients easily and quickly.
Some air plants have large size leaves whereas others have thread-like sleek leaves.
Air plants are native to North America but none of their Variety tolerates winter temperature. They die when the temperature drops below 10 degrees C. They can survive in winter but only if you grow them inside your home.
They absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves. Therefore, Warm and humid conditions are best to keep them alive in cold weather.
Also, you need to water them more often in the winter season. Because in winter the heating system keeps our houses warm. But this heat reduces the humidity in the air. In low humidity, air plants run out of moisture quickly. So, frequent water sprays are the only option to save indoor-grown air plants in winters.
The best way of watering air plants
Most of the time people think that air plants don’t need care. As their name is Air plant, they assume that the plant gets all necessary nutrients and moisture from the air itself. But in reality, they do need care.
The most important part of air plant care is keeping the high moisture level. If they don’t receive the right amount of moisture plants will die in a few days. So, it is important to understand how to water air plants. Because they receive moisture from the air through their leaves, not through root systems.
In forests, these plants get proper moisture from the humid air. We don’t have the same level of humidity inside our homes. Use any of the following methods of watering air plants.
Misting the water
In this method, you need a spray bottle or you can buy a plant mister from Amazon. Pick the plant from the decorative container, place it on your palm, and spray the water on it. Once you finish watering-place it on the paper towel for 2 hours to dry then place it back in its place.
Make sure you mist water on all parts of the plant especially on the leaves.
Bowl or Sink method
The main benefit of watering in a bowl or sink is you need to water air plants once in a week. This is the best method of watering all varieties of air plants.
Fill the bowl or sink with clean drinkable freshwater, place your plants in it for about 60 minutes. So that plants can absorb enough amount of water. Then take out the plants and tip them upside down to remove unwanted water. Place them on the towel paper or on a clean cotton cloth to dry. Once they get dry place them back on their place.
The best type of water for Air plants
You can use different kinds of water to water air plants. But before watering them keep the following things in mind.
Best tips to water Air plants
Do not use water that has any amount of slat, for example, softened water. Because this salt can build up on the leaves and cause many plant problems.
Distilled water is not recommended for Air plants.
Tap water is good for air plants but before watering let the water sit at room temperature for 24 hours. This way the chlorine in the water sits down and does not harm the plant leaves.
Springwater or rainwater is best for watering air plants
Aquarium or pond water is another excellent kind of water for growing air plants. These waters have a good amount of dissolved nutrients. Just make sure you don’t give extra fertilizer to the plant with pond or aquarium water.
How often to water Air Plant Varieties?
Actually, the answer depends upon the environment of your house. If the humidity levels inside your home are high then you don’t need frequent watering. The best place for the air plants is the bathroom because the shower room has high humidity.
Don’t grow them in rooms where fans are left constantly running because the constant airflow keeps them dry.
Once you see curled leaves, folded leaves, this means your plant needs water.
Brown leaves mean water it immediately and place it in a high humid place for 24 hours. This will help you in saving your dying plants.
Air plant and Light
Air plants need bright filtered light. Filtered light means indirect light. Direct sunlight can damage the plant in a single day. Find a place in your home where your plants can get indirect bright light. In winter if you think your plant is not getting enough light place. Change its place and move it to the east or south-facing window.
Or you can use a normal fluorescent light to help your plant.
Don’t need to buy and use special-purpose grow lights for growing air plants. Grow lights are necessary when you grow plants that take nutrients from the soil through their root systems.
Check the all-time Best LED grow lights.
How to use Air plant Fertilizer?
Your air plants don’t require fertilization if you water them with rainwater, pond, or aquarium water. These waters contain all the necessary nutrients and your plants get everything from such waters.
To fertilize air plants, you need to use special Air plant fertilizer or Bromeliad fertilizer 2 to 5 times per year.
You can also use the liquid form of normal houseplant fertilizers.
Always add fertilizer into the water that you are going to use for watering your air plants. The mist is on the plant leaves.
Dilute the normal liquid houseplant fertilizer before using it on air plants.
Which fertilizer is best for my Air plants?
Fertilizers that are rich in nitrogen along with the balanced ratio of potassium and phosphorous are excellent for Growing Air plants. These plants are hungry for nitrogen. But the problem is normal plant fertilizers cannot work on air plants.
Because normal plant fertilizers are designed in a way that the microorganisms in the soil can easily break the nitrogen and make it available for the plant via root systems.
But our air plants don’t live in soil, they need different fertilizers that are specially made for them.
Use specially made Tillandsia air plant fertilizer spray bottle.
Additional Air plant care Tips
A few more air plant care tips are as follows.
When you see one or more leaves at the base of the plant are dying. Cut them off immediately so that the problem cannot spread to other leaves.
Also, remove the brown color leaves, use plant grooming shears to cut them off. Cut the leaves at an angle so that the trimmed leaves blend easily with other healthy leaves.
Keep the temperature between 50 to 90 F.
Save your plant from cold and hot winds.
Do the Air Plant Bloom?
If you use air plant fertilizer your plants will surely bloom. Actually, these plants bloom once in their life. Winter or spring is their blooming time. Bloom spikes can be purple, orange, red, or yellow. Most of the tillandsia varieties bloom only once in their life span.
Air plant fertilizer helps your plant to bloom for a long time.