Have you ever heard of airplants? These unique plants have become quite popular in recent years, and it's no wonder why. Here at the Jungle, we have been growing and selling Tillandsia (we refer to them as Tillys) for since 2013. With their stunning appearance and low maintenance needs, they make the perfect addition to any home or office. However, there is one common mistake that many people make when caring for their airplants - soaking them in water. If you have done this, we don't blame you at all. Many folks that buy and sell airplants give this advice for care on a daily basis...however, it is incorrect. In this blog post, we'll explore why you should never soak your airplants and what you should do instead to keep them thriving.
What are airplants?
Before we dive into the topic, let's first understand what airplants are. Airplants, also known as Tillandsia, are a type of epiphyte that grow without soil. Instead of absorbing nutrients through their roots, they obtain everything they need from the air and water, through their leaves. This unique adaptation allows them to thrive in a variety of environments, making them a popular choice for indoor gardening.
Why soaking is a bad idea
While you may have been told to, and it may seem logical to soak your airplants in water, this is actually detrimental to their health. Airplants have specialized structures called trichomes on their leaves (if you have one, trichomes are those white fuzzy things you see on the leaves), which allow them to absorb water and nutrients from the air. When you soak them in water, these trichomes become waterlogged and can eventually rot, leading to the death of the plant.
Additionally, airplants are susceptible to rot if their "crown", or center of the plant is constantly wet. Soaking them in water can cause the crown to become waterlogged, leading to fungal and bacterial infections. This can quickly spread throughout the plant and cause irreversible damage.
How to properly care for your airplants
Now that you know why soaking your airplants is a bad idea, let's talk about the proper way to care for them. The key to keeping your airplants healthy is to provide them with the right amount of water and air circulation.
Instead of soaking, misting your airplants 2-3x a week is the best way to hydrate them. Fill a spray bottle with filtered or distilled water and mist the leaves until they are lightly covered. This mimics the natural conditions they would experience in their native habitats. During the Spring and Summer months, you can add an Airplant, Orchid or Bromeliad fertilizer to the water, at 1/4 strength, to give your Tillys a boost.
In addition to misting, it's important to provide adequate air circulation for your airplants. They thrive in environments with good air flow, so make sure to place them in an area with proper ventilation. Avoid placing them in enclosed containers or terrariums, as this can trap moisture and lead to rot.
Airplants are fascinating plants that can bring a touch of nature into any space. By understanding their unique needs and avoiding common mistakes like soaking, you can ensure that your airplants thrive for years to come. Remember, misting and providing proper air circulation are the keys to keeping these remarkable plants happy and healthy.