How to Care for Tillandsia Air Plants

Air plants are amazing little things. There are many varieties of air plants in different shapes and sizes with amazing colors from green to pink and purple. Succulents and cacti are easy to care for, but air plants might be even easier. Watch our short video and read on to learn how to take care of air plants.

Illustration of Air Plant by

Air plants are actually called Tillandsias, if you like more syllables. They’re also referred to as Epiphytes, meaning that they don’t need soil to grow. They usually hang out on trees and other bright places in the jungle, mountains, and deserts. If you got some air plants as part of a DIY terrarium kit on, you’ll want to learn how to give them the right amount of love. Exactly how to take care of air plants? Here are a few simple care instructions:

  • Air plants love bright light, but not super hot direct sunlight.
  • They prefer to be in a dry place with good circulation. Don’t leave your air plant in a super humid area like near the shower, because they might get soggy and rot.
  • Once a week, toss them into a bath of clean water for an hour or more. Be nice and use rain, spring, filtered or bottled water, not tap water with lots of chemicals.
  • If your air plant lives in a very hot and dry place, you may soak them in water for 3-4 hours – but don’t submerge them completely or they’ll drown.
  • If your air plant has pretty flowers when you go to soak them, make sure you don’t submerge the flowers underwater.
  • Don’t use harsh plant foods such as Miracle-Gro. Use a milder plant food, like Plant Food, once a month in the summer seasons.
  • When you remove your air plants from their water bath, make sure to shake them out and let them dry upside down before putting them back into their homes.
  • If the leaves start to close up, it means the plant wants to be soaked for longer.


Subscribe to our Youtube channel for other DIY tips for air plants and succulents. If you have any questions, feel free to post them in the comments below. If you’d like to check out all our do-it-yourself terrarium kits that include air plants, please see the Air Plants section of our store. To learn about succulent care, check out How to Care for Your Succulent Terrarium. Ciao!



  1. Patti March 22, 2015 at 2:15 pm #

    Thanks for sharing how to take care of air plants. My husband has gotten me a couple of plants throughout the years and I always end up killing them. I have a pretty green thumb, but these things just baffle me. I think I will try them again. Great video, by the way.

  2. BRENDA LEE HAKE April 30, 2016 at 7:08 pm #

    A very good video, Thanks for that, I am just learning about air plants.
    I would like more information about them.

  3. Katie Scott May 26, 2016 at 8:29 am #

    Once a plant turns brown, is it dead? :-( I think I killed one of my six.

    • Bao May 26, 2016 at 10:38 am #

      Hi Katie. Sorry to hear that. When a plant is dry and brown, it means that it has died. They usually die either from not enough water or from not drying out fully after being watered. Another common cause is getting too much direct sun. We do have some air plants that you can purchase as replacements here. Thanks for writing us!


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