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Air Plant (Tillandsia Species)

Air Plant (Tillandsia Species)

This unusual and exotic plant is a true marvel of nature with its ability to grow without soil, drawing moisture and nutrients from the air. With its unique look and minimal care needs, it makes an unconventional yet stunning addition to any terrarium setup.

Air Plant Care Card

Light requirementsBright, indirect light
Watering frequencyMisting several times a week, or soaking every 1-2 weeks
Humidity levelModerate to high
Temperature range50-90°F (10-32°C)
Soil typeNone needed; attaches to driftwood, stones, or other supports
image of multiple air plants on a white table

Due to their flexibility in terms of positioning, Air Plants can be placed in the foreground, mid-ground, or background, even attached to the sides or top of the terrarium.

They are most suitable for tropical or epiphyte-themed terrariums as they thrive in humid conditions and don’t require soil.

Detailed Care Instructions

Light: Air Plants prefer bright, indirect light. Direct sunlight can cause the plant to dry out and its leaves to burn. Artificial lighting, such as fluorescent, is also acceptable for these resilient plants.

Water: Unlike most plants, Air Plants absorb water through their leaves rather than roots. Mist them several times a week or soak them in room-temperature water every 1-2 weeks for about 30 minutes. Make sure to shake off excess water and allow them to dry thoroughly to prevent rot.

Soil and Fertilizer: Air Plants don’t require soil. They can be attached to various items like driftwood, cork, rocks, or simply left to sit on a bed of pebbles. Feed them with a bromeliad or tillandsia fertilizer (diluted to 1/4 strength) once a month by adding it to the soaking water.

Pruning and Repotting: Pruning is typically not required for Air Plants, but you can trim any brown or dead leaves at the base of the plant. As they don’t require soil, there’s no repotting in a traditional sense.

Troubleshooting Common Problems

Air Plants are quite hardy but can sometimes suffer from rot (usually from inadequate drying after watering), drying out (insufficient watering or humidity), or burn (too much direct sunlight). If you notice the leaves becoming excessively curly, your Air Plant is likely not getting enough water.


Air Plants produce “pups” or baby plants at their base. Once these pups are a third to half the size of the mother plant, they can be gently pulled off and placed in their own spot in the terrarium.


Why is my Air Plant turning brown?

This could be due to underwatering, lack of humidity, or excessive direct sunlight. Check your care routine to ensure it’s getting the conditions it needs.

How often should I fertilize my Air Plant?

Fertilizing once a month with a bromeliad or tillandsia fertilizer should suffice.

Can Air Plants survive without any light?

No, they need at least a few hours of bright, indirect light each day. If natural light isn’t an option, fluorescent light can work too.