How to Grow and Care for Air Plants (No Green Thumb Required!)

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hand holding a green air plant

If you’re lacking a green thumb, but still love having fresh plants around your home, you’re going to love air plants!

These extremely low maintenance plants are what you’ve been needing in your life. Read below to get the info on what exactly air plants are, how to care for them, and where you can find some really cute ones to start your collection!

What is an air plant?

Also known as Tillandsia, air plants are a tropical American plant that grows on trees as an epiphyte, with long, narrow leaves that absorb water and nutrients from the atmosphere. These low maintenance plants grow without dirt and require almost no care at all!


Here are some helpful tips on how to care for your air plants:

1. Don’t put them in soil.

air plant in glass pendant

You heard that right! Air plants should not be placed in dirt or soil because that’s not where they get their nutrients from, therefore they don’t need it – making your job to care for them even easier!


2. Give them the perfect amount of light.

basket of living greens and air plants

Besides water and air, these plants also need to catch some rays. Place them in bright, indirect sunlight about 4 feet away from a window to take the best care of your plants. Never place them in direct sunlight, especially in the summer as they tend to dry out very easily.

Hip Tip: Don’t have a lot of natural light? You can use a fluorescent artificial light. It’s recommended that these plants should be between 6″ and 35″ from the fluorescent tubes and shouldn’t get more than 12 hours of light per day.


3. Water them depending on your environment.

hand holding air plants in sink with water

The amount of water you give to your air plants will greatly depend on your environment. It’s pretty simple to water them, too. Just place the plants in the sink and lightly rinse each one, leaving them in the sink overnight to drain. Voila! 

Dry climates:

If you live in an area that is dry and barren, you should be watering your air plants multiple times per week so they don’t dry out.

Normal to wet climates:

For all other climates, you should be watering your air plants every 1-2 weeks depending on the size.


4. Keep good air circulation.

glass bulb with green air plants inside

Now that you’ve got the watering part down, it’s also important to keep good airflow. According to the Air Plant Hub, following each watering, Tillandsias should be given enough light and air circulation to dry in 4 hours or less. They also mention not to keep your air plants constantly wet or moist.


5. Fertilize your air plants so they thrive.

hands holding air plants and fertilizer spray bottle

Air plants don’t necessarily need fertilizer to survive, but if you want them to totally thrive you should consider spritzing them with a good fertilizer every month. This will encourage blooms, more growth, and offset production.


Check out these adorable air plants I found at Lowe’s:

1. LiveTrends Air Plant in Glass Pendant – $16.98

air plants in glass pendant

Wouldn’t these little plants make a fun addition to your home, bedroom, or office space?! 😍 Not to mention, they would make an awesome and affordable housewarming gift.


2. LiveTrends Air Plant in Glass Pendant – $7.98

hand holding green air plant in glass pendant

These little guys won’t take up much space in your home and they’re cute as ever! They’re sure to be a conversation starter anywhere you put them.


3. LiveTrends Air Plant in Glass Pendant – $9.98

air plant and moss in glass pendant

This glass orb is probably my most favorite! Plus, the rocks and moss they’ve added give this air plant the perfect amount of dimension and touch, perfect for fall.


4. LiveTrends Air Plant in Glass Planter – $12.98

air plant in glass jar with cork lid

Looking for the perfect air plant gift? This one comes in an adorable glass container with a cork lid and is even already in bloom. This would make the perfect teacher’s gift, housewarming gift or just because it’s Tuesday gift.


Looking for more air plants?

Check Amazon for assorted packs of air plants.

green air plants in tea cup

12 Air Plant Variety Pack Small Tillandsia Terrarium Kit – $19.95

Amazon is a great way to get all the air plants you want without even needing to leave your house. They have many different variety packs, air plants in unique sculptures, hanging macrame ones, and plenty of air plants in glass terrariums.


And head to Target and Walmart in the spring!

box of air plant thinkers in store

In the spring, head to Target or Walmart when they typically carry a collection of really adorable air plants! We’ve spotted these unique LiveTrends thinkers before and I’m already picturing some around my house!

If you just can’t wait any longer, check out Walmart’s extensive collection of air plants online!


The ultimate guide to caring for succulents and which ones you should buy.

Join The Discussion

Comments 7

  1. Donna

    Also make sure to dry your air plant upside down.

    • Jennifer (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks, Donna!

  2. je

    I just soak mine for 3-4 hours every 1-2 months, depending on season. I tried the rinsing in the sink method before and ended up killing them. I experimented with the longer soaks and that works well for me. And as the previous commenter mentioned, dry them upside down.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      Thanks for taking the time to comment, Je! Good to know what has been working well for you!

  3. MCouzens

    I have been misting them once a week with water per instructions and misting them with fertilizer once a month. So far so good. Much easier than removing them, soaking and waiting to dry.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      That does sound easier! Thanks for the tip!

  4. acgold

    I have a green thumb and can grow almost any plant. Some I have are 10 years old. I have always grown succulents as well, before the current craze. For some reason, I can never get air plants to last more than a few months! Crazy!

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