How Usually to Mist Air Vegetation? The Reply Might Shock You

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Are you questioning how usually to mist air vegetation? I’ve seen many individuals wrestle with air plant watering, and there’s a lot of misinformation on the market. The aim of this publish is that can assist you study the correct methods to water your air vegetation, and to make clear the misinformation on the market that results in poor cultural recommendation on air plant care.


Preserve studying with a view to absolutely perceive find out how to water air vegetation. I encourage you to learn this whole publish, as a result of different issues are extraordinarily essential with a view to perceive the “how” and “why” of air plant care.

Not absolutely contemplating your different rising situations (exterior of watering) might lead you to a false assumption that you’ve got an overwatered air plant.

So earlier than you whip out that spray bottle, let me clarify just a few issues earlier than discussing watering.


Tillandsia vegetation, generally often called air vegetation, might be present in numerous pure habitats. Most air vegetation are native to Mexico, Central America, and South America. Some like Spanish Moss (Tillandsia usneoides) are even native to the southern United States).

Spanish moss draping a tree

Their ecosystems vary from humid and moist rainforests, to sizzling and dry deserts and every thing in between.

Tillandsia vegetation are epiphytes and use their roots for the only real goal of attaching onto tree branches, rocks, cliffs, and many others. They obtain all their moisture and vitamins via their foliage.



Air vegetation soak up water and vitamins via buildings on their foliage referred to as trichomes. Trichomes are modified scales or hair that cowl the foliage of air vegetation.

Relying on the species of air plant and its native surroundings, the person plant’s look will look both grey or inexperienced, or generally one thing in between.

This leads us to studying concerning the two essential varieties of air vegetation, and understanding this provides you with basic clues on what they want in terms of watering.

The 2 essential varieties of air vegetation are Xeric and Mesic.


Tillandsia xerographica: a xeric kind of air plant

The phrase xeric merely describes the dry climates that some Tillandsia vegetation develop in. This contains vegetation like Tillandsia xerographica and Tillandsia tectorum which seem grey in shade as a result of massive and dense trichomes.

These large trichomes that xeric vegetation have assist them extra effectively soak up water and vitamins.

Oftentimes, the one water these vegetation get is from fog or morning dew. The dense and enormous trichomes additionally assist to replicate intense daylight within the sizzling and harsh desert environments that they develop in.

These kind of air vegetation are simpler to develop indoors and show to be far more low-maintenance vegetation than mesic varieties since they want much less water and are extra tolerant to neglect. Xeric kind air vegetation want stronger gentle than mesic kind air vegetation.


A bunch of mounted, mesic kind air vegetation that I glued onto a chunk of grapevine.

Mesic air vegetation develop in a way more humid surroundings with far more rainfall than the xeric varieties. These usually develop in tropical forests, and have smaller and fewer dense trichomes, giving them a greener look.

Mesic kind air vegetation don’t want as a lot gentle as xeric varieties, however they’ll nonetheless want sufficient. They do want far more consideration to watering indoors, which generally is a lot extra work and more difficult to maintain up with.


One final thing I wished to debate earlier than I get into the three totally different watering strategies for air vegetation is gentle.

In case your air plant isn’t getting sufficient gentle, your air plant will ultimately disintegrate and die. If not sooner, then undoubtedly later. The method might be sluggish, however it is going to occur.

In case you’ve ever watered an air plant and it fell aside, you’ve most likely assumed that you just “overwatered” it.

When the truth is, in the event you’ve stored your air plant in low gentle, it is going to have weakened to the purpose the place it is going to disintegrate whenever you give it an excellent watering. That is NOT a difficulty of watering, however fairly, a difficulty of poor gentle situations.

I’ve had lots of my readers come to me saying that my soaking methodology of air vegetation brought about their vegetation to rot, when the truth is, their poor gentle situations brought about the demise.

You cannot separate gentle and watering. They go hand in hand.

So the place do you have to preserve your Tillandsia vegetation indoors to make sure that they obtain sufficient gentle so that you just’re capable of water them correctly and assist them thrive?

Initially, they have to be positioned in entrance of a window. Tillandsias are NOT low gentle vegetation. Some species develop in full solar, and others in dappled solar or shadier situations.


Indoors, the sunshine depth is considerably lower than it’s outdoor.

Listed below are some guidelines of thumb for guaranteeing that your Tillandsia vegetation have sufficient gentle:

  • All the time situate your air vegetation in entrance of a window. At a BARE MINIMUM, a window with simply oblique gentle (which means no direct solar).
  • Even higher can be a window that gives a pair hours of morning solar and even late afternoon solar. That is helpful for progress and in addition for getting your air plant to bloom.
  • Xeric (grey) air vegetation want extra solar than Mesic (greener) air vegetation. Your Xeric air vegetation ought to undoubtedly get a minimum of a pair hours if no more of direct solar.
  • In case you reside in an space with actually sturdy solar, keep away from mid-day solar as it may be too sturdy.
  • In climates with quick, darkish winters, don’t be afraid to present your air vegetation extra solar throughout the winter time.
  • The extra gentle, the extra steadily you’ll have to water your air vegetation.


There’s a very unhealthy false impression that air vegetation simply survive on simply air alone. This couldn’t be farther from the reality, particularly indoors, and your indoor air vegetation will want far more water than you assume.

The three essential methods to water indoor air vegetation are:

  • Misting methodology
  • Dunking methodology
  • Soaking methodology


This methodology supplies the least quantity of hydration in your Tillandsia.

Within the e book Air Vegetation: The Curious World of Tillandsias (hyperlink to Amazon), the creator offered a really attention-grabbing method to consider misting. She equates watering Tillandsias to kitchen sponges.

In case you mist a kitchen sponge on a regular basis, it is going to keep moist and hydrated. In case you let your sponge dry out fully, a light-weight misting won’t be adequate to hydrate your Tillandsia.

Except you completely mist your whole plant very steadily (most likely every day), a light-weight misting right here and there’s not adequate.

And in the event you’ve allowed your air plant to grow to be actually dry and have gone many days or perhaps weeks with out watering, the misting methodology isn’t sufficient. This goes significantly for mesic kind air vegetation that come from humid situations.

Airplants are lined with trichomes, that soak up water, on all the floor of the plant, so in the event you mist, you also needs to mist the undersides of the leaves as effectively.

For me, misting steadily is an excessive amount of work, not to mention not as efficient as the subsequent two strategies. Consider misting as one thing supplemental that you are able to do in between both of the subsequent two strategies that present a extra thorough watering.


With this methodology, you’d merely dunk all the air plant in a bowl or bucket. Or you possibly can place it beneath a operating stream of water in your sink and switch the plant so that each leaf and floor will get moist.

When you’ve watered it, be sure to gently shake the air plant and switch it the wrong way up to take away extra water with a view to keep away from rotting. Do not forget that indoors we don’t have good air circulation so that is essential to do.

That is significantly essential for species which have bulbous bases the place water can simply accumulate and trigger rotting if it sits for too lengthy.

For greener air vegetation (mesic varieties), it’s best to use this methodology a minimum of 3 or 4 days every week. For grey air vegetation (xeric varieties), you may get by with a weekly watering by dunking.

In case your Tillandsia is flowering, keep away from dunking the flower spike. This may assist it last more.


For unfastened air vegetation that aren’t mounted, the soaking methodology supplies probably the most thorough watering methodology.

I’m not a fan of watering schedules for potted vegetation in soil, however for air vegetation, a routine is a good suggestion.

Merely fill a bowl, bucket, or sink with water and throw the air vegetation in. Give them an excellent soak for 1-2 hours weekly. Simply make it possible for your container or sink has no cleaning soap or detergent residue and could be very clear.

Then be sure you shake out extra water. You possibly can even dry them the wrong way up on a paper towel or a shower towel earlier than putting them again of their rising location.

Watering Tillandsias

That is additionally an excellent methodology to make use of in the event you’ve uncared for your air vegetation they usually have dried out severely.

How are you aware in case your air plant is underwatered or overwatered?


Listed below are some indicators of underwatered air vegetation:

  • Dry or brown leaf ideas
  • Edges of the leaf are curling


As I discussed earlier than, in case your air plant has fallen aside, that possible occurred as a result of it was not in sufficient gentle. It’s exhausting to overwater an air plant indoors. The principle tip is to make sure that you shake extra water out after watering.

In case your air plant dries out shortly proper after watering, it’s exhausting to “overwater” an air plant.


The form of water that you just use to water your Tillandsia vegetation issues so much. The perfect water to make use of for watering air vegetation is the next, in reducing order of choice:

  • Rain water
  • Filtered water or spring water
  • Faucet water

Be certain the water is room temperature or hotter. Lukewarm water is nice as effectively.

In case you use a water softener in your dwelling, most of those add sodium to the water, and that is poisonous to vegetation, so keep away from watering your Tillandsia vegetation with that.

You also needs to keep away from utilizing distilled water. Airplantman, a grower of Tillandsia vegetation, states that it will kill your plant as a result of distilled water is so pure that it’ll take away vitamins via osmosis.


  • In case you can present some air circulation indoors, this might make for wholesome air vegetation. In nature, they get pleasure from lots of air circulation. Maybe throughout heat climate, open these home windows and permit some air circulation in your vegetation.
  • By no means let any extra water accumulate in your air vegetation. After watering, flip them the wrong way up and shake out extra water. You may as well dry them the wrong way up.
  • Preserve your temperatures heat. In case you are snug, your air plant will likely be too.

I hope you’ve loved this publish on watering airplants. Do you will have any air vegetation? Remark under. I’d love to listen to!

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