Questions About Air plant
You won’t keep these plants in traditional flower pots. In fact, they do better in rocky soil and will even thrive if you affix them to the side of something. Some people place Air plant in coconut shells, large seashells, or even wireframes.
As a houseplant, you can mimic that by misting water directly onto Air plant’s leaves. Don't over spray, because you need to be careful not to let water in the center of the leaves, it's best if the mist doesn't accumulate but is evenly distributed. Water accumulation in the center of the leaves for more than 2-3 days will easily foster the growth of bacteria, microorganisms and suffocate leaves. The ideal time to do this is at night because that is part of the plant’s natural cycle. If you can, use unchlorinated water. Too much chlorine can cause the tips of the Air plant’s leaves to turn brown. Rainwater is the best, but if you cannot collect rainwater, you can also use stream or lake water. Air plant gets many nutrients directly from water, so it is best to give it water with lots of minerals and nutrients, distilled water would not be recommended for long term use.
If you don't like to spray it often, you can also water it by soaking the plant. Allowing the plant to soak for about 30 minutes - 1 hour at a time will satisfy its water needs. Since soaking inevitably causes water to accumulate in the center of the leaves, it is important to dry the Air plant after it has been fully soaked. It is important to place the Air plant on its side or upside down on a paper towel or dry dish towel to allow them to dry completely, which takes about 2 hours. After drying, put the Air plant back in place. More frequent soaking is needed in the summer when the temperature rises or when the plant is in a very dry location.
One more thing to note is that with Air plant, you need to pay extra attention to the water temperature and try to keep the water temperature between 60- and 80-degrees Fahrenheit. If the water temperature is not suitable, you should leave the water in the room for a while before watering the plant.
You’ll know it’s time to water the plant when it appears wrinkled or the leaves roll and remain loose. In severe cases, the leaf tips may also dry out and turn brown. Air plant that is underwatered will appear droopy rather than sharp. However, it can be revived by continuous spraying or soaking. However, once the leaf tips dry out and turn brown, they cannot recover, so it will be very important to set up an appropriate watering schedule.
Aside from the potting medium which is covered above, there are other environmental conditions that will factor into your watering schedule. Remembering that these plants love humidity and warmth, you may need to water more often if you live in a dry climate or if you are using air conditioning that reduces humidity in the indoor air.
Warmer temperatures in spring and summer call for more water, and vice versa when temperatures drop. High humidity is great for Air plant and also reduces the need for frequent watering. Try a humidifier or a pebble tray to increase ambient humidity around your Air plant. Lots of air circulating in the room is good for Air plant, but also increases the evaporation rate meaning you may need to water more often.
It is recommended that to soak the Air plant in a bowl of water for 30 minutes to 1 hour every 1-2 weeks. More people will choose to soak once a week in the spring and fall, while more frequently in the summer and less frequently in the winter. There will be differences depending on your city climate, but overall it doesn't deviate very much. They are easy to keep, and after a few weeks you will be able to learn their care needs and establish your own watering schedule.
The symptoms of an overwatered Air plant are that the base will turn dark and the roots will get mushy. Leaves will turn yellow and start to fall out.
If your Air plant is showing signs of overwatering, remove the dead and dying parts and thoroughly dry the plant. Place it on top of something dry where there is good air circulation. A fan might help if your plant isn’t too small. Once the rot spreads, the Air plant will gradually die.
Cold temperatures below 40℉(5℃) will cause frostbite on the leaves of a Air plant. This normally appears as black spots or entirely blackened leaves, but this process can take a few days to become apparent. At first, the leaves will look droopy, then slowly become discolored. It’s difficult to save the Air plant from this fate, but sometimes they can grow back over the course of several months.
If the Air plant is exposed to very high temperatures, it will simply wilt. If the leaves become too dry, they may not revive; however, if the exposure wasn’t very long, then the heat spike may have no lasting effect. Air plant can tolerate heat much better than cold.
If you live in a warm region where it may be too dry to place Air plant outside, you can always place it near a warm window or an exterior wall that warms up during the day under full sun exposure; just be sure not to provide too much sunlight as a consequence of moving the plant too close to a bright window. Sheer curtains can remedy this issue.
On the other hand, if you live in a tropical or subtropical climate where outside temperatures stay between 55-90℉(13-32℃) day to night, you can grow Air plant outside year-long. If the temperature drops below this range, simply bring them indoors for the night or cover them with a thin cloth to prevent cold damage.
Another common household temperature breach is air conditioning and heaters. We might not realize it since we don’t hover over these things in our homes, but a direct draft from air conditioners can chill Air plant to well below its preferred temperature range. Similarly, heaters can effectively dry out it very quickly, which causes the leaves to harden and eventually wither away.
The humidity that Air plant prefers is best obtained with temperatures over 75℉(25℃). Since humidity is created when water is vaporized into warm air, maintaining humidity is easiest with warmer temperatures. Before you blast your air conditioner in the warm months, make sure these plants are out of the way of the coolest drafts! Anywhere from 75~90℉(25~32℃) is perfect, but cooler temperatures down to 50℉(10℃) are acceptable.
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