How to Water Air Plants

One of the biggest mistakes new air plant owners make is not watering their air plants correctly. Or, more appropriately, not allowing their air plants to dry correctly.

You may decide to water your air plants on a regular schedule, or you may wait until they indicate they want water. The method you use to water your air plants will depend on if they are indoors, outdoors, mounted on a decoration, or able to be freely moved.

One way to water your air plants is by soaking them. This method works great for freely moveable air plants (not great for those mounted on decorations.) I highly recommend it for indoor plants.

I soak my indoor air plants about once per week, although you may want to water your plants more or less frequently depending upon the humidity level in your home (if you run a heater,  for example, you may want to water more often.)

Fill up a container or sink with water and submerge your air plant.

AirPlantsInSink
I like to soak my plants upside down in the kitchen sink. I even soak some inside their wire hangers (because I use wire that does not rust.)

Allow the plants to soak for 30-60 minutes. If they are very dehydrated, you can soak for up to eight hours.

Remove the air plants when they are done soaking. Gently shake off the excess water and place the air plant upside down to dry.

AirPlantsDrying01
I dry my air plants upside down in a dish drainer.

It is very important that you allow your air plant to dry completely before returning it to it’s home. By turning it upside down, you allow any water inside the base to drip harmlessly out of the plant.

This is where many new air plant owners make a mistake. If you do not allow the plant to dry and water remains in the base, it can rot. Bulbous air plants are particularly vulnerable to this.

AirPlantsDrying02
These air plants are drying upside down, which is particularly important for the bulbosa on the left.

Once they are dry, you can return them safely to their home location and enjoy!

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