Air plants which belong to the genus Tillandsia has got approximately 500 species of epiphytes, which are normally noted by their wiry, silver- green foliage. Basically, species like Tillandsia ionantha i.e. the Mexican air plant are widely grown as house plants in the US. According to research, air plants need minimal hands- on care once established so that they can grow fast. This write up will give you some tips that you should put into consideration when taking care of this types of plants.
Air plants usually require little supplemental nutrients so that they can thrive even in harsh environmental conditions. However, despite requiring little supplemental nutrients, you must ensure that the plants get enough ultra violet light so that they can hassle free make food through the process of photosynthesis. Note that air plants’ growth and blooming, is not attained by feeding them the way the other plants are often fed. Feeding air plants is normally different from the other plants due to their epiphytic nature. Generally, the roots of air plants are very sensitive and therefore cannot absorb urea easily the way terrestrial plants can. To make air plants grow well, it’s recommended that you use a urea- free fertilizer. Mix the fertilizer with water and apply it by carefully misting it onto the leaves of air plants till they’re saturated.
Air plant seldom require pruning in order to control their size and in the long run to improve their shape. These plants may also require occasional grooming so that their appearance can be restored. Air plants normally produce showy, long- lasting flowers which detract their appearance immediately they start fading. It is important that you remove their leaves once their reddish bracts start to turn brown. When removing the leaves, it’s ideal that you use a sharp pruning shear which has been soaked for about ten minutes in a sanitizing solution of cup rubbing alcohol and cup of water. Basically, when pruning the leaves, you must ensure that you do not damage the nicking or the surrounding foliage since it can easily kill the plant.
It’s obvious that moisture is the most essential aspect of growing air plants. Growing air plants in a naturally humid place such as a kitchen or bathroom will assist in alleviating stress associated with dry condition. Also, misting these plants with water every week is a good practice since the plants will be strong and will outstand being swept away by strong winds. These plants also require regular deep watering, most especially when they start showing the signs of dehydration like their leaves curling. When taking care of these plants, it is recommended that you submerge them in room- temperature water for at least half an hour every eight to twelve days. Return these plants to their original position once you’re done submerging them. Note that these plants are very sensitive to chemicals present in tap water and therefore you must ensure that you use rainwater or distilled water when watering them.
Established air plants are likely to experience a few serious issues. The good thing is that insects as well as other pests do not bother these plants. Also, these plants do not suffer from any chronic disorders like other plants. However, potting these plants in soil can drastically increase the likelihood of serious root issues. For air plants to be healthy, you must ensure that their roots are freely accessing air. It is important that you avoid planting these plants in vessels which normally collect significant amounts of standing water since it may encourage root and leaf problems. Avoid also chemically treated wood as well as petroleum- base glues since they are likely to harm the sensitive tissues of these plants.
Last, but not least, these are the tips you require when learning about air plants and how to take care of them. Ensure that you make use of them when planting air plants so that your plants can grow better and be able to experience their effectiveness. Thank you.