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Do Air Plants Need Sun? Answered

Like all living things, air plants need the sun in order to survive. How much sun depends on the type of air plant, however, as different plants need varying amounts of direct or indirect sunlight

Air plants like indirect light, they can handle short periods in direct sunlight but don’t leave them to bake away in the sun all day.

These days, there are apps that allow you to take a picture of your plants and the technology will scan the image for signs of plant sickness or poor health.

They usually require some sort of subscription fee, but they can be useful at telling you what’s wrong with your plants.

If you’re looking to take home some plant babies of your own and you’re wondering how to care for them, this article will look at some of the reasons why plants do need sun, when to mist air plants, and which plants prefer to be left alone instead of soaked. 

Do Air Plants Get Bigger?

Do Air Plants Need Sun?

Air plants have a whole life cycle which starts from when they are still just a seed. In order to mature and to reach their adult state, plants require the sun to get bigger. 

Remember learning about the process of photosynthesis in school? This is how plants get their energy and it requires the sun to provide this energy it needs in order to grow. 

Air plants that are grown from seedlings will have a slower growth rate but can speed up after the first few years. Plants grown from propagation will grow comparatively faster. 

If your plants are only receiving a limited amount of sunlight rather than the full amount needed to sustain that type of plant, you may notice that they begin to twist and grow upwards towards the sun, as if they’re stretching their stems to reach for more sunlight.

There are a number of other factors that could influence the size your plant will ultimately grow to be, including pot size, root arrangement, nutrients, and how often you water them. 

Do Air Plants Need Sun?

There are several reasons why plants need sun. For example, plants that aren’t getting enough sunlight might start to lose some of their vibrant color and you might end up noticing that the shoots or leaves have turned a yellowish or brown color before eventually dying.

This is because a lack of sunlight can stunt or slow down the plants’ photosynthesis process. Seeing as this is what produces the chlorophyll that is responsible for most plants’ healthy green color, it’s no wonder that without it, the color of a plant or flower might start to fade. 

However, not all plants are the same. Not only do they require different amounts, but also different types of light, from fluorescent light to daylight, or grow lights with blue tones. 

Some plants actually prefer to be kept in dark, cooler spaces and try to avoid direct sunlight as much as possible or risk drying out and dying. 

For the majority of air plants, it’s best to keep them somewhere where they will receive bright, filtered sunlight. They can handle short periods in direct sunlight but don’t leave them to bake away in the sun all day. 

How Long Do You Soak Air Plants in Water For?

Air plants should be left to soak in water for around 20 to 30 minutes, depending on the size, which is widely considered one of the best ways to water them.

You might have assumed that air plants survive on air, and whilst they don’t require soil to survive, you do need to make sure they’re getting enough water if you want them to thrive. 

In general, they are quite forgiving and these types of plants can usually handle being forgotten about for a week or two. However, although air plants are better suited to survive long periods of drought, eventually, they will dry out and die if left unwatered for too long. 

The best way to water air plants is to rinse or soak them for a short period of time in plain, running water. Carefully place your plants inside a bowl or even your bathtub if you have a lot and fill it with water, then allow the plants to soak until 20 to 30 minutes has passed.

Be careful not to damage the leaves or snap the stems of your plants and remove them from the water with caution. Then, shake off some of the excess water to help dry the leaves and the base of the plants.

Leave them to dry in a location that has good air circulation until the plants have fully dried, which will usually take around four hours.  

How Often Should I Mist My Air Plant?

Your air plants should be watered at least once per week, or up to two to three times a week if they are kept indoors and you are looking to provide a higher level of care. 

As much as plant baths are recommended, it can be quite time-consuming to round up every last one of your air plant babies and get them all in the bath. What if you need a shower while they’re still soaking?

Besides, air plants only need a deep soak like this every two to three weeks. In between these longer soaks, you can mist your air plants to water them. 

Misting your air plants is particularly important if you are living in a hot and humid climate as they could otherwise end up drying out. On the other hand, after a good misting, you should notice stiffer, softer leaves that are lighter in terms of color and all filled up with water.

Look out for signs that you might need to start misting your air plants more regularly, which can commonly include spotting wrinkled or rolled leaves.

Which Plants Should Not Be Soaked?

Air plants are relatively easy to care for and there are multiple ways to provide them with the moisture they need, but as we mentioned earlier, not all plants are the same. 

Some plants will have completely contrasting methods of care which can make it complicated for you if you’re trying to keep track of which air plants need soaking in water and which ones will likely drown if you do. 

To make things easier for you, here is a list of some of the air plants that you should avoid soaking: 

  • Tillandsia Tectorum
  • Tillandsia Bulbosa
  • Tillandsia Butzii 
  • Tillandsia Selerianna
  • Tillandsia Pruinosa 

Soaking any of these plants in water can lead to problems such as root rot due to algae and fungi growing on the plant due to the excess moisture it would receive through soaking. 

For these plants, we would recommend sticking to the misting watering option we’ve also discussed in this article. The larger surface area of the leaves means they are able to absorb water at a faster rate than certain other plants so misting should suffice. 

Remember to drain the excess water or allow it to dry after misting your air plants. 

Final Thoughts

We hope this article has given you a bit more information regarding plants, their sunlight requirements, and how to make sure they’re being watered correctly, as these are all essential factors that will determine the health and growth of your plants. 

Happy growing!