How long do air plants live? That’s the big question that everyone asks as soon as they get their first home from the nursery or online shop.
There are many different types of air plants available, and they’re all different species, so they’ll have different lifespans and you should treat them differently to keep them alive as long as possible!
Here’s what you need to know about the lifespan of air plants.
How Long Does it Take to Grow an Air Plant?
The amount of time it takes for an air plant to grow entirely depends on the type and specific variety. Typically, it will take a few months to at least one year to grow a healthy air plant that is full and ready to reproduce.
Since they are grown out in open, natural environments, they can take as long as two years or more before they are grown into a large healthy plant that is ready to reproduce.
Lifespan of An Air Plant
The lifespan of an air plant depends on its species and environment. To live a long life, they need to be watered every 2-3 weeks and should be kept in indirect sunlight or shade, with cool drafts.
Fertilize them every 2-3 months by spraying water containing seaweed extract or liquid fertilizer onto their leaves.
If your air plant develops mold, remove it and allow the surface underneath to dry before adding water again.
What Factors Impact the Life Expectancy of Air Plants?
- Air plants need indirect light, so avoid placing them in the direct sun.
- The frequency of watering and the type of soil in which they’re planted can impact their lifespan.
- In many ways, air plants are similar to other houseplants and garden vegetables. The variables impacting their lifespan include lighting, temperature, soil/medium quality, water quantity and frequency as well as surrounding environment.
For example, frequent watering with cold water will cause your plant to grow quickly but not last as long.
When trying to maintain a certain life expectancy for your plant, it is best to try and mimic its natural habitat with temperature, humidity and light levels when possible.
One way to do this is by growing an air plant outside during summer months and bringing it inside during winter months (this may vary depending on where you live).
How to Increase the Lifespan of Air Plants?
A few good ways to increase the lifespan of air plants is to make sure they get enough light and don’t sit in water for extended periods of time. Avoiding a draft is also important for the longevity of the plant.
If you want them to last longer, the general rule of thumb is to trim them regularly. Remember that air plants live off of capturing moisture from the air around them – so be sure to mist them with water about once a week if they’re going through a dry period.
When it comes to watering them, there are two schools of thought: some people recommend watering your air plants every other day while others say only do it when their soil feels completely dry.
Whichever one you choose will depend on your personal preference as well as how much light the plants are getting.
What should you do with your dead Air plants?
There is no way to bring your dead Air plants back, but you should take them out of your terrarium and place them on a dry paper towel so they can dry. Be sure that they are not stuck against something like dirt, or it will take longer for them to dry out.
You can also take some wood skewers and poke your Air plants’ root system with the skewer, shake off the soil and leave them out for about 10-12 hours.
Once all the water has evaporated from the plants, you can put in fresh sphagnum moss and soil which will help create an environment better suited for plant growth.
Maintenance Habits That Support Healthy Growth in Air Plants
Some general things that are necessary for a healthy air plant are: not spraying water at them; they should be watered less than once per week and in any climate, but only water when the top soil is dry to the touch.
Air plants also need good light but not direct sunlight. They can go from being small, delicate sprouts to full-grown specimens with healthy leaves and interesting shapes if cared for properly.
One thing you might want to do is occasionally trim the ends of their leaves as needed because it encourages new growth on the ends. When you’re looking at your plant closely, it’s important to keep an eye out for any signs of mold or disease—like browning spots or slimy residue—which may indicate there’s a problem with your potting mix or watering technique.
If this happens, try changing up your routine by moving the plant into brighter light or more frequent watering while monitoring closely for improvements.
Will pruning help in encouraging growth in your Air plants?
Pruning your air plants helps encourage new growth as well as removing old, broken or dead leaves. Simply cutting a leaf stalk halfway can help it push new growth out of the end.
Don’t worry too much about how your plants look because they can still produce pollen and create babies when they look like a disaster zone.
Will indoor Air plants live longer than the outdoors?
Air plants live longer if they are indoors. Indoors, they can thrive on the same conditions that would kill them outdoors. Since they have no place to hide from the sun and protect themselves, one fall day can mean death for an air plant.
Also, air plants need a controlled environment without dramatic fluctuations in humidity. In the wild, they grow at high altitude because of low humidity.
However, their environment still fluctuates with wind, fog and rain- which takes its toll on them.
How many pups or plantlets will your Air plant produce?
Air plants are clonally reproducing plants, meaning they reproduce asexually by sprouting plantlets or pups from their base. These pups will detach themselves from the mother plant and may root if in contact with soil.
In most cases, air plants will produce five or six pups before producing a new plant. There are some instances where an air plant will produce multiple generations in one year which is particularly seen in Tillandsia heterosepala specimens found in colder regions.
*Possible reasons for this include: better growing conditions (cooler temperatures) and low availability of food sources
Do air plants only flower once?
If you’re new to air plants, you may be wondering when they flower. The answer is yes. Once an air plant has reached its peak stage (or fullness), it will begin to wither away before blooming and shedding off its old skin.
And from there, it will bloom once more! Flowers typically last anywhere from five days to a few weeks before dying off altogether. But after flowering one final time, your air plant’s lifespan ends.
How do I know if my air plant is healthy?
Air plants are alive and have some degree of lifecycle. They grow, reproduce, and die, just like any other plant. But what is good for them? They don’t need soil or as much water as some plants do.
A plant will live anywhere from two weeks to five years depending on how they are cared for. Here’s how you can tell if your air plant is healthy:
- Their leaves should be a rich green color with no yellowing at all – The leaves should not be wilted – Leaves should remain upright without drooping – The roots should be firm and appear healthy – Air plants should never be wet because too much moisture will cause mold growth and rot the roots and foliage
- Another indication that an air plant needs help is if there are bugs present. Plant bugs suck out the juice inside the leaves causing stunted growth or yellowed/brown leaf tips.
Fungus gnats thrive in moist environments so keep an eye out for these small, dark colored insects when dealing with a damp air plant.
If it does have fungus gnats, then either leave it alone to see if it goes away on its own or get rid of the infestation by following a strict watering schedule. Stagnant pools of water are breeding grounds for fungus gnats and can make your air plant sick.
- Don’t put your air plant next to a window unless it has special care instructions such as being frost-resistant
- It’s best to place the pot in full sun but make sure that direct sunlight doesn’t hit the top of the leaves which will scorch them
How often should you water an air plant?
There are a lot of factors that go into determining how often you should water an air plant, but here are some general guidelines.
- Soil air plants need to be watered more often because they grow their roots in soil and not just the air. There’s a good chance they’ll die if you only water them every 2-3 weeks! This can change based on your growing environment, so make sure you research any particular plant beforehand.
- Leafy or epiphytic air plants (air plants that attach themselves onto other plants or trees) need less watering time because they get water from where they grow instead of relying on soil for moisture.
To maintain health growth rates, these types should only be watered once every week to 10 days.
You may also like – How long does potting soil last?
How the Air Plant was Propagated?
The air plant was propagated in the wild by simply clinging onto trees and animals, therefore it is not known if the air plant reproduces sexually. In captivity they are reproduced either through asexual spores or by a type of cloning.
Air plants generally take around four months to form mature roots, which allow them to absorb water and nutrients more efficiently. However, the lifespan can be longer or shorter depending on how often you water them.
Air plants with stiff leaves will retain their color for longer periods because the sun does not deteriorate their chlorophyll as quickly.
How Do Air Plants Grow Without Soil?
Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are a type of plant that can survive without soil. As long as they are exposed to plenty of sunlight and water, they will be able to thrive.
The air plants in your home will continue to grow until they’ve reached their full potential or die after a few years. It all depends on how much sunlight and water they get daily. They do not need to be replanted.
The size of the pot is important because it’s often too small for an air plant to grow properly. When they are grown outside, they can spread up to 2 feet wide with tall spindly stems.
These plants come from hot climates like Mexico and Florida where humidity is high year-round; there isn’t any need for water in this environment, so rainwater will suffice just fine!
Can you use tap water for air plants?
Yes, you can use tap water for air plants, but it is always best to use distilled water as well. The best way to do this is by watering your plants with a mix of half water and half distilled water.
It doesn’t matter if you are growing a single air plant or a large group – the ratio is still going to be one-half distilled water and one-half regular tap water.
Tips for Maintaining a Long, Happy Life for Your Air Plant
One factor that may shorten a plants life is in how you take care of it. The better you take care of your plant, the longer it will last! Here are some tips for caring for your air plant:
- Water your plant regularly and never allow it to sit in water. Never let it stay wet from one watering session until the next. It needs good drainage.
Place only enough water in its dish or pot at a time for it to drink up and then use a clean, absorbent cloth or towel to pat the excess off. Don’t keep the plant sitting in water or with wet soil all day.
- In addition to misting occasionally, give your plant an occasional haircut if it becomes too bushy by pruning off extra leaves and stems with sharp scissors or a clipper.
- Keep an eye out for pest problems such as mealybugs and scale insects, which might show up as small bumps on stems or leaves. Insecticidal soap can be used to control them. Be sure not to use any chemicals on your living greenery!
If you suspect that your plant has been infested with something like spider mites, try using a strong jet of water from the hose to dislodge them first before using insecticidal soap.
Other things that could kill your air plant include temperature fluctuations (never expose it to freezing temperatures) and/or overwatering (if there’s any standing water after each watering).
A lack of light is also bad for these plants because they get their energy through photosynthesis. So don’t forget to provide ample sunlight if you want your air plant to thrive!
They’re easy-going plants that don’t need much tending, but it takes a little TLC now and again for them to reach their maximum potential. Remember to have patience when taking care of your air plant, and they’ll repay you with many years of enjoyment!
Summing Up! For How long do air plants live
When it comes to air plants, there are three variables that affect their life span. You can have a thriving air plant if you pick one with: an unobstructed growing medium, adequate drainage, and enough light.
And even if you’re not careful about these factors, your air plant can still live for months or years. With some proper care and attention, your plant will thrive and grow larger over time!
If your leaves start falling off, just be sure to remove them so they don’t turn into more of a nuisance. When it comes to watering them, water them as little as possible – less is more in this case!
Meet Tomas Clayton, a seasoned plant gardener who has been passionate about horticulture since he was a child. Tomas John developed a love for the natural world and a strong appreciation for the beauty of plants while growing up on a farm.