How to Grow a Tillandsia Plant (Air Plant)

What are tillandsias and what do they need? I won a plant at an office party that says Tillandsia on it but there were no care instructions with it. It’s really a weird plant!

Hi Morgan,

Dark pink Tillandsia
Tillandsia ionantha

Tillandsias are a succulent plant in the bromeliad family that come in many shapes and sizes. In nature, they grow while attached to other plants.  Tillandsias, also called air plants, need no soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through the leaves. The roots are mainly used as anchors.

They like bright indirect light and should be kept as close to a window as possible.

Wet your tillandsia 2-3 times per week; more if the air is hot and dry, less if the air is cool and humidity is high. Misting is not enough. You need to totally submerge the plant in water. Do it early enough in the day so that the plant will be completely dry within 4-5 hours.

Tillandsias do well in temperatures between 50°-90°F ( 10°-32.3°C)

You can mount tillandsias on wood, seashells, coral, lava rock, and anything else you want using a non – water soluble glue. They can also be placed in terrariums.

Fertilize with a bromeliad plant food  twice a month. If you use a basic houseplant fertilizer, be sure to dilute it to 1/2 the recommended strength. Feeding the plant is important if you want it to bloom.