Do Air Plants Grow? Your Guide To The Original Tree Huggers

do air plants grow

Do Air Plants Grow? Your Guide To The Original Tree Huggers

Looking for a plant that’s stunning, unique, and easy to care for? The Air Plant sounds like the right fit for you, checking all of these boxes and more. Since these plants don’t need soil, do Air Plants grow?


Yes! Sometimes plant lovers notice that their Air Plants don’t seem to get any bigger. But Air Plants are notoriously slow-growing. Luckily there are some ways to help them grow faster and bigger. Here are some of the ways to properly care for your Air Plant and grow it to its full potential!



What is an Air Plant?

Air Plants are unique houseplants that don’t need soil to grow! Air Plants, also known as Tillandsias, are part of the Bromeliad species. The Air Plant is often found in jungles, mountain tops, and deserts in Central and South America, Mexico, and the southern region of the United States.


Air Plants are a variety of the parent plant species Epiphytes. This is a term for an organism that gathers its needed moisture and nutrients from the air, rain, water, and debris and grows along the branches of trees. Because of this, Air Plants don’t need soil to grow. Instead, Air Plants are often grown on a platform so their roots can attach themselves for support.



Do Air Plants Grow?

Air Plants do grow; heck, they even bloom! But they are very slow-growing plants. They will need proper care and a lot of time to grow, so you won’t always notice your plant’s progress. There are two different Air Plant growths: Xeric and mesic. Both of these categories are from different environments. Xeric Air Plants are found in hot and dry environments. They can look fuzzier due to their large trichomes.


Xeric Air Plants grow much slower than the music group due to these trichomes. These large trichomes allow xeric Air Plants to absorb more water in hot climates and protect plants from direct sunlight. But they also cause the plant to have a slower metabolism, resulting in slower growth.


On the other hand, mesic Air Plants are from areas with more rainfall and high humidity. They are often greener in appearance but lack visible fuzz since their trichomes are much smaller. With the right amount of water and indirect sunlight, they will grow faster than xeric Air Plants.


Both types of Air Plants are slow growers compared to other plant species, however. Air Plants grown from seeds take over a month to germinate and then four to eight more years to reach their mature size. The first two to three years will be especially slow, causing Air Plant owners to question if they grow at all!



sea shells as pots for air plants



How Big Do Air Plants Grow?

There are many Air Plant species (over 450 species) that are all different sizes. But overall, Air Plants are not big plants. Most Air Plants are quite small, ranging from two to 12 inches tall.



How Do You Help an Air Plant Grow?

The Air Plant is a slow grower, but there are ways to encourage your Air Plant to grow a bit faster. Here are some tips to help your Air Plant thrive (and maybe even bloom).


Promote Rooting

While Air Plants don’t need soil, they often need something to latch onto like they would in the wild. Attach your Air Plant to an object they would naturally attach to in their usual habitat to promote rooting. The better the rooting, the faster the growth.


Try attaching your Air Plant to driftwood, bark chips, a tree, or other similar items or plants. Mount your Air Plant to these objects by wrapping their bottom half in moss. Then attach some floral wire, wrapping the plant around the object.


Fertilize Your Plant

Fertilizing will always promote faster growth. Air Plants don’t need fertilization, but this will only boost their health and growth. It will even prolong your plant’s life, allowing it to live to its maximum.


In nature, Air Plants absorb nutrients from decaying matter and other surrounding sources using their trichomes. We don’t have these natural sources inside the home, so fertilization can help emulate this process. There are even fertilizers created specifically for Air Plants.



How Do You Keep an Air Plant from Dying?

Air Plants are known for being quite hardy. But with some general care requirements, you’ll not only keep your plant alive but allow them to thrive and grow. Air Plants require a lot of bright, indirect light. Filtered light is best. Don’t expose your Air Plant to bright, direct light for more than two hours a day, or your plant will burn. Place them in a spot where there are no cold drafts.


Watering is a big part of caring for an Air Plant. This plant loves water. Air Plants require a lot of water to thrive, especially xeric Air Plants. Misting your plant is not enough. During warmer months, submerge your baby air plants fully underwater for one hour. Do this once every ten days for a xeric Air Plant and once a week for mesic Air Plants. Always check your Air Plant species requirements since there are a few that don’t need deep watering.


Alternatively, you can run water on the plants for a few minutes by placing your Air Plant in the shower or sink. Do this three times a week for mesic Air Plants and once a week for xeric Air Plants. Air exchange is another part of caring for your plant. Ventilate the room where your Air Plant resides once a day. You can also take them outside for a few hours a day, a few times a week.



putting air plant in bowl



Where Can I Find Air Plants?

Air Plants are available at most greenhouses, but you should only purchase Air Plants from trusted and knowledgeable plant sellers who can ensure the health of their plants. Like us!


Planted Pot is all about providing homeowners and apartment dwellers with the healing power of plants. We understand the beauty and health benefits of greenery, whether they’re in your home or office.


Planted Pot is a place of discovery, education, and personal connection that shines a grow light on the many benefits and joys of indoor gardening. We don’t only sell high-quality, stunning, healthy plants but have created a space for plant lovers to share knowledge and their experience. We provide support and resources to help you better care for your plants.



Final Thoughts – Do Air Plants Grow?

Air Plants are super cute plants that are small and exotic. They can be placed in some of the cutest and creative containers. But sometimes, plant owners get worried when their air plants die rapidly or stay the same size for years.


Air Plants do grow! But Air Plants grow very slow. You might not even see a difference for a couple of years. That can lead some people to wonder if they are doing something wrong. While Air Plants grow very slowly, there are some ways to help air plants grow faster and bigger. This includes giving them Air Plant-specific fertilizer, plenty of water, and bright, indirect sunlight. Looking for more advice on growing air plants? Reach out to us! We have plenty of advice for curious plant parents looking to expand their air plant collection!

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