Air Plant Care Tips 101

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Do you have any air plant care tips? Do air plants need water? Do air plants need sun? Are my air plants toxic to pets?

medium air plant
Are air plants even real?


Although some of you may already be familiar with air plants, I am often asked these questions (and more) while chatting with customers at markets. Air plants have made a major comeback within the last few years, likely due to their “low-maintenance plant” status and more people trying to bring plants into their homes.

Though air plants are truly low-maintenance, they are far from NO-maintenance. Some TLC is still required to keep your air plant thriving, especially through weather conditions they’re not used to.


small air plant

Where do air plants come from?

Many people think that air plants and succulents come from the same plant family, but that could not be further from the truth! Air plants are actually tropical plants and prefer warm, humid climates, while succulents are desert plants which prefer drier weather. The care is therefore very different between the two plants (even though I sell, and therefore take care of both).

Why don’t air plants have roots?

The air plant root system is only developed for them to grasp onto tree trunks/walls and other surfaces, and does not actually absorb any moisture. In their natural environments, air plants use their roots to hold themselves to a high-humidity spot in order to absorb the humidity from the air through their leaves. So, air plants don’t actually need roots to survive! So if you see me trimming the roots on my air plants, this is why – also because they’ll sit a little nicer in their crystal air plant holders without the roots.

Do air plants need water?

YES! Air plants absolutely need water. Although they are named “air” plants, they will not survive as indoor plants without watering… unless you live in a greenhouse. We simply do not have enough moisture inside our homes to keep air plants happy without watering. This is why I would recommend soaking your air plant in water every 10 days to 2 weeks. More details here.

Do air plants need sun?

Another big YES – but not in the way you would think. Air plants are used to dappled sunlight or partial shade, as they are used to being covered by branches and big leaves. Indirect sun is best and SOME direct sun is okay, but too much direct sun will deplete all moisture from the plant and sear its leaves! That being said, air plants will not survive in no light whatsoever. Artificial light is also helpful (though not ideal) if no natural light source is available.

Are air plants toxic to pets?

Air plants are pet-safe plants, another reason that makes them a great option when it comes to adding green to the home. I’ve had customers who have had their little air plants chomped on by their fur buddies and needed replacement plants, but fortunately, they will cause no harm to their health!

Are air plants real?

Some of you may have seen my letterboard sign at markets that tell you, “YES, THE PLANTS ARE REAL!” I know it’s hard to imagine a plant that’s capable of surviving with minimal care, but nature is incredible! If you don’t believe me, just look at how crystals are formed – another crazy feat of nature. I loved that I discovered air plants when I started Pine Flora, and now so many can easily bring plants into their homes, with no soil and no fuss. So, yes, again, the plants are real, and every air plant holder comes with its own air plant.

More questions? Send me an email at or shoot me a message on Instagram and I will address them as they come in ☺️

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