As the temperature outside begins to rise, your air plants will need a little extra care to stay healthy.
While sure they are native to hot climates, the combination of heat and dryness can still be tough on them.
So today, we wanted to give you a few tips on keeping your air plants happy and healthy all summer long!
One of the most important things you can do for your air plants is water them regularly and more often than usual during the summer months.
Remember, air plants often grow in tropical climates where it rains frequently.
So replicating that environment by giving them a good soaking 2-3 times per week is key to keeping them healthy. In addition to submerging your air plant weekly, you can also mist them daily to once every two days with a spray bottle.
Just make sure that the water you use is room temperature or cooler and that your plants have a chance to dry out completely before you mist them again to prevent root rot.
Watch Out for Direct Sunlight
As the earth tilts closer to the sun during the summer months, the sun’s rays become more intense. While air plants need some sunlight to thrive, too much direct sunlight can be harmful.
So if you have air plants on bright, sunny windowsills or outside on the patio, make sure to check on them frequently to ensure they’re not getting too much sun.
Filtered light is best for air plants, so moving them to a spot where they’ll get indirect sunlight would be ideal.
Indoors or Out, Temperature Must Hold Steady
Regardless of the season, your air plants will do best in environments where the temperature is relatively consistent.
Air plants are found in northern South America, Mexico, and parts of the southern United States, where they are much closer to the equator. They’re used to warm temperatures that very rarely drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit or rise above 90 degrees.
While your air plants can tolerate a wider range of temperatures than this, sudden temperature changes can cause them stress. So if you can, try to keep your air plants in an environment where the temperature doesn’t fluctuate too much.
This is particularly important if they are kept outside, and a storm front is moving through, as the change in barometric pressure can cause the temperature to drop suddenly.
Mold Growth Runs Rampant
Mold growth thrives between 60 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit with high humidity, so you can bet that your air plants are at risk during the summer months.
This is important, as when you water your air plants, you’ll want to make sure you shake off any excess water on the leaves. Excess water can create a good environment for mold to form, spreading to other parts of the plant.
Watch for Plant Health Signs
As with any house plant, it’s always good to notice how the plant looks and feels regularly to make sure it is healthy. You’ll want to look out for brown or yellowing leaves with air plants, as this could be a sign that the plant is not getting enough water.
On the other hand, if the leaves are wilted, mushy, or the plant is generally looking “droopy,” this could signify that the plant is getting too much water.
In either case, it’s always best to err on the side of too little water rather than too much, as air plants are very resilient and can bounce back from periods of drought much easier than they can from periods of too much water.
Beware the Pests!
Pests love air plants, as they provide a nice environment to thrive. However, the most common pests you’ll find on air plants are mealybugs and scale insects.
Mealybugs are small, white insects that tend to congregate around the base of the plant. They feed off the plant’s sap, weakening the plant and making it more susceptible to disease.
If you notice an infestation of mealybugs, you’ll want to take action immediately to get rid of them. The best way to do this is to use a cotton swab dipped in rubbing alcohol or neem oil and gently swipe it over the bugs.
Also, make sure you isolate the infested plant from others, as mealybugs can spread quickly.
Can you leave air plants outside overnight during the summer months?
Yes, you can leave air plants outside overnight during the summer months, as long as the temperature doesn’t drop below 50 degrees Fahrenheit.
Will my air plant bloom during the summer?
Not necessarily. Air plants will bloom when they are ready. They only bloom once in their lifetime though so if you see a bloom, enjoy it while you can!
Can you put pups or offsets outside during the summer?
Yes, you can put pups or offsets outside during the summer. You will need to care for the pups just as you would the mother plant.
Samantha Taylor is the Senior Editor of airplantcentral.com. Her love for plants goes back to her childhood when she spent hours in the garden with her dear grandfather. As an aspiring botanist, she started her own business specializing in air plants.