Watering and Feeding Your Air Plant
Watering soil-based plants is easy. You simply whip out the hose or the watering can, pour water to the plant, and watch as it becomes wet. Air plants require a different technique. The watering process it needs is more active on the part of the plant owner.
Choosing the Right Water Source
Rainwater is ideally the best source for watering plants. If that isn’t available, tap water is okay too. Just a little tip – allow the tap water to sit first at room temperature for at least an hour before using. This disperses the chlorine away. It isn’t advisable to water plants with distilled water though because of its salt content.
The Bathing Technique
The minimum watering schedule for your air plants is at least once a week. This ensures that your plant is healthy and hydrated. Do this by giving the plants a bath.
Simply fill up a tub with water deep enough to hold all the plants. Then, take out your plants from their respective containers or mounts. Submerge all of them inside the tub. Leave them there for two to four hours.
The goal here is to let the plants soak. Remove them from the bath after four hours and shake off the excess water away. Put them back into their places as they dry in the process. Bathing is recommended if you think that the plants are bordering on dehydration.
The Dunking Technique
Dunking and bathing are similar in the sense that both techniques use a tub of water. Instead of allowing the plants to soak in the bath for hours, you simply dunk them there for ten minutes and take them out afterward.
Remove the excess water by shaking the plants carefully. Return them to their containers to dry on their own. Dunking is usually done in place of a bath, when the plants look healthy and are not too dried out.
The Misting Technique
Misting is a supplementary watering technique. This is done by spritzing water to the leaves of the air plant to help it soak up additional moisture, especially on hot days. Do this at least twice a week, leaving two to three days in between.
When using this technique, be sparing with regards to your water use. Mist only to the point of wetness. Don’t allow the plant to get soaked.
Feeding Air Plants with Fertilizers
Diluting minute quantities of fertilizers into the misting solution is an excellent way to feed air plants extra nutrients. But don’t overdo it. Once a month is good enough.
Choose water soluble bromeliad or orchid fertilizers with low copper amounts. The suggested dilution content is about 1/2 to 1/4 of the original strength. It’s believed that nurturing the plant with additional vitamins aid the production of lively blooms.
Using ‘Benign Neglect’ in Caring for Plants
The concept of benign neglect is an interesting one. It means you need to give time and space for the plant to grow. Most progress doesn’t happen overnight so the best thing to do is wait. Eventually, the plant grows and even blooms when its time comes.