Tillandsias are special plants because their roots are only used to anchor the plant, they do not absorb any water or nutrients through the roots, all absorption is through the leaves.

This means that they can be positioned anywhere as long as they have sufficient light, water, air and to a lesser extent nutrients.

Tillandsias are native to  Central and South Americas and the southeastern USA.  They occur in rain and cloud forests, inland and coastal deserts and swamps and at elevations from sea level to 2750m.  This means that there is an air plant to suit most situations and places.


Light is very important, if a tillandsia doesn’t receive adequate light then its leaves will not function correctly and so won’t absorb water and nutrients and eventually the plant will fade and die.  Air plants require plenty of light, they will grow happily indoors but need bright indirect light near a window.

Direct light, particularly morning sun for 1-3 hours Is very helpful.

Outdoors plants can withstand more direct sun exposure because there is more air circulating.

One of the great features of tillandsias is that they can be moved around.  If you want to create a feature in your home you can move your air plant for a couple of months and it will recover when moved back to correct light.


There are 3 methods of watering, depending on your plants and your preferences.


Many people enjoy the daily activity of misting their plants and you don’t need to move your  illandsia from its container.

This isn’t a deep watering though and misses parts of the undersides of the leaf, you need to really drench the plant.

Be careful when misting indoors not to damage your furniture and electronics.


This is particularly good for plants from wetter areas and also for plants with complex structures to get in amongst all the leaves.

Showering the plants under a tap is a good way to do this.


This is great if your plant has dried out significantly.  Simply submerge the whole plant in a bowl of water.

It is difficult to over water tillandsias as long as they have air exposure and dry out between watering to prevent any rot.