Let it die let it die let it shrivel up and dye

Air Plant Greenhouse

How to revive my air plant?

How to revive my air plant is a common question most people would ask at some point of time in their journey of growing tillandsias. The first step to reviving any air plant is to identify the root cause of the issue. And then you can take the appropriate actions to fix the problem that is killing your air plant.

Why is my air plant white or gray?

You may notice your air plant turning very white or gray sometimes. While it is normal in most cases for your air plants to be covered with a coat of white or gray hair or trichromes, a naturally green air plant that is turning very white or gray could be early signs of your air plant drying.

The good news is that your air plant is not dying when your air plant turns very white or gray. The trichromes are simply becoming more pronounced, causing the plant to look paler than usual, when the air plant lacks water.

How to revive my air plant when it is dry?

You can revive a dry air plant by soaking it in water for 5-8 hours. Shake off any extra water after the soak and let your air plant dry within 4 hours of watering. Repeat the long soaking every 2-3 days until the plant does not look dry anymore.

Check the light, temperature, and humidity levels of the surrounding environment If your air plant is drying up again after it is revived with a series of long soaking.

Place your air plant away from direct or very bright indirect light to help your air plant retain moisture. Air plants prefer warm temperature around 50 – 90 F. It could be hard to revive your air plant if you expose it to extremely cold or hot temperatures. Extreme temperatures can cause the air plant to become too dry to survive.

Why is my air plant turning brown or black?

Brown or black leaves on the air plant are typically signs of root rot. Air plants can get root rot when they are not properly dried out after watering. When the leaves are constantly wet, the air plant is susceptible to fungal infections that permanently damage the plant cells. These dead cells would make the air plant turn brown or black overtime.

How to revive my air plant when it is rotting?

You can revive your air plant as soon as you spot the brown or black leaves from gently removing those leaves to prevent the infection from spreading. Make sure you keep the air plant in an area with good air circulation and let the plant dry quickly after each watering to avoid root rot.

Why is my air plant dying?

Severe cases of root rot that spread to the core of the plant can result in the air plant dying. If the root rot is so serious that the plant starts falling apart then you will need to try again with a new plant.

Growing air plants is a learning process that can take some trial and error. While air plant can wither from dryness lack of light, or lack of nutrients in the water, the most common answer to “why is my air plant dying:” is root rot as a result of the air plant not drying out properly.

You can experiment with different methods and place your air plant somewhere with more air movement to reduce the chance of root rot in the future.

Reviving A Tillandsia Air Plant: Can You Revive An Air Plant

What is it about air plants (Tillandsia) that make them so fascinating? Air plants are epiphytic plants, which means that unlike most other plants, their survival doesn’t depend on soil. Instead, they draw moisture and nutrients through their leaves. Although air plant care is minimal, the plant can sometimes begin to look sickly – shriveled, limp, brown or droopy. Can you revive an air plant in this condition? Yes, at least if the plant isn’t too far gone. Read on to learn about reviving a Tillandsia.

How to Revive an Air Plant

Why do my air plants keep dying? If your Tillandsia isn’t looking its best, especially if it’s shriveled or brown, there’s a good chance that the plant is extremely thirsty. Although misting the plant is often recommended, spritzing usually doesn’t provide enough moisture to keep the plant healthy and hydrated.

If you determine that this is the case, reviving a Tillandsia means returning the plant to a healthy well-hydrated state. The easiest way to accomplish this is to soak the entire plant in a bowl or bucket of lukewarm water. You may need to tie the plant to a heavy object to keep it from floating to the top of the water.

Place the bowl in a warm location and let it soak for 12 hours. Remove the plant from the bowl, place it on a layer of paper towels, and allow it to air dry before returning the plant to its regular location.

If the plant continues to look dry and sickly, repeat the procedure, but this time leave the Tillandsia submerged for only about four hours. Hold the plant upside-down and shake gently to remove excess moisture from the leaves.

Air Plant Care

To keep a Tillandsia well hydrated, soak the plant in a bowl of warm water for an hour every week during the summer, decreasing to once every three weeks during the winter months (Some people find that a 10-minute soak is enough, so watch your plant closely to determine its particular needs. If the plant begins to look swollen, it’s absorbing too much water and will benefit from a shorter bath.).

Place your air plant in bright, indirect or filtered sunlight from spring until fall. Move it into direct light during the winter months. You may need to supplement winter sunlight with full spectrum artificial lights for about 12 hours per day.

Ensure Tillandsia receives adequate air circulation. If your air plant is in a container, uncover the container and place it in an airy location. Alternatively, remove the Tillandsia from the container for a full day every week.

Always shake excess water off your Tillandsia after watering, then allow it to dry in a colander or on a layer of paper towels. The plant can be damaged if water is allowed to remain on the leaves.

If your Tillandisa is in a sea shell, empty the shell as needed to be sure the plant isn’t sitting in water.

Feed Tillandisa a bromeliad fertilizer twice a month. Alternatively, apply a regular, water-soluble fertilizer diluted to one-quarter strength, or orchid food highly diluted at a rate of one pinch per gallon of water.

Air Plants: How to Care for and Revive them


Air Plants, or also known as Tillandsia, should be watered 2-3 times a month. In a hot and dry environment, it may be watered more often and less often in a cool humid one. A common rule of thumb is to water it once a week in more hot climates.

Spray misting is not sufficient in watering but will help in between waterings in the more hot conditions.

For best results, place the plants in a bowl of water to cover a partial amount of the plant for up to 10 minutes.

Tillandsia plants should not be left in standing water, so you should blot the plants with tissue paper or cloth after watering. Don’t forget to get rid of water in the base of the leaves! Rot will occur if too much water is left standing in the base.


Tillandsias need bright but not direct sunlight for long periods of time during the summer. From November to March they can thrive with direct sunlight.

Artificial light can work if you use full spectrum (fluorescent) light, although I prefer letting them thrive in a bright window.


Things You Will Need:

Bowl or plastic container as deep as air plant

Rock or brick



Room thermometer

Paper towels

70 percent isopropyl rubbing alcohol

Pruning shears


1. Pour lukewarm water into a bowl or plastic container that is deep enough to encompass the entire air plant that needs to be revived. The water level must be 1 to 2 inches below the bowl’s or container’s lip.

Submerge the air plant in the container’s lukewarm water. Tie the plant loosely to a rock or brick by using string if doing so is necessary to weight the plant and prevent it from floating to the water’s surface. Pour additional water into the container if it is needed to cover the entire plant with water

Move the container to a room with a constant temperature of 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Position the container in bright, indirect sunlight on a flat surface where it will remain undisturbed. Let the air plant soak in the container for 12 hours.

Remove the air plant from the water. Cut the string holding it to the rock or brick if applicable. Swing the plant gently back and forth with your hand to shake excess water from the leaves. Place the plant on a paper towel, and let it air-dry. Return the plant to its original growing site.

Check the air plant for signs of leaf curling two or three days after you soaked it in water. Submerge the air plant in water again in the same manner as before if it sports curling foliage, and let the plant soak in the water for four hours. Shake the plant gently to remove excess water. Place the plant on a paper towel, and allow it to air-dry.

Thank you for reading, I hope this helped you! Information inspired and gathered from the following sources: http://homeguides.sfgate.com/revive-air-plant-98368.html http://www.airplant.com/indcare.html

Three Basics of keeping an Air Plant Alive

Air plants (also known as Tillandsia), get their name from their ability to absorb nutrients from the air through their leaves, instead of being planted in soil. Any roots you may find on an air plant are actually there to help them grab on to things!

While there are many varieties of air plants, there are two main types. Ones that live in the desert usually have thicker leaves, a more silvery colour and are more drought tolerant. Meanwhile, those that live in the rainforest have generally greener, thinner leaves and prefer more humidity and water. If you can identify which type of air plant you have, you are on your way to caring for it better.

Air plants have become a popular house plant and are relatively hardy. But because they aren’t a normal pot-bound plant, they do have special needs. Read on for the three basics of keeping an air plant alive.

First: Air plants are unique in that they don’t live in soil; instead, they absorb everything they need through their leaves. This includes water and other nutrients. Water is important to air plants, but its the right amount of water you need to know.

The best way to water an air plant is to submerge it in water for a short time. Let it dry off before it goes back to its home, so that there is no excess water that can cause rot. Most air plants can do with a weekly watering, but keep an eye on yours and respond to its individual needs. The environment can always affect things!

If your air plant is starting to go brown on the leaves, it is most likely too dry. Water it more regularly. You may even want to use a spray bottle to give it some extra moisture in-between waterings.

As air plants don’t have roots to absorb nutrients through their soil, they can benefit from a specially formulated air plant spray. This air plant fertilizer spray is designed for their needs, as they are sensitive to strong nutrients, and the copper found in some fertilizers is actually toxic to them.

To use the spray, give the air plant a spritz 1-2 times a week. You don’t need to saturate your air plant with the spray, as the excess will just drip off. Use the spray in addition to watering – not in place of it!

Second: Fresh air is one of the most underrated needs of a house plant! Your air plant will thrive with a bit of air circulation, whether that is a well -ventilated area, or near a window. Keep in mind that in nature, an air plant gets its nutrients from the air flowing around it. Now you can see how important this step is!

Third: Air plants generally prefer bright but indirect light. Some can have direct light, preferable in the mornings, for a short time, but don’t let them bake. Similarly, knowing if you have a ‘desert’ or ‘rainforest’ type of air plant can help you understand the best light for yours.

So the three basics of keeping an air plant alive are watering, air flow and light! Balancing these three, while identifying your plant’s individual needs will help it thrive. I hope you feel confident in caring for your Tillandsia! For a creative way to display your air plant, check out how to grow an air plant on a crystal. If you’re a fellow house-plant-hoarder, check out the plants page for more tips.

FeelPic / iStock / thinkstock.com

If you’ve ever thought owning an air plant (Tillandsia) must be easy because all it needs is air, you’re not alone. You’re also wrong… Air plants are easy to care for, but you’ve got to know what that means in order to allow yours to thrive and, most importantly, stay alive. Here are some simple tips for caring for your air plant, from someone who’s learned the hard way that they require a little more than oxygen.

First of all, it’s important to understand that air plants are named as such because they require no soil to grow in. Their roots only serve to keep themselves in place, not to absorb nutrients. This makes them much more low maintenance than many other houseplants, which is part of the reason they’re so popular these days. The name does not imply that air is all this plant needs to get by.

Air plants thrive in warm, well-circulated, well-lit areas with a bit of moisture; so if your home meets these standards, you’re in luck. In this case, you may just need to spritz your air plant with water once or twice a week in the summertime, and about once a month in the cooler months. In addition to this regular maintenance, you’ll want to soak the base of your plant in a cup of cool water once per week for about 20-30 minutes. If your home is either hot and dry or air-conditioned and dry, you’ll want to soak your plant for more frequently (for 30 minutes every two to three days).

Air plants need to see the sun every day in order to survive, but don’t place them directly in the path of the sun’s rays; instead, place your plant in indirect sunlight so it can get the light it needs without drying out entirely. If possible, don’t let your air plant be subjected to temperatures below 45 degrees, so be sure to keep your plant in a room that stays warm enough for it to survive.

Perhaps the single-easiest aspect of owning an air plant is that it can hang out in nearly any container, as long as it has enough access to air. Place yours in a terrarium of any shape or size, hang or mount it, or even set it carefully on a bookshelf or windowsill. Any way you put it, an air plant is a unique house plant to have around, so take care of it and keep it around for a while!

Looking to add a Tillandsia stricta to your plant collection? Check out our T. stricta plants and purchase one today! 

The Tillandsia Stricta is an air plant that is native to Trinidad, Brazil, Venezuela, Paraguay, Uruguay, Guyana, and northern Argentina. This air plant is able to grow on sand dunes as well as in trees so you can imagine how many different climates it can survive in. The variation found in different Stricta varieties’ leaves, is due in large part to them living in a variety of temperatures and climates. The different leaf types range from hard and stiff to soft, with most having silver and light green coloring. There is one type of Stricta that has dark almost black coloring, which is often referred to as “Stricta Midnight.”

This Tillandsia variety normally matures in the Summer and will produce a beautiful white bloom spike that will display flowers that can be blue, purple, and even yellow. A cool fact about the Stricta flowers: they only last a day! However, the colorful leaves below the flower can remain beautiful for almost 3 months. Once the Stricta air plant has bloomed, it will normally develop 1-3 “pups”. These pups can be removed once they reach 1/3rd the size of the mother plant, or they can be left intact and the plant will form a “clump” over time and will get quite impressive! The clump can be attached to a wire or string and will eventually create a nice ball of plants

Tillandsia Stricta care is low maintenance and relatively easy like most other Tillandsia. This particular plant thrives in humidity with bright filtered light, or a nice shady tree. This air plant can survive in temperatures ranging from 50-90 degrees Farenheit, and like most Tillandsia species they do not like extreme cold or heat. The Tillandsia Stricta likes fresh moving air; so make sure they are in a well-ventilated space (this can even be in a slightly shaded spot outside, if you live in a warmer climate). You can water your Stricta once or twice a week depending on your environment by submerging the air plant for around 30 minutes. Make sure once you remove the plant from watering, that you gently shake off any excess water from the leaves as this can sit in the plant and cause rot (avoid the flower if it is blooming). If you’re going to put them in an enclosure (like one of our air plant terrariums), then make sure the air plant has dried before you do so. The Tillandsia prefers rain, pond, and aquarium water but filtered and tap water will do just fine. If using tap water, allow the water to sit out for a bit to let chlorine and other chemicals dissipate before watering the plant. Do not use distilled or softened water. For more in-depth care info about tillandsias, visit our air plant care page.

While the Tillandsia Stricta is one of the more common air plants, it is fun to decorate with and does well indoors. This air plant can thrive on a variety of surfaces, so you can place them on wood, rocks, seashells, ceramics and anything else your creative imagination can think of! When mounting the air plant, avoid stapling or nailing through the plant and definitely avoid superglue and copper because all of these will kill the plant. Aside from those exceptions, the sky is the limit and you can use whatever material you like to mount the air plant. Two more no-no’s… Do NOT plant the Tillandsia Stricta in soil and do NOT let the air plant stay wet longer than 4 hours, as it will rot. Follow these easy and simple rules, and you can have a healthy air plant friend.

Do you have a Stricta in your air plant collection? If not, add one today!

Tillandsia is their botanical first name but these fascinating beauties are commonly called Air Plants because they don’t grow in soil. Look ma, no dirt! A few of them, like the Tillandsia cyanea, can grow in soil too. If you want to learn how to care for Tillandsias, then please read on.

They’re epiphytes, and in their natural environments, grow attached to other plants usually under the canopy of a tree. Don’t worry – they’re not parasitic like that oh so popular holiday smoochin’ plant the mistletoe. The host plant is merely their means of support.

The care for these unusual plants is super simple. I’ll break it into 6 categories so it’s crystal clear for you. There’s a video, How to Care For Your Air Plants, waiting for you at the end of this post.

I’ve done an updated air plant care post and video which you also might find helpful. It goes more into detail about how to grow them indoors.

How To Care For Your Tillandsias aka Air Plants


Bright, indirect light is best. Make sure your air plants don’t get any hot, direct sun or that they aren’t in low light. The light conditions they require are very similar to pothos, dracaenas or rubber plants. That being said, those with more silver in their foliage or thick foliage can take more light.

The lighting is the similar for bromeliads. Tillandsias are in the same family by the way. I have bromeliads in my garden and some can take more sun than others. The majority (all but 3) of my tillandsias live outdoors on my covered front porch and enjoy the bright light of the filtered morning sun.

When growing air plants as houseplants, they need also bright natural light to do their best. Just be sure to keep them out of any hot, direct sun or they’ll burn.


This is simple; no need to make it more complicated than it is. They like temperatures no higher than 85 or 90 degrees and none below freezing.


It’s best to spray or soak (how long depends on the size) your air plants 1-2 times a week. If you’re in a drier climate, then you may need to mist them every other day. Your temperature & humidity levels throughout the year will play a part also.

I’m an exception. I live in Santa Barbara, CA only 7 blocks from the ocean so my tillandsias that live outdoors take in moisture from the air. I soak them only once every 4-5 weeks and the smaller ones get a good spray once a week or 2.

They don’t like any salts (some of us have more in our tap water than others do) so I let the water sit in the pail for a day or so before I soak them. I do the same with the water in the spray bottle.

The finer leaf varieties would benefit from a soaking more often but don’t them let soak for too long. They’ll “mush” out if water sits in their centers. It’s important to shake off all the excess water after soaking. Although air plants love moisture, they are subject to rot.

And, an air plant that’s blooming doesn’t like to be soaked.


Air plants take in nutrients through their leaves. A fertilizer specific for bromeliads is best. Either soak them in the fertilizer mixed with water or take them to the sink and spray them (with the fertilizer in a spray bottle) if they’re attached to something like a rock or piece of wood.

They really don’t need the fertilizer but when growing indoors, they’d appreciate it. Feeding will help them to grow a little faster, pup (make new baby plants) and perhaps flower if you do.


Another simple one – they need it to have it.


This can be a concern with indoor plants. They are reportedly non toxic to pets but I know from experience (Oscar, my tuxedo kitty, partially chewed three of them) that cats love to munch on their crunchy leaves. My 3 air plants growing indoors have since been moved to higher grounds.

They are great for crafting, creating and for kids as a starter plant. Check out my Amazon shop for air plants & accessories. Be warned: once you get a few, you’ll want more!

I’ve done an updated air plant care post and video which you also might find helpful. It goes more into detail about how to grow them indoors.

P.S. Here is the video in case you didn’t catch it before!

Happy Gardening,

by nabeya

Tillandsia stricta was first discovered in 1813 by Daniel Solander ex John Bellenden Ker Gawler. It is also known as Anoplophytum strictum, Tillandsia rosea, Tillandsia conspersa, Anoplophytum bicolor, Anoplophytum krameri, Tillandsia langsdorffii, Tillandsia krameria.

Tillandsia stricta is a short-steamed, medium-sized evergreen plant. It is covered with frost like scales, and the pointed leaves are arranged into thick rosettes that grow epiphytically. There are so many variations that are found in Tillandsia stricta plants. Such as soft-leaved, hard leaved, stiffer types and even depends upon color from light green to silvered color leaves.

The air plant generally blooms in early summer with a single spike giving rise to globular appearance. The bracts of the flowering stem are green and scaly. The floral bracts are broad and oval in shape and pinkish red. The actual flower is very small, non-tubular, and light purple. The colorful bracts last up to 10 weeks.

Origin of Tillandsia stricta

It is most commonly found in Southern America. It is found at an altitude of 1700 meters above the sea leveal. It grows either on both the sands of beach dunes and in trees.

Tillandsia stricta care and culture

by Luiz Filipe Varella

The following information about the flighting, Temperature, humidity, fertilizers can be used as a guide. It can vary , and it also depends upon which season it is. Keep in mind all these conditions mentioned above before taking any action.

Tillandsia stricta requires a lot of sunlight. It is preferred to keep the plant outdoor. In spite that this plant can also be grown indoors in winters. This is one of the special types of plants in Tillandsia species.


The plant requires a temperature range from 15 to 32C. However, it is not recommended to keep the plant in direct sunlight. The plant can withstand temperature near to 0C. It is recommended to get the plant early enough so that it need not face low temperature like 4 or 5 C.


In summer it is recommended to spray water at least twice a week. And in the winter not much watering is required. Once a week is more than sufficient. Keep in mind the amount of watering needed also depends on Humidity. If the plant is very dry, then you can keep the plant in a tub of water for 1-2 hours.and then it should be completely dried properly. It is recommended to keep the plant upside down still all the excess water is drained out.


The plant can withstand high temperature. But it requires enough aeration. The plant must be dried fast else the plant may rot.

Some species of Tillandsia

  • Tillandsia recurvata
  • Tillandsia seleriana
  • Tillandsia Tectorum


Fixing Tillandsia stricta with Nylon stocking

Because this material is stretchy, stable, and improves air circulation. So tying Tillandsia stricta using a nylon stocking is the best way to mount the plant.

Steps for Nylon stocking

  • Nylon stocking should be cut into horizontal strips of width 3-5cm.

With the help of some fine wire as a support place Tillandsia stricta somewhere.

  • A nylon strip should be passed through the lower leaves of the plant. Such that a braided look is created.

If for some reason you are finding it difficult to tye a knot. Then staple the plant with a wollen support and hook it to the plant.

Gluing Tillandsia stricta with silicone.

If for some reason if you are not able to support the plant on stone and even the nylon stocking is not working. Then you can stick Tillandsia stricta with contact adhesive such as silicone. It is recommended to use special silicone for natural stone, as it contains only a small amount of acetic acid. Glue generally takes several hours to dry you can apply for some support until it dries.

Attaching Tillandsia stricta with hot glue

It is a temporary way. Because after some time the glue will harden to such an extent that it will no longer hold the plant. But please keep in mind that before using the hot glue gun. Allow the hot glue to cool a bit. Do not apply the hot glue directly on the plant.


It is necessary to supply the required amount and the right proportion of nutrients. If the required nutrients are not met, then Tillandsia stricta may die the growth of the plant may be slowed down. The consequence of overdosing is most of the time recognized too late. To avoid such a situation, I recommend using a restrained supply of nutrients.

Since Tillandsia stricta has aerial roots, so it takes the required amount of carbon in the form of carbon dioxide. It just needs some amount of nitrogen, potassium, phosphorus, and magnesium, which is supplied through the fertilizer.

Procedure for applying fertilizer

  • add a liquid bromeliad fertilizer to the water and spray weekly from April to September.
  • From October to March use the fertilizer only once in 3-4 weeks.
  • Please dilute the dosage for indoor plants. It is recommended to use 25% concentration.
  • spray the fertilizer on Tillandsia stricta with the water.

Do not spray the fertilizer on the plant in direct sunlight. If used, then it could cause burns on the leaves. It is recommended to first temper the solution to 15 to 18 degrees Celsius. Darkness favors the intake of nutrients, ideally spray the fertilizer during the evening hours.


If Tillandsia stricta is taken care according to the given instruction, then the plant won’t be affected with a disease or pests. The probability of the plant getting a disease is equal to nill. If in case the plants get affected, then do the following steps.

  • using a thin tube and inject the sharpest possible water jet on the infected plant.
  • Wipe all the bugs with a clean cloth.
  • Make a solution containing 1 liter of boiled water and one tablespoon of liquid lubricating soap.
  • spray the infected plant at a regular interval of 2 to 3 days. The disease may spread to other plants. I suggest you isolate the plant until it gets rid of the disease.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *