How to fertilize air plants?
Your air plants would thrive indoor if you learn how to fertilize air plants properly.
Since most municipal tap and purified water lack the essential nutrients that are found in natural rainwater, air plant fertilizer provides the great way to add back the essential trace elements your air plants needs to grow.
How to fertilize air plants with air plant food?
There are various air plant fertilizer formulas available in the market with a slightly different mix of nutrients. Always follow the instructions on your plant food packaging to get started.
Most air plant fertilizers come in powder form. This kind of air plant food is highly concentrated and you need to dissolve a small amount in water before using it. Typically a small pinch is good for 1 gallon of water. You should be able to find the instructions for your specific plant food on the packaging. When in doubt, use less fertilizer to avoid burning your air plants.
What kind of water to use when watering my air plants with fertilizer?
Most air plants are not too picky about the type of water you use. Try to use rainwater or purified water without added minerals whenever possible. Your plant food should have a balanced mix of trace minerals for your to fertilize the air plants.
If you are watering with tap water, let the water sit in a container overnight to allow the chlorine in the tap to dissipate before watering. Letting your water air out also allows the carbon dioxide in the air to interact with the water. This increases the acidity of the water as carbonic acid form in the water.
Slightly acidic water is the best water to use to fertilize air plants. Tillandsias absorb nutrients the most efficiently when the fertilizer is dissolved in water at PH of 5.5 to 6.0.
How often to fertilize air plants?
How often to fertilize air plants depend on the time of the year and whether your air plant is in bloom. Fertilize your air plants 1-2 times a month from March to November when the air plants are not blooming. Avoid fertilizing your air plants from when the plants begin budding to when the plans is done blooming to make the blossoms last longer.
You can use a very small amount of air plant food every time you water your plants if you wish but it has to be adjusted to be at most ¼ of the recommended dosage if you fertilize very frequently.
How to fertilize air plants by soaking your air plants?
If you prefer watering your air plants by soaking, dissolve the air plant fertilizer directly in the soaking water by following the instructions on the packaging. Reuse this fertilized soaking water to fertilize all your air plants on the same day.
Avoid using the same soaking water with fertilizer after 24 hours since the salinity of the water might have increased as some of the water evaporated. Your air plants can burn if you reuse this highly salinated water.
How to fertilize air plants by misting?
Choose a liquid fertilizer that is diluted and ready to apply to your air plants or dilute your powder air plant food in a spray bottle before misting your air plant. Thoroughly mist your air plant with this fertilized water until excessive moisture runs down from the leaves. Let dry within 4 hours of watering as usual.
Can I fertilize air plants with orchid food and other fertilizers?
There are some orchid and bromeliad fertilizer formulas that are fairly compatible with air plants. You can use those fertilizers as long as they contain a good amount of water soluble nitrogen without any copper or zinc.
Keep in mind that these fertilizers might be too strong for your air plants. Using plant foods that are too strong to fertilize air plants can burn the plant leaves. Make sure you dilute it with a lot more water if you decide to experiment with different fertilizers that are designed for other plants.