12 Air Plants Easy to Take Care of


picture of air plants at home

With my busy schedule, I don’t have much time for nurturing plants in my home. However, I still want to enjoy the natural beauty and cleaner air that plants provide. Here’s a list of the 12 air plants that I’ve found easiest to take care of.

Air plants have a character for being simple to care for, and they are provided you follow their instructions. The first rule of air plants is that they cannot survive only on air. They require a lot of water. They will drown if you feed them too much water.

Read on to find out why air plants work for me, what I like best about each plant, and how to care for them.

Tillandsia Ionantha

picture of Tillandsia Ionantha

This plant was the first plant I got when I began researching air plants. Ionanthas are a great starting plant as they are very inexpensive and usually only cost a couple of dollars. Ionanthas can absorb water from the air and form new plants easily.

Tillandsia Fuchsii

picture of Tillandsia Fuchsii

The fuchsii has skinny and soft leaves which fan out from a small pineapple-looking base. The wispy leaves give a different look from the ionantha and make a great compliment. The fuchsia needs me to water it a bit more – misting about four times a week has worked well for me.

The fuchsii also needs to avoid direct sunlight a bit more than the ionantha, but other than that, it takes care of itself. The spidery leaves are a great accent and place to rest my eyes.

Tillandsia Aeranthos

picture of Tillandsia Aeranthos

The aeranthos is another of the most common air plants and one I was already familiar with. The aeranthos is naturally resilient and has strong, rigid leaves. One of the best features of the amaranthus is that it will eventually bloom a beautiful flower.

Much like the ionantha, the aeranthos need little attention, and misting twice a week is usually perfect. The aeranthos works great as a centerpiece for other tillandsia plants due to its bold green leaves, clearly defined shape, and bright flower.

Tillandsia Juncifolia

picture of Tillandsia Juncifolia

This air plant is also quite robust and self-sufficient – making it perfectly suited for people who don’t have much time, like me. The juncifolia grows a bit taller than the other plants on our list, with long wispy leaves that look somewhat like grass.

Misting twice a week is plenty for this plant, but the juncifolia is not bothered if I sometimes forget a misting. The juncifolia gives a very different look from most tillandsia plants, without the plump texture typical of the genus.

Tillandsia Stricta

picture of Tillandsia Stricta

The strict is very similar to the aeranthos, with stiff leaves and a blooming flower. The strict likes moving air, so I’ve found it works well to place it near a window that I open occasionally or a fan. Misting the Stricta once or twice a week seems to be plenty, so this hardy plant is excellent for adding greenery to my home without requiring much attention.

I’ve seen a wide variety of stricta plants with a good amount of leaf color and texture variation, all with one kind of plan,t.

Tillandsia Tectorum

picture of Tillandsia Tectorum

Perhaps the easiest plant on this list, the tectorum, is only further down to encourage some variety. The tillandsia genus of plants, in general, are easy to care for due to their unique adaption, known as trichomes, which allow them to absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. Tectorums have the largest known trichomes, which means they virtually never need my attention at all.

I may mist the tectorum once every two weeks or so, but my tectorums are perfectly capable of caring for themselves without me. The most important thing I’ve found about tectorums is that paying attention to them is actually more likely to harm them instead of helping them. If the tectorum is given too much water or fertilizer, it will harm the plant.

The best policy is to remain completely hands-off and allow the plant to do what it does best on its own.

Tillandsia Harrisii

picture of Tillandsia Harrisii

The harrisii has a striking appearance, thanks to the silvery coloration of its leaves. The harrisii will eventually grow a flower with dark purple and bright red colorations. Misting the harrisii once or twice a week keeps it happy, and like most tillandsia, it enjoys indirect sunlight.

I particularly like placing my harrisii as ornaments on my bookshelves. The leaves are soft, and the harrisii grows to moderate size of about 8 inches. The harrisii looks particularly good when mounted in a shell, as the silvery leaves curl outwards.

Tillandsia Xerographica

picture of Tillandsia Xerographica

The xerographic is a bit more expensive, often costing about ten dollars per plant. However, the distinctive look of this plant, with its inward curling leaves, makes it a great decorative item.

Xerographicas also grow quite large and take up a good amount of space, eventually getting to over a foot in diameter. However, the xerographic is easy to care for and only needs misting once or twice a week to flourish. The xerographic is basically a self-contained ornamental ball – a piece of living art.

Tillandsia Funkiana

picture of Tillandsia Funkiana

The funkiana is one of the most unique-looking tillandsia plants. Its needle-like leaves are soft and grow continually upward. Many of these plants curl and twist in odd ways, leaving the plant with a distinctive, vaguely centipede-like appearance.

The funkiana features a bright red flower when it blooms. This plant only needs me to mist it about twice a week and is quite robust. The funkiana goes best in an area where it can coil around something to really provide a fascinating ambiance.

Tillandsia Bulbosa

picture of Tillandsia Bulbosa

The bulbousa plant is another tillandsia with a singular look. As the name suggests, the bulbosa seems to grow out from a central bulb with long thin leaves which weave in and out of each other, somewhat like antlers. The bulbosa is quite flexible and only needs a misting about twice a week.

Each plant will look quite distinctive as its tendrils fan out in interesting ways. It is worth noting that I make sure to keep my bulbosa plants inside because their hollow bulbs serve as attractive homes for ants if the plants are left outside.

Tillandsia Caput-Medusae

picture of Tillandsia Caput-Medusae

The caput-medusae is easy to care for and can handle more sunlight than many other varieties of tillandsia. The caput-medusae gets its name from its appearance, which depending on the observer, may be described as octopus-like or like the medusae from Greek mythology.

One of the interesting features I’ve noticed about the caput-medusae is that it doesn’t care whether it is laying upright, horizontally, or even upside down. These little plants will grow in whatever direction I place them. Misting the caput-medusae once a week is about all the care it needs.

The result is a plant with an other-worldly appearance, which is great in areas where I want some science fiction vibes.

Guarianthe Skinneri

picture of Guarianthe Skinneri

The last plant on my list needs a bit more care than the various members of the tillandsia family, but it is still fairly hands-off. The beautiful flowers it produces make up for the few seconds of care it needs each day. The guarantee skinner can be grown on a piece of cork or placed in a small container filled with a combination of cork and charcoal.

This plant requires a misting each day, making it the only air plant I must pay attention to as part of my regular schedule. However, when they guarantee skinnier blooms, the lovely purplish flowers create a display that lasts for months and fills my apartment with a wonderful fragrance.

Why Air Plants Are Easy

The term “air plants” refers to a type of plant which does not require soil to grow. Instead, they absorb all the nutrients they need from the air. This means no pots, no soil, and typically no need to fertilize. Most air plants can store moisture for long periods of time, which means that once they are set up, I can mostly ignore the plants, and they will thrive on their own.

These qualities mean that I can still enjoy living things sharing my space and enjoy the improved air quality from plants without investing much time and energy.

All I needed to do was make sure I placed them in a place with plenty of indirect sunlight and spray them a bit with a mister about twice a week. In return, I get to enjoy the lush, plump greenery of the ionantha year-round.

Conclusion on 12 air plants easy to take care of

At the end of the day, the ease with which air plants are added to my home is remarkable. It’s easy to get into a routine of simply misting my plants once or twice a week after getting home from work. I’ve found that my Wednesday and Saturday routine hardly takes any time and is a simple task to complete.

The only exceptions to this treatment are my guarantee skinnier and my tectorums, which need a bit more and less attention, respectively. I’ve found the easiest way to keep their routines separate is to place them in different rooms from my other plants.

I keep my guarantee skinnier near their water source in the kitchen, so it serves as a reminder to mist them each day.

My tectorums, on the other hand, are kept in my bedroom because since they need virtually no attention, it’s nice to be able to relax without feeling like I need to get back up to complete a task.

Air plants give me a great way to keep my living quarters from feeling too sterile. I haven’t explored many more varieties and hybrids of the tillandsia family yet, and I’m eager to keep adding to my collection of plants. I really appreciate adding natural beauty to my apartment without the disappointing feeling of watching it die due to neglect.

Seeing the foliage of air plants gives me joy while taking very little of my time. Air plants are the easiest part of my life.

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Tony O'Neill

I am Tony O'Neill, A full-time firefighter, and professional gardener. I have spent most of my life gardening. From the age of 7 until the present day at 46. My goal is to use my love and knowledge of gardening to support you and to simplify the gardening process so you are more productive

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