How to Save And Revive an Air Plant in 8 Easy Ways?

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If you enjoy air plants, you’re in luck. It’s easy to save and resurrect them. One of the most remarkable things about air plants is that they are inexpensive and, once given a little care and attention, can be left alone for months without any difficulties. But mistakes can happen.

You could put your plant in too deep or too shallow a position, where it won’t get enough sunshine or water. It might overheat from too much sun exposure, or you might not feed it with adequate humidity. You may feel inclined to drown it or toss it away when this happens.

But being an enthusiastic plant parent who treats every plant like a child, it is draining to replace plants just like that. You want to give your best shot at its revival and renewal. It’s the worst nightmare for any plant parent to see their plant go dry and yellow.

With this article, you will get more than basic knowledge about air plants’ nature, characteristics, and how to nurture them and revive them.

In this article, you will learn how to troubleshoot any issues with your air plants and how to be their knight in shining armor. We will learn about easy methods to save and revive an air plant.

What are Air Plants?

What are Air Plants?
Image Credit: gardenista

Tillandsias is the scientific name for air plants, which are members of the Bromeliaceae or Bromeliad family. Since they do not require soil for their growth, they are called epiphytes. They are primarily found in the Central and South American jungles, mountain tops, and deserts, as well as Mexico and the southern United States in North America.

Although not parasitic, they need a host platform to expand. They use their host as a method of support. The plant receives its basic nutritional needs from the moisture and dirt fibers in the atmosphere around it, and its roots are a tool with which it latches itself to its host as a means of support.

Reasons Why an Air Plant Dies?

Reasons Why an Air Plant Dies
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We have mentioned here some important reasons why an air plant dies.

1. Overwatering

More often than not, air plants die from overwatering than underwatering. Your plant being brown and slimy at the bottom is a sign that gives away. You must let the plant dry out before soaking it in water. Using a spray to water your air plant is a big plus. Water it 1-3 times over a week.

2. Lack of Air

The very name suggests this plant’s basic needs. Well ventilated space for your air plant is very important. A compact, still, or sealed environment would not only mean less fresh air and lesser food for the plant. But it would also not let the plant dry compared to a plant kept in a more open and under filtered sunlight, helping it absorb all vital nutrients and maintain its health.

3. Lack of Light

Light is necessary for air plants to create their food. If you keep your air plants indoors, keep them within one meter of a window. They will almost likely perish from a lack of sunshine if you leave them in a dark hallway.

4. Over-Exposure to the Sun

It’s the worst sight for any plant parent. It will burn your plant and dehydrate it beyond repair.

5. Frost

Being sensitive to cold, air plants cannot thrive under minus temperatures. If you reside in an area with a more chilly climate, keep them inside.

6. Humidity

A few air plant variants prefer moisture and dampness, although not many. The leaf of your plant being excessively curly indicates the air around the plant is too dry.

7. Rust

Coming in contact with anything rusty may lead to dead spots on your plant.

8. The Air Plant Mother Dies

A prevalent issue; is when an air plant has gone through its life stages and come to its fag end, it’s very likely that it has aged and may die off.

Air Plant Care Tips – Saving and Revival

Air Plant Care Tips - Saving and Revival
Image Credit: treehugger

These caring tips will help your air plants to revive and you can see that the once dying plant can flourish hopefully.

1. Watering

Watering is always the first step in reviving an air plant for me. Remember that while air plants do not require soil, they need water. Water is essential to air plants, just like all living things. Because air plants lack soil, they must absorb moisture and water through their leaves rather than through a root system.

Numerous garden centers advise misting air plants with water several times per week. It can result in a lack of water, leaving the plant dehydrated. Unfortunately, if this continues long enough, the air plant will die!

2. Soaking

Give your air plants an hour-long bath to satisfy their water needs. In the summer, do this weekly; in the winter, do it every three weeks. If you live in the jungle, you can very well use rainwater. However, you can also use tap water!

For the water to get rid of the chlorine, set it aside for 24 hours. Then, remove the air plant from its container and place it in a water bowl. To completely enclose the plant: the bowl must be sufficiently large. Give it about an hour to soak before removing it from the water.

Remember to shake it upside down to ensure water isn’t accumulating in your air plant’s leaves. After that, reposition the plant in its initial location.

3. An Air Do

Although it may appear apparent, your air plant requires oxygen to survive! Many photographs of air plants housed in a closed jar make me shudder – the plant cannot thrive in an airtight atmosphere!

4. Removing Dead Leaves

If an air plant is sick, the dead leaves should be removed by gently pushing them to see if they fall off. They are dead if they are readily removed. You have a dead air plant that has already passed away if, when you do this, the entire plant disintegrates. However, if you give your air plant the attention it needs and only a few leaves drop off while the internal leaves are still green and healthy-looking, it will survive.

5. Protecting the Tips

If, as previously said, the tips of your air plant are becoming brown, use rainfall or unchlorinated water.

After a nighttime bath, give them more frequent baths.

6. Right Food

Using proper and timely fertilizers is also very helpful. It helps in boosting the overall health and immunity of the plant.

7. Cleaning the Shears

Before removing dead or browned leaves from your air plant, clean your pruning shears. Dip the blades in a basin with half water and half 70% alcohol solution. Soak them for a few minutes before drying them with a clean cloth. It will prevent germs from passing between the blades and infecting your beloved plant.

8. Cleaning the Seashell

If you are using a Seashell or an Urchin shell for your air plant, check the inside of the shell and clear extra water that might be accumulating. Water pooling causes root rot in air plants.

Some Points to Remember

  • A dying air plant is due to rotting brought on by water accumulating in the plant’s crown. Between waterings, air plants must have time to dry. The air plant appears to be dying if water is left in the crown, where it becomes brown and starts to rot.
  • Underwatering is the cause of an air plant becoming brown at the ends. Watering air plants twice a week should be plenty. When an air plant is submerged, the leaf ends become dark and curl up due to thirst.
  • Air plants may become brown or yellow and feel squishy if they are kept constantly damp. Air plants require strong air circulation and must dry between waterings. An air plant develops rot if kept wet for a long time, turning the leaves brown or yellow and appearing to die.
  • Air plants can turn brown if exposed to too much direct sunshine, temperatures above 85°F, and low humidity. Instead of direct sunshine, which turns the leaves brown, air plants prefer powerful indirect light.


For any plant parent, it’s a gory and draining experience to see their baby plant wither and die away. Learning how to resurrect an air plant should be a last resort for indoor gardening enthusiasts like you. Follow the guidelines above to offer your air plants the most excellent chance of survival and prevent your exquisite tillandsias from wilting, fading, and dying.

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