How Does Air Plant Grow On A Crystal?

How Does Air Plant Grow On A Crystal?

How does air plant grow on a crystal
XXL Clear Quartz Cluster Air Planter by Air Friend

So exactly how does air plant grow on a crystal? There are a few ways to make the air plant grow a crystal. And I will show you a couple neat tricks to keep your air plant lush on a crystal air planter.

Let the air plant rest on top of the crystal

Yup. Simply let your air plant perch on top of the crystal and it will grow. Air plants are epiphytes. They have air roots that do not need to be covered by soil. While you can mount an air plant to a crystal or rock, it is not necessary for the plant to grow. 

Your air plant can easily have the good air circulation it needs when you allow the air plant to grow on top of the crystal without attaching it to the rock.

You can also take the air plant off for a long, good soak in water or change out the plant as you like by growing your air plant on a crystal detached.

Also check out this list of 5 Air Plants You Should Avoid Soaking.

5 Air plants you should avoid soaking Tillandsia Tectorum Fuzzy Air Friend air plant crystal garden care tips
Large Citrine Crystal Fuzzy Air Plant Garden Gift by Air Friend

Check out our List of 5 air plants you should avoid soaking. Learn how to grow special air plants like Tillandsia Tectorum in our air plant care guide

Attach the air plant on a crystal with plant safe adhesive

The other way to create the seamless air plant growing on a crystal look like we do with Air Friend is by attaching the plant on a crystal with plant safe glue. 

This gold dipped amethyst crystal air plant garden shows a good example of to attach an air plant on a crystal.

Air Friend You Rock Gold Dipped Amethyst Crystal Air Plant Garden
You Rock – Gold Dipped Amethyst Crystal Air Plant Garden Gift by Air Friend

You can also find more examples of how this is done in our shop section at

Use a dab a plant safe adhesive on the bottom of the air plant and attach the plant to your favorite crystal. The adhesive creates a moisture barrier between the air plant and crystal. This helps the air plant to grow on a crystal with less risk of root rot. 

New leaves will continue to grow in the middle of the air plant while it is mounted to the crystal. Just water your plants with a spray bottle or dip it in a bowl of water. Be sure to shake off any excess water after each watering and you are good to go. 

Need more help on how to grow an air plant on a crystal? Check out our Ultimate Air Plant Care Guide for detailed air plant air tips! 

And don’t forget to leave a comment below to share with everyone how you grow your air plants and keep them lush and happy. 

What is Air Fern?

What is Air Fern?

Is it air fern or air plant? We get this question a lot. 

Sea Urchin Air Planter Real Air Plant New Year Gift By Air Friend
White Sea Urchin Air Planter Happy New Year Gift By Air Friend


Although the name “air fern” sounds like a plant, air fern is actually an animal. That’s right. Air fern is a sea creature closely related to coral and jellyfish. 

A species of hydrozoan, air fern (Sertularia argentea) is sometimes known as sea fir.

Is Air Friend made with air fern?

All Air Friend gifts at are made with air plant.

Also known as tillandsia, air plant is part of the Bromeliad family. That make air plants a close cousin to the juicy pineapples we eat!

While air fern lives in the ocean, air plant lives on land.

How to care for air plants?

Air plants are fun and easy to grow. Just like other houseplants, air plants thrive on some water, light, and air.


How to care for air plant tillandsia
How to care for air plant tillandsia


Water your air plant tillandsia by soaking it in a bowl of water or misting your air plant with a water bottle. You can also feed your air plant with some air plant food once a month to give the plant an extra boost of nutrients.

We also have a comprehensive air plant care guide to help you care for your air plants. Leave us a comment below if you need help on how to care for air plants!

How to care for air plant terrariums?

How to care for your air plant terrarium?

Air plant terrariums make wonderful displays in any home or office. And the glass orb provides a nice little home for your plant as well! Since air plants are live plants, keep in mind that they do need to be watered from time to time.

Taking care of air plant terrariums is fun and easy

Your air plant terrarium will do well on a desk, by the windowsill, or just about anywhere indoor with bright, indirect light and good air circulation. Office fluorescent lighting is fine too if you don’t have natural sunlight nearby.

Air Plant Terrarium Tillandsia Caput Medusae

Teardrop Air Plant Terrarium with Tillandsia Caput Medusae

Step 1

When you water the plant, remove the plant from your terrarium and mist it thoroughly (outside the terrarium). Your air plant should be completely wet with water dripping from it by the time you’re done misting. This kind of heavy misting simulates a natural rainstorm in the forest.


Step 2

Gently shake off any excessive water and let your air plant dry out in somewhere with good air circulation. Your plant should completely dry within 4 hours of watering to prevent root rot.


Step 3

Place your air plant back in its terrarium after it has dried completely.


Remember not to send the air plant back to its terrarium home before it is completely dry.

We typically recommend misting your terrarium plants 2-3 times a week. You can also mist it more often if it’s a water-loving tillandsia. Sometimes you also want to water your plant more often if the indoor environment is too dry. Just remember to take your plant out and watering it outside the glass orb.

Misting a plant inside the terrarium can cause the plant to rot due to lack of air circulation and leave water marks on the glass orb that become hard to clean off.

Can I soak my terrarium air plant?

Of course! Misting, dipping, and soaking are all great methods to keep your air plant hydrated. And you can choose any method that works best for you or combine them to achieve the best result.

We typically recommend soaking your plant once a week for ~20 minutes each time.

With that said, you want to make sure your air plant would enjoy a bath. Most air plants are happy soaking in a bowl of water. But there are a few exceptions as well.

[Check out this list of 5 Air Plants You Should Avoid Soaking]

Are Air Plants Safe for Cats and Dogs?

Are Air Plants Safe for Cats and Dogs?

If you have fluffy friends at home, you might be wondering whether air plant tillandsias are safe to keep around the house. That is a very good question since there are many houseplants that are actually toxic to cats and dogs.

is air plant tillandsia safe for dogs and cats pets

The good news is air plants are non-toxic to cats and dogs! So if your pets happen to ingest an air plant, they should be fine.

But keep in mind that while air plants are safe for pets, your cats and dogs are not necessarily “safe” for the plants. A lot of pets love to chew on houseplants, especially the ones with succulent leaves. Some brave ones have even been reported to chew on cacti!


It’s always a safe practice to keep your pets away from the air plants. Display your air plants on a shelf (hopefully not one your cat can jump onto) or hang it somewhere high. Hanging air plant jellyfish, for example, can be displayed by the window or somewhere higher than where your pets can reach.

Shop Air Friend white sea urchin air plant gift here

What to do if my cat/dog ate my air plant

If your cats or dogs have already gotten to the plant by the time you are reading this article, all hope is not lost. Air plants are very hardy and sometimes they can recover from the trauma if you give it a fighting chance.


Trim off any broken tips and care for your tillandsia as usual. You may notice new leaves coming out from the base or main stem. Sometimes the air plant may even pup (have little baby plants) if the mother plant decides to put all the remaining energy into propagating itself. So be patient and make sure you keep a safe distance between your pets and air plants!


Do Air Plants Die After Flowering?

Do Air Plants Die After Flowering?


While air plants only flower once in their lifetime, the blooming plants will often produce 3-8 pups (baby air plants) after they bloom. The mother plants will then continue to support the growth of their pups. This process can take years. During that time, the mother plants will stay healthy for years until they exhaust themselves completely by putting all their energy into growing the pups. So the good news is that your air plants won’t just die and disappear after they bloom— not without leaving you with multiple new pups to replace themselves!


What is the lifespan of air plants?

Do Air Plants Die after Flowering

Blooming Air Plant— Tillandsia Houston Dark Pink


Depending on the varietal and growth environment, a single air plants can live on for many years.


For most air plants, it would take several months for their seeds to germinate. And from then on most of the growth activities will take place over the next 3 to 5 years.


So yes— growing air plants require some patience. But it is incredibly rewarding when your plant grow into large specimen and produce colorful flowers! Mature air plants produce beautiful blossoms that will last several weeks or longer.



What do I do with air plants after they bloom?


Tip: Trim off the exhausted flower stalk once the flowers dry up. This will help the plants to focus their energy on growing new pups after they bloom.



Most air plants produce 3-8 pups upon blooming. It can take a few weeks or months sometimes before you start seeing the pups. Check the base of the plant and between the leaves for the baby plants.


With a bit of love and care, your baby plants will grow into beautiful new plants and the circle of life continues.


Do I have to remove the air plant pups from the mother plant?

You can— but you don’t to. In fact, “division” (separating the pups from the mother plant) is one of the most common methods to propagate air plants. Air plants tend to cluster and form gorgeous “tillandsia balls” in nature. They can be perfectly happy living as a cluster.


But if you want to grow them separately, simply remove the pups from the mother plant once they grow to about 1/3 of the size of their mother. They should come apart when you gently pull on them.



How long do you soak air plants?

How long do you soak air plants?


There are many great ways to water your air plants. And if you decide to soak them, make sure you don’t leave the plants in water for too long.


Air plants can turn brown and eventually rot if they don’t dry out properly.



How long do you soak your air plants on the first day?

how to water air plants by soaking

Soak your air plants once a week for 30 minutes at a time.

If you just received your air plants in mail, feel free to let them soak in a bowl of water for ~8 hours. This would completely hydrate the plants after a long journey on the road.


Once your tillandsias are done soaking, gently shake off any water in excess and let them dry by the window or under the fan. Wind drying your air plants at somewhere with good circulation is essential to keep them healthy.


When choosing a spot to dry your plants, make sure the plants are kept away from

  1. Direct sunlight
  2. Extreme heat (ex. stove, heater, etc.)
  3. Frost (ex. near the windowsill when it’s below 50Foutside)



How long do you soak your air plants typically?

After the first intensive soaking, you can resume to the regular soaking schedule of once a week. Let your tillandsias soak for ~20 minutes each time and wind dry afterwards.


If your plants are kept in an air conditioned or heated environment, soak them twice a week to compensate for the dry atmosphere. Misting in between each soaking would also keep your plant hydrated.



How long do you soak air plants to revive them from extreme dryness?

Keep in mind that soaking for longer does not necessarily hydrate your plants more. Air plants will stop absorbing watering once it takes in the optimal amount of moisture. This is why misting and dipping your plants can be just as good for your plants depending on how thoroughly your wet the plants.


If you want to revive a very dry plant, soak it more often— every other day instead of once a week. Just make sure the plants are given enough time to dry thoroughly after each soaking.


More importantly, be careful which types of air plant you have when you decide to soak them. It’s much safer to mist certain kinds of tillandsias rather than to soak them.


Check out our article on 5 Air Plants you should avoid soaking




5 Air Plants You Should Avoid Soaking

5 Air Plants You Should Avoid Soaking


Air plants are very easy to care for. You can soak them in a bowl of water, give them a thorough mist, or even dip it in a bowl of water to provide your plant the moisture it needs. And how you water the plant just comes down to personal preference in most cases.


With that said, there are some tillandsias that are just better misted than soaked. Here is a list of 5 air plants you should avoid soaking:


Tillandsia Tectorum (Ecuador)

Air Plant Tillandsia Tectorum

Tillandsia Tectorum

The fluffy coat of fur that gives Tillandsia Tectorum its fame is actually a dense layer of trichromes (scales that cover the leaves of air plants and help them absorb the water without any root system).


Since they are indigenous to arid regions of Ecuador, Tectorums have developed very efficient trichromes that absorb water like none other. And it prefers to stay dry most of the time.


You should not soak your Tectorum since it’s very difficult for its “fur coat” to dry completely. Keeping the plant dampened can cause root rot and eventually kill the plant.


The safest way to water a Tectorum is by misting. The trichromes should look drenched and the leaves will turn to a greenish gray when you are done watering.


Tillandsia Bulbosa

Tillandsia Bulbosa

Tillandsia Bulbosa is a very hardy air plant. It’s typically not a problem to soak your Bulbosas. But it can get tricky when your Bulbosa is dry. While you might be tempted to revive it with a good soak, that may actually do more harm than good to your little friend.


The pseudobulb (or onion-like shape) of Bulbosa is actually empty inside. When the air plant dries, its leaves around the “bulb” curves in, leaving gaps for water to come in.


When you soak a dry Bulbosa, water often gets trapped in the “bulb” and never really dry out completely. This can lead to fungal growth, which can cause irreversible harm to the plant. So next time you come across a very dry bulbosa, mist it thoroughly once a day and shake off any excessive moisture.


Tillandsia Butzii

Air Plant Tillandsia Butzii

Tillandsia Butzii

Similar to Tillandsia Bulbosa, Tillandsia Butzii has a pseudobulb that makes it really cool but a bit tricky to water sometimes. Just make sure you don’t have water collecting inside the “bulb” after each watering.


If you notice gaps at the base with the bottom leaves curving in, mist rather than soak your Butzii.


More frequent misting is much safer than a long soak in this case.


Tillandsia Seleriana

Air Plant Tillandsia Seleriana

Tillandsia Seleriana

Tillandsia Seleriana is a truly amazing plant. The pronounced trichromes make it so soft to touch! A giant specimen is often remarked for its magical looking pseudobulb.


The thick layer of trichromes and bulbous bottom makes Seleriana one of the top candidates on our “no soak” list. A thorough misting will be enough for your Seleraina to stay happy and healthy.





Tillandsia Pruinosa

Air Plant Tillandsia Pruinosa

Tillandsia Pruinosa

Covered with a thick coat of fur (trichromes), Tillandsia Pruinosa has a very efficient system of obtaining moisture. Its bulb-like bottom makes it very easy to trap excessive water.


Mist rather than soak your Pruinosa to reduce risks of root rot and algae development.


The best way to avoid fungal and algae growth is to prevent them in the first place. It can be difficult to get rid of the problem once it happens to your plant.







Can You Cut An Air Plant?

Can You Cut An Air Plant?


Whether you are working on an air plant DIY project or just thinking about trimming off some tried tips, you might be wondering if you can cut the air plant, much like you do with succulents. And here’s the good news: air plants (tillandsias) are very forgiving when it comes to trimming.


Can you trim the leaves of an air plant?

Yes you can! Although the cut leave will not regrow themselves from the part where you made a cut, new leaf materials will continue to grow at the base of the cut leaves. Air plants will also develop new leaves over time as well.


Trimming the dried tips…

Get a clean pair of scissors and trim off the dried tips at roughly a 45 degree angle. The angled cut will leave your plant looking natural and gorgeous after grooming.  Trimming the dried tips is a very safe and common practice so feel free to do it as often as you need!


Plucking the dried leaves…

You may notice some dried and crispy leaves, especially toward the base of the plant. This is very normal for air plants. Dried leaves at the bottom of the plant can typically be left alone. But if you really want to, gently pluck the dried leaves. Just make sure you don’t pull out too many bottom leaves that the air plant becomes unstable. 


Can you trim the roots of an air plant?

As epiphytes, air plants only need their roots for mounting themselves to tree branches and rocks in nature. It is safe to cut the roots as much as you want. You may notice some roots growing back after a while. But they tend to grow very slowly and you can remove them again if you wish.



Do You Need To Water Air Plants?

Do You Need To Water Air Plants?


In short, yes

Despite what the name suggests, air plants (tillandisas) so not live on air alone. In fact, air plants enjoy air, light, and water just like any other plants.


How do tillandsias absorb water if it doesn’t have soil?

Display your air plant anywhere you like! No soil or pot needed.

What makes air plants different from most of the other house plants, besides looking way cooler, is how it absorbs water.


You will find a silvery layer of fuzz on the leaves if you examine closely. This “coat of fur” consists of many little trichromes. Trichromes are special scales that act as water receptors.


So instead of getting water through the roots, air plants drink water directly through their leaves with the trichromes. This gives air plant the unique ability to grow without roots or soil and pretty much mount on anything to their liking.


How do you water an air plant?

Misting Your Air Plant

Mist your air plant thoroughly with a spray bottle.

The easiest way to water your air plants is misting. We typically recommend misting your plants 2-3 times a week.


With that said, you can also dip your air plant in a bowl of water or let it soak once or twice a week for 30 minutes each time.


Simply fill your spray bottle with water and mist the plant until it is completely wet.


By the time you are done misting, the entire plant should be wet. And water should be running down from the leaves the way they would after a rainstorm in the forest.

How often do you water an air plant?

A general rule of thumb is to mist your plants 2-3 times a week.

How often do you water an air plant?
No two plants are the same. Learn how to tailor the watering schedule to your plant in our article, How Often Do You Water An Air Plant

And don’t forget to let your tillandsias dry by the window or under a fan after each watering. Although they love water, air plants are also susceptible to fungal infections if they are left sitting in a puddle or stay moist for too long. So make sure your plants dry within 4 hours of watering.


When is the best time to water air plants?

I typically water my plants in the morning so they will have plenty of time to dry during the day. Other than that reason, you can pretty much water your tillandsias anytime you like. 



How Often Do You Water An Air Plant?

How Often Do You Water An Air Plant?

As you wonder how do you care for air plants, you may also be wondering how often do you water your air plants. We typically recommend misting them 2-3 times a week (or once a week if you soak your plants).


This is a nice and easy way to start if you are new to air plants. But once your air plant collection grows to include a few different varieties, you may realize this standard watering schedule does not always work for every plant.


The best way to make sure every plant is healthy and alive is to tailor the watering schedule to their individual needs. To do that, you want to understand:

  1. What type of air plant is it; and
  2. How much sun and heat your air plant is exposed to


What type of air plant is it?

Finding out what type of air plant you have is the first step to figuring out how much water your plant needs. With over 500 species and hybrids, tillandsias have varying needs when it comes to moisture and climate.


Which air plants need to be watered MORE frequently?

As a general rule of thumb, the following plants need to be watered more frequently:

  1. Less established baby plants (pups)
  2. Plants with thinner foliage
  3. Bright green plants without a thick coat of fur (trichromes)


Some examples of water loving plants that can take water every day include:

Tillandsia Caulescens

Tillandsia Stricta (including various varietals and Stricta hybrids)
Air Plant Tillandsia Stricta

Tillandsia Aeranthos Bergeri (including various varietals and Aeranthos hybrids)
Air Plant Tillandsia Aeranthos Bergeri


Which air plants need to be watered LESS frequently?

On the other hand, the following plants require less water:

  1. Mature plants
  2. Plants with broad leaves
  3. Plants with more pronounced trichromes (or a thicker silvery fur coat)


Some examples of drought tolerant plants that can take water once a week include:

Tillandsia Xerographica

Air Plant Tillandsia Xerographica

Tillandsia Tectorum

Air Plant Terrarium Tillandsia Tectorum

Tillandsia Duratii

air plant tillandsia duratii


How much sun and heat your air plant is exposed to?

When you see the leaves curling in that means you want to water it more


Once you determine whether the plant is more water loving or drought tolerant, you can adjust the watering schedule based on the temperature and humidity of the growing environment.


On hot and dry days, water your plants more frequently to keep them hydrated. This can mean misting them every day or every other day.


Whereas on cold and humid days, your plants are happy with just 1-2 misting per week.

If you keep your plant in the office or an air conditioned/ heated space, try watering your plants more frequently to prevent them from drying out.


How often is TOO often?

While air plants need water to stay healthy and alive, they also need some time to dry out. Leaving your tillandsias drenched all the time promotes fungal activities, which can result in root rot that will eventually kill the plants.


Watering once every day is typically enough, even for the most water loving air plants on hot, dry days.


For those of you who keep your plants in a very dry environment with the AC turned on throughout the day, you may want to give your plants a light mist of water just to slow down the drying process. Try to keep your watering frequency to a maximum of every 4 hours if you must water them. This will give the plants sufficient time to completely dry out before the next watering.