How long do you soak air plants? You should soak your Tillandsia for approximately 20 to 30 minutes. Although the plant may severely look dehydrated when left for long without water, exceeding this time can result in rotting.

How Long Do You Soak Air Plants

Read on to see more about watering frequency, type of water to use, and drying the plant after soaking.

How Long Do You Soak Air Plants?

Soaking air plants should be done between 20 and 30 minutes, or else the plant would be overwatered. The soaking time also depends on different factors, such as the frequency of how often you do so, and the position you place it in, and the type of water used.

For example, a large variety like Tillandsia xerographica will need more water than the miniature Tillandsia ionantha this is due to the different kinds of the same plant. But generally, the plants take between 20 and 30 minutes to be quenched.

Exceeding the 30-minute window leads to overwatering. When not overly dehydrated, misting is enough for your air plant if you live in a humid area. Soaking comes in when you have stayed for long without watering your Tillandsia.

Unlike other house plants, these get their water and nutrients from the environment as they do not have roots, hence the name is perfectly clear as they are air plants which means they are not ones that would need to be placed in soils.

Plants with such characteristics belong to the family of bromeliads. Instead of getting the nutrients from soil, they use their tiny roots to attach themselves to other plants, like the Spanish moss which has a very similar characteristic.

– Frequency of Soaking

Once you understand how long you should water your plant, the next thing is focusing on frequency, in short how often do you place it in a water bath.

Frequency of Soaking

This air-purifying plant is not a huge water feeder, and having the wrong watering frequency can lead to fungi infection and rot.

You know your air plant is dehydrated when it exhibits signs of drooping and drying leaf tips, which means that in this case, you should give it some time so that the plant would find itself back. In short, consider spacing your watering sessions to at least once a week, but if you live in a hot area with low humidity levels, water your plants twice a week.

– Proper Position

Although these plants have tiny roots they use in attaching themselves to different surfaces for their survival, they are pretty much of no great use. Their roots are not developed enough to allow uptake of water and nutrients from the soil.

So, when you soak the plants in the usual position, you will not have helped your house plant, instead, you can choose an upside-down position. The simple reason behind this matter is that the leaves of these plants have trichomes, which make them appear silvery. The plants use them to absorb water and nutrients instead of the root system.

The bigger the plant varieties get, the more they have trichomes than the miniature ones, allowing them to drink more water. As a result, the plant owner must be cautious and aim to water it less frequently.

After soaking, the plants can have some water remaining on the leaves, which is unhealthy. Sometimes, you can have an emergency and forget to remove your air plant from the water, leaving it too long and overwatering.

With overwatering cases, it is simple when one gets to question, do air plants need sun drying for the fear of losing your plant, but the answer is that yes, they do, because it is essential for the plants to receive indirect light.

You should know how to dry air plants after soaking, and it does not require expertise. Simply take your plant from the soaking pot and shake it gently to remove the excess amount. Then, place it upside down on a rack or an empty container for the remaining water to come out.

Drying the plants after soaking takes approximately 30 minutes to almost three hours, after which you can return them to their growing spots, of course make sure that the sun is not directly on it, but indirectly.

– Type of Water

One of the best air plant care is avoiding taking any water that is available to feed it. Some water types do not contain minerals necessary for growth, while others have harmful elements. Consider the fact that if using tap water, do not feed it directly. Instead, allow it to sit overnight to allow chlorine to evaporate and to acquire stable temperature.

Rainwater is also advisable as it does not contain water treatment chemicals. It is also rich in minerals that your plant will benefit from. On the other hand you can also consider aquarium, lake, and pond water is also excellent for your plants. This water type is rich in minerals and nutrients that build up as a result of excretes made by flora and fauna.

Type of Water

You should not use distilled and softened water for your plants, in addition the softened water has notable levels of sodium, and when you give it to your plant, it dehydrates it further.

Distilled water lacks enough nutrients and minerals, as these are often extracted during processing. Although it can quench your plants, they start showing signs of discoloration and stunted growth from malnutrition.

Is Soaking Your Air Plants Better than Misting?

No, misting is not better than watering the plant, because the plant needs to be irrigated properly and misting is not going to be sufficient to help the plant. If the humidity is low, you can mist it, but it should be watered as well, because misting is not enough.

Although misting can be sufficient for watering in humid areas, it does not quite work well in dry regions. Why? The evaporation rate is high, and the plant barely has enough time to absorb the mist before it dries.

Is Soaking Your Air Plants Better than Misting

So do air plants need water instead of misting? Yes. Soaking the plant in water gives it enough time to hydrate in hot areas. After quenching the plant, you can mist it about two to three times per week to complement the soaking.

However, if you live in areas with high humidity and mild temperatures, you can rely on misting your plant. Soak it after a long while or when it starts showing signs of dehydration to protect it from overwatering.

On the other hand, a pro plant care guide is adding liquid plant fertilizer to the water you use to soak your Tillandsia. It helps provide extra nutrients that may not be available in water, leading to healthier foliage and detailed hues.


1. Do You Know How Often to Water Air Plants in Winter?

Yes. You should water your plants once after every three weeks.

Do You Know How Often to Water Air Plants in Winter

It is because winters are cold and plants are not active during the season, and the evaporation rate is meager.

2. Are There Air Plant Varieties that You Should Avoid Soaking?

Not really. These plants benefit from a soak once in a while. The difference is that some require frequent soaking than others, which largely depends on the number of trichomes they have.


The air plant has unique characteristics that differentiate it from the regular ones we keep indoors. It is not surprising to come across mounted air plants in homes and offices since all they need is a space to grow on. Here is a summary of the Tillandsia:

  • Air plants can grow on any surface as it does not need roots to absorb water and nutrients. Instead, its leaves are handy for this purpose.
  • This plant absorbs water and nutrients through trichomes which are visible as silvery hair on the surface.
  • Soaking air plant is better than misting as it protects the plant from dehydration.
  • Not all water types are suitable for soaking the plant. Some can cause severe dehydration and malnutrition.

Now that you have learned about how long you should soak your air plants, inspect yours for unhealthy signs and identify what is ailing it. A good soak could be all it needs.


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