Do Air Plants Need Fertilizer – How To Fertilize Air Plants

Air Plants Potted In Small Shells
feed air plants
(Image credit: Tabatha Del Fabbro Lead Images)

Air plants are low maintenance members of the Bromeliad family in the genus Tillandsia. Air plants are epiphytes that root themselves to the branches of trees or shrubs rather than in the soil. In their natural habitat, they derive their nutrients from the moist, humid air.

When grown as houseplants, they need a regular misting or dousing in water, but do air plants need fertilizer? If so, what type of air plant fertilizer is used when feeding air plants?

Do Air Plants Need Fertilizer?

It is not necessary to fertilize air plants, but feeding air plants does have some benefits. Air plants only bloom once in their lifetime and after blooming produce “pups” or small offsets from the mother plant.

Feeding air plants encourages blooming and, thus, reproduction of new offsets, making new plants.

How to Fertilize Air Plants

Air plant fertilizer may either be air plant specific, for bromeliads, or even diluted houseplant fertilizer.

To fertilize air plants with regular house plant fertilizer, use a water-soluble food at ¼ the recommended strength. Fertilize the same time that you water them by adding the diluted fertilizer to the irrigation water either by misting or soaking in water.

Fertilize air plants once a month as part of their regular irrigation to promote healthy plants that will bloom, producing additional new plants.

Amy Grant

Amy Grant has been gardening for 30 years and writing for 15. A professional chef and caterer, Amy's area of expertise is culinary gardening.