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Why Are My Air Plants Dying? (6 Reasons & Solutions) 

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If you’re like many people, you may have recently added air plants to your home or office. Air plants are a beautiful and unique way to add greenery to any space, and they’re very easy to care for. However, sometimes air plants can die for no apparent reason.

If you’ve been wondering “Why Are My Air Plants Dying?”, wonder no more!

In this blog post, we will explore some of the reasons why your air plants may be succumbing to death. We will also provide solutions to help revive them and keep them healthy for years to come. So if you’re curious about why your air plants are dying, read on!

Why Are My Air Plants Dying 1
Air plants turning brown–over or under watering? – via Reddit

Why Are My Air Plants Dying?

While air plants do not require too much attention from you, it can get a bit tricky to handle these plants, especially for first-time users. This is because the no soil part may befuddle some habitual gardeners, and not being able to cope may lead to the death of your plant.

So, keep reading to know the focal reasons that aptly answer your question: Why are my air plants dying? Let’s find out.

1. Inadequate amount of water

Overwatering or underwatering can cause your air plants to die. Keep in mind that air plants do not need to be dunked or dipped in water for 6-7 hours a day to fulfill their water requirements.

You need to let air plants dry out between watering sessions. Keep the air plants in water for less than an hour and take them out of the water. After that, allow the roots to dry out properly before putting them in another container.

Also, remember to mist the air plant with water 2-3 times a week. If your plants are always wet and soaking in water, it can lead to the plant dying out. Some common signs of overwatering are the leaves starting to fold and the plant turning brown from the roots and above.

The overwatering mostly occurs in terrariums or enclosed spaces where moisture accumulates, thereby not giving the right conditions for the plant to dry.

So, if you are keeping the air plant in an enclosure, make sure to take it out for drying purposes. Use a fan if they are taking time to dry.

To check whether you are giving the correct amount of water to your air plants, water them, dry them, and put them in a different container.

Observe their behavior after 24 hours. If you notice curling or limp leaves, it could be due to overwatering. Next time reduce the amount of water and keep observing the behavior of the plant.

2. Not Enough Air

 Air plants are native to arid, cool, upper mainland areas. They need to be kept dry most of the time to prevent issues. If you are keeping them in small or enclosed spaces like a terrarium, bathroom, or a small storage area, the lack of ventilation could cause the death of your plant.

This is especially true if there are no windows or a good source of airflow. The humidity can build up and lead to dry rot.

Dry rot occurs in air plants due to a lack of air. So, it is better to make room for air plants in spacious rooms, near windows, in the backyards outside, open gardens, verandah, or some other open and airy place. Use a fan for air and dry them out if need be.

Air plants also need air to make food. If they don’t get the required amount, the plants will die out because of dry rot and a lack of nutrients.

Why Are My Air Plants Dying 2
What am I doing wrong? These particular ones always die on me. – via Reddit

3. Not Enough Light

Like air, these plants also need plenty of direct or indirect light. If you place them in dark hallways, shaded areas, covered rooms where the light only comes in for a few minutes, your air plant will die soon enough.

Make sure to place them near a window or outside to provide ample sunlight. Also, check to see if some other bigger plants are cutting off the light, in which case you should move your plants. Other bright places where the artificial lights are on for a few hours are fine too.

4. Sunburn from too much light

A sunburnt air plant will show signs like crisp, tanned, or bleached leaves. While these plants can take some direct sunlight as well, keeping them for long hours outside under bright, direct sunlight can turn them brown and eventually kill them.

Other than outside, keeping air plants in a heated room, near a heat source, or in a glass enclosure can also cause sunburn. This is because the glass can magnify the heat coming from sun rays.

5. Natural Lifecycle

Before jumping to any conclusions about some environmental conditions going wrong, you might consider the natural lifecycle of an air plant.

Once the air plant goes into the flower-producing mode, the mother plant will soon die afterward. So, if your plant died after producing flowers, it could be just another genuine reason.

However, the mother air plant usually leaves her babies by her side before vanishing off. When one plant dies, there will be other young air plants, and they will grow out soon. So, you will have more air plants than you started within the long term.

6. Excessive Fertilizer

Air plants soak up all the water given to them. Fertilizers are usually given by diluting them in water. If you dilute even a little fertilizer in water for these plants, it will be enough as they take up almost all the water through their leaves.

One teaspoon in a gallon of water is recommended, and it is suggested to give them the diluted fertilizer once a month. Overdoing the fertilizer can cause root burn and kill off your plants.

The Take-Away

If you are a beginner gardener and just starting on this journey of growing plants, you might want to practice easier to maintain plants. But even if you want to go with air plants, remember to keep everything in moderation as people tend to overdo things for the love of their baby plants.

Plants don’t need to be doused in water or light all the time. Keep it normal, and the air plants will be just fine. And now that you have your answer to why are my air plants dying, you can go and take some measures to revive them.

Share your experience of growing an air plant in your home with us in the comment section below.