Air plant care cheat sheet

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Air plants growing with succulents and cacti

Can You Plant Air Plants With Succulents?

Air plants and succulents are both unique and beautiful additions to any indoor or outdoor space. Are you wondering if it’s possible to plant air plants with succulents, and if so, how to do it successfully? We’re exploring how these two types of plants can coexist and even complement each other in a shared environment.

Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, get their nutrients from the air and don’t need soil to grow. Succulents, on the other hand, typically grow in well-draining soil and store water in their leaves, making them low-maintenance and drought-tolerant.

Despite their differences, air plants and succulents can be grown together as long as you keep in mind their unique requirements for water, light, and temperature.

Striking the right balance between these lovely plant types can result in a visually stunning and easy-to-care-for display that will bring life to your home or garden. So, let’s dive into the specifics of how to plant air plants with succulents and create a flourishing, harmonious arrangement.

Air Plants Vs Succulents

Air plants and succulents are popular choices for indoor and outdoor gardens, often due to their low maintenance and drought-tolerant traits. But, before you jump into planting them together, let’s explore the key differences between these beauties. Just look at this stunning air plant …

Hybrid - Tillandsia Cotton Candy

First off, air plants are epiphytes. This means they don’t need soil to grow, getting their nutrients from the air and occasional soaking or misting. They thrive in well-ventilated environments with indirect sunlight.

Humidity is also crucial for their survival, so you might consider locating them near a humidifier or in your bathroom.

On the other hand, succulents are a diverse group of plants, with their shared characteristic being the ability to store water in their leaves, stems, or roots. They are planted in well-draining soil and require infrequent watering.

While they can tolerate a wide range of temperature conditions, most succulents are not big fans of high humidity. Bright, indirect light or filtered sunlight is ideal for these guys, making them perfect for windowsills or patios.

A selection of beautiful succulents

Now that you know the basics, here’s the deal with planting air plants and succulents together: it can be done but with some considerations. Since air plants don’t need soil and prefer more humidity, you can place them on top of rocks or decorative items in the same container as your succulents, ensuring proper airflow for both.

Just make sure to provide ample space between the two to avoid overwatering the air plants while meeting the succulents’ water requirements.

Remember, though, that not all succulents can handle the same temperature and humidity conditions. Research the specific varieties you have in mind before combining them. Choose air plants and succulent plants with similar preferences, and with proper care, they’ll be a match made in plant heaven.

Key Requirements for Growing Air Plants

First things first, light is crucial for air plants. They love bright, indirect sunlight. So, if you’re growing them with succulents, make sure to place them in an area that gets plenty of light.

Keep in mind, though, that direct sunlight can harm your air plants. So, a spot near a window with some filtered light would be perfect. When it comes to water, air plants have unique needs. Unlike succulents, you can’t just give ’em a little sip of water now and then. Instead, air plants soak up moisture from the air using their trichomes.

Hybrid - Tillandsia Elisa

To keep them happy, you’ll need to soak them in a bowl of water for about 20 to 40 minutes every 1 to 2 weeks. Be sure to use distilled water to avoid harming the plants.

Humidity also plays a significant role in maintaining your air plants. They prefer higher levels of humidity, around 40-60%. If you’re keeping them in an area with drier air, consider using a humidifier or placing a tray of water nearby to increase humidity.

On the other hand, make sure there’s enough air circulation. Stagnant air can cause rot or mold growth, so keep those plants breathing.

Key Requirements for Growing Succulents

When you start growing succulents, it’s important to keep a few key essentials in mind. These plants are known for being low-maintenance and drought-tolerant, which makes them perfect for the busy gardener. Plus, succulents can coexist with air plants.

Unlike the wide variety of air plants, soil is super important for your succulents. You’ll need well-draining soil to keep them happy. A cactus mix or a mix of regular potting soil with perlite or sand will do the trick. Remember, succulents don’t like soggy soil, so good drainage is crucial.

A collection of colorful succulents

Like air plants, sunlight is very important. Succulents love spending their days soaking up rays, so make sure they get plenty of sun. Aim for at least 6 hours of bright, indirect light per day. If you’re growing them indoors, placing them near a south or west-facing window is your best bet. When it comes to water, overwatering is a big no-no.

Unlike all varieties of air plants, succulents are used to living in dry conditions, so be careful not to drown them. It’s better to under-water than give them excess water. Wait until the soil is completely dry before giving them a good soak. During cooler months, you can ease up on the watering even more.

Temperature is another key factor in keeping your succulents happy. These plants can handle a bit of fluctuation but try to keep things between 60-80°F (15-27°C). If it gets too cold, bring them inside to protect them from frost.

Here are a few more tips for creating the perfect environment for your succulents:

  • Make sure the pots have proper drainage holes to prevent root rot.
  • If you’re growing succulents alongside air plants, provide enough humidity for the air plants by misting them regularly.

Pairing Air Plants and Succulents in a Container

When it comes to pairing air plants and succulents in a container, there are a few factors to consider for a successful combo.

Air plant care cheat sheet


Both air plants and succulents appreciate bright, indirect sunlight. Make sure to place your container in a spot with plenty of natural light, but avoid direct sunlight, as it can scorch the foliage of both these plants.


While succulents and air plants don’t need much water, their watering needs differ slightly. Succulents prefer a well-draining soil mixture and need to be watered only when the soil is dry, usually around once a week.

On the other hand, air plants need their weekly soaking sessions in water for about 15-20 minutes. To accommodate the different water requirements, place air plants in a part of the container that allows for easy removal during their weekly soaking sessions.

Tillandsia and succulents growing together in an open terrarium


Good drainage is essential for succulents to avoid root rot. A fast-draining soil mix and a container with drainage holes will do the trick. Since air plants don’t need soil, they won’t be affected by the drainage situation in the container.


Both plants benefit from regular feedings but with different frequencies and types of fertilizer. Succulents appreciate a balanced liquid fertilizer diluted to half-strength, applied about once a month during the growing season.

Air plants need a specialized air plant fertilizer, which you can mist onto the plants once a month, or add a few drops to their soaking water during the weekly dunks.

Propagating Air Plants and Succulents

Propagating air plants and succulents is a rewarding process that varies with each type of plant.

Propagating air plants can be done through seedlings or offsets, which are also called “pups.” The pups form on the mother plant and can be gently separated when they are about one-third the size of the parent. Always be careful when removing the pups, making sure not to damage their base or roots.

In contrast, succulent propagation often involves leaf or stem cuttings. To propagate succulents, simply remove a healthy leaf or stem cutting from the parent plant. Allow the cutting to dry and callous over for a few days, then place it on top of well-draining soil.

It’s important to keep the soil slightly damp but not wet, as this might cause the cutting to rot. Over time, roots will develop, and your new succulent will grow.

Design Ideas for Air Plants and Succulents

Looking to create some amazing displays with air plants and succulents? You’ve got plenty of options to explore. Get ready to create some stunning visual effects with these versatile and unique plants.

Think about designing a terrarium. Mix and match your air plants and succulents in a beautiful glass container of any shape. Play around with different layers of pebbles, moss, and soil to create eye-catching landscapes. You can even add small figurines or fairy homes for some extra whimsy.

Air plants, cacti and succulents

For those of you who love creating green masterpieces on your walls, why not try out a vertical garden? Attach your air plants and succulents, using their natural shapes and colors as inspiration, to a wood or metal grid. You can be as simple or as intricate as you want. Your living art will surely be a conversation starter.

Craving a beachy vibe? Driftwood is a great base for displaying your air plants and succulents. You can tie the plants to the wood using natural twine or simply nestle them in the nooks and crannies of the driftwood. The contrasting textures and colors make for a beautiful and unique decoration.

Succulents growing in glass sphere terrariums

Feeling festive? You can create living wreaths using your air plants and succulents. Find or create a circular base, and attach your plants in a way that suits your taste. Don’t forget to consider their needs for light and air circulation. Living wreaths make great centerpieces, wall hangings, or even gifts!

Unleash your creativity with a dedicated succulent garden. You can experiment with color and texture by arranging different types of succulents together. Add some air plants to the mix for that extra touch of intrigue. Your garden will be the envy of all your plant-loving friends.

Flowering and Lifespan

Air plants and succulents make a perfect combination, not just in terms of appearance, but also in their flowering and lifespan aspects. Both these unique plants share some similarities while sporting distinct characteristics regarding their blooms and how long they last.

When it comes to flowering, air plants produce lovely violet flowers that bloom only once in their lifetime. The blooming process begins once the flower stalk appears, and it takes about 3 to 5 years for air plants to mature enough to flower. However, if propagated by offsets, baby air plants need just 2 to 3 years to bloom.

Succulents, on the other hand, have a more diverse range of flowers depending on the specific type you’re dealing with. Some succulents may produce small, delicate flowers, while others can have big, showy blooms.

Succulents and air plants mixed together

Flowering periods vary among succulent species, but generally, they bloom around the same time every year. Keep in mind that some succulents might not flower indoors or without proper care.

As for the lifespan, air plants can live for years, even for generations if new plants are grown from “pups” or broken-off leaves of the mother plants. This shows the potential for air plants to survive and thrive longer when given the right conditions.

Succulents are known for their excellent longevity too. With proper care, many succulent species can live for several years, and some can even live for decades. Their hardy nature allows them to withstand various conditions, contributing to their extended lifespan.

Frequently Asked Questions

What type of environment is best for both air plants and succulents?

Both air plants and succulents thrive in environments with bright, indirect sunlight. They also appreciate good airflow, so placing them near a window or in a well-ventilated room is a great idea.

While succulents get their nutrients from the soil and can adapt to various temperatures, air plants depend on humidity and moisture from the air. So, try to maintain a humidity level of about 40-60% for your air plants and succulents to happily coexist.

How do air plants and succulents differ in their watering needs?

Succulents store water in their leaves, stems, or roots, allowing them to survive long periods without water. They usually need watering every 7-10 days, depending on the climate, pot size, and soil. Make sure the soil dries out completely before watering again to avoid overwatering.

Air plants, on the other hand, don’t need soil and get their nutrients from the air. They should be soaked in water for about 15-20 minutes every week. After soaking, allow them to dry in a well-ventilated area, as stagnant water can cause rot.

Can air plants be placed in the same container as succulents?

Yes, you can place air plants in the same container as succulents, but be mindful of their different watering needs. When watering succulents, avoid wetting the air plants, as they should be soaked separately.

Also, ensure that air plants have enough space for proper air circulation and can dry out completely after soaking.

What types of succulents are best suited to grow alongside air plants?

The best types of succulents to grow alongside air plants are those that can tolerate higher humidity levels and have similar light requirements. Some great options include:

  • Haworthia – These small, slow-growing succulents are perfect for growing with air plants since they both enjoy bright, indirect light.
  • Echeveria – These attractive rosette-shaped succulents can handle a bit more moisture than other varieties, making them suitable companions for air plants.
  • Sedum – These versatile succulents are known for their ability to withstand various light and moisture conditions, so they can adapt well when paired with air plants.
Author - Stephen Little
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