How do I take care of my air plants when I go on vacation?

This weekend I am going to San Francisco for the first time! And while the lure of the Bay, the history, the coffee and the food are calling me, something is on my mind.

Who will take care of your plants when you go on holiday? With traditional potted plants, you can add moisture beads to your soil, you can use the slow drippers - glass bulbs, upside down wine bottles, or have a friend or neighbor water them occasionally.

But how do you take care of your air plants? Most people, when they encounter air plants for the first time have to be convinced that they're real! So if you're making a beeline for the airport, and already have a mental Mojito in your hand, the last thing you want to do is to discuss air plant care.

Lucky for you, I have a quick how-to guide for preparing your air plants for your trip!


Ideally the day of or the day before you leave, soak your air plant for up to 4 hours. That way it will ensure that you are saturating all of the trichomes on your plant. Like always, after it's done soaking, flip it upside down and shake off the excess water.


In order to make sure that they don't sit in any water for extended periods of time, as well as to ensure that any trapped water between the leaves won't lead to mold while you're away, I like to place them upside down on a stainless steel wire cookie cooling rack. That ensures that they aren't sitting in a pool of water, and that a bit of air can circulate around them.


Assuming that you like to close and lock your windows before you go on vacation (as you should!) it also means that the air can get a bit stagnant while you're away. If you have a small fan, you can place it near your plant. Obviously, the stronger the fan, the further away you should keep it from your plant. That way it doesn't dry out your plant too much while you're gone - negating the benefits of the extended soaking.


The best place to keep your air plants at all times, especially when you'll be away on vacation - is somewhere that receives indirect sunlight. If you are used to moving it when the direct sun lands on it in the late afternoon, and you won't be around to do so - it may dry out your plant too quickly or lead to the tips burning. And while that latter of the two is an easily fixed cosmetic concern - it's always better to err on the side of caution.


When you come back, you should give your plant a good restorative soak. Especially if it is warmer, sunnier and drier where you are. Air Plants are very enduring plants, and will enjoy a nice soak upon your return.


Like with all things, there are exceptions to every rule. Each plant has their own specific particularities, likes and dislikes. If you live in the middle of the desert, and it's going to be over 100 degrees Fahrenheit every day, and you will be gone for a month? Then you may have to ask a friend or neighbor to take care of your plants while you're gone. A good selling point to convince them to foster your plants is to tell them how pretty, clean, and easy they are to care for. Also, they're wildly easy to transport.

If you need a quick "How To" Guide to help walk them through caring for them, you can always send them over to my Air Plant Care page.

And if you have any of the air plants below, these guides are perfect for either you or them.

Do you have any other questions about this incredibly interesting air plant or any other air plants? Feel free to view my Introduction to Air Plant Care or my Air Plant Care Blog Series, or contact me.