How To Save A Rotting Air Plant?

Air plants are beautiful living plants that grow without soil. Their unique leaves absorb the nutrients they need from the air, so they can literally be hung in your window or on your wall. However, if neglected the leaves will begin to turn color and shrivel, so here are some tips on how to save a rotting air plant.

Air plants (Tillandsia) are truly unique types of plants. Think about it; they can survive without soil and only need humidity, air, warmth and light. Unfortunately, these plants can also die if their care requirements aren’t met. Air plants that have been neglected may start to show signs of rot or decay. The good news is that it’s easy to save an air plant that has started to go bad.

So how do you save a rotting air plant? The best way to save a rotting air plant is by practicing proper watering techniques. Get rid of the old water in your air plant’s container, then mist it with distilled water. Ensure the plant gets enough air circulation and stays out of direct sunlight for a couple of days until it shows signs of improvement. You can also place your air plant in a semi-shaded location as a temporary measure. This helps the plant’s potential for recovery.

Air plants are such a beautiful addition to any home, but it can be heartbreaking when they start to rot. If you want to save your air plant from rot, this article is for you. It will be looking at the most common causes of rot and how to fix them.

What Causes Air Plant Rot?

Overwatering

Overwatering is the main cause of rot for this houseplant. Air plants are desert-dwelling, so they don’t need much water to survive. If you’re using tap or filtered water on your air plant, make sure that it’s distilled or rainwater. Using normal drinking water will kill the plant.

Overwatering leads to the rotting process because air plants can only absorb so much water before they start to rot. This can happen even if you’re watering the plant once a week.

Overwatering is one of the most common reasons an air plant starts to rot.

Poor Airflow

If there isn’t proper airflow around your air plant, it’s going to be difficult for them to absorb water from their leaves. Poor airflow can be caused by placing your air plant in a dark, enclosed space. If you’re keeping the air plant on top of another object, then it’s blocking airflow and moisture from entering or exiting that area.

Poor airflow can also make it difficult for your houseplant to dry out after watering them. This eventually leads to rotting.

Bad Bacteria and Fungus

If your air plant is damp, it will be a breeding ground for bacteria and fungus. The humid environment that rot-inducing fungi need can easily occur in an enclosed area or if the plant becomes overwatered. This leads to slimy surfaces on the leaves of the houseplant, and white or gray fuzz can grow on the plant. If you notice this happening, then it’s time to take action.

Bad bacteria and fungus lead to rot because they break down cells of living things, eventually causing decomposition. This is why air plants that have been infected with these fungi need immediate care if you want them to survive long.

Signs Of Rot On Air Plants

While under the right conditions, air plants rarely rot, but when they do, it’s important to take action right away. If you notice any of these signs, then it may be time to save your air plant.

It looks like the leaves are wilting or curling up at the edges

If you see that some of the outermost leaves on your air plant are starting to curl inwards, it could be a sign of rot. This is because the plant cells within these leaves are decomposing, causing them to dry up and curl.

If your air plant are wilting or curling up, the succulent is probably starting to rot.

There’s brown or black spots on your air plants

If you see dark patches forming all over your houseplant, it has probably fallen victim to infection with bad bacteria or fungus. These fungi form spores that spread to other areas of the plant and can cause it to rot very quickly.

The soil smells like rotten eggs or sewage

Bad bacteria and fungus emit a strong, pungent smell that is unmistakable if you’re familiar with it. If your air plant’s soil starts to smell like this, you should take immediate action because these fungi break down the plant’s cells.

White or gray fuzz growing on the air plants

If you see white or gray mold-like growths on your air plant, it has probably fallen victim to one of these fungi that causes rot. These fuzzy patches are made up of spores, and they will continue to spread if not taken care of immediately.

Ways to Save a Rotting Air Plant

If you notice your air plant is rotting, relax; this is not the end of the world. There are several ways you can help your air plant out of this unfortunate situation, and it all starts with these simple steps:

Take Your Air Plant Outdoors For an Hour or Two

Taking your air plant outside for a few hours each day will give them some fresh air to breathe, which is often enough to save their life. This is especially true if you’ve noticed your plant has started to rot because of poor airflow. If there’s no sign of rotting, then it might take a few days before the air outside will save them from going bad.

Once you notice that your houseplant isn’t absorbing water anymore and its leaves are starting to look wrinkled or slimy, it’s time to start this process.

Remove Your Houseplant From Its Pot or Container

If your air plant is turning bad because of the potting soil you used, removing them from their container will help save them. You can accomplish this by gently pulling off any moss on top of the soil with your fingers before setting the plant aside.

Add A Little Water to Your Air Plant, But Do Not Overwater

If you notice your air plant is starting to rot because it wasn’t absorbing water properly, then the first thing that you should do is add a little bit of distilled or rainwater directly on top of its soil. After adding moisture back into this desert-dweller, wait for about an hour or two before adding any more water to the soil.

To save a rotting cactus, add just a little bit of water and avoid overwatering the succulent.

Be Careful Not To Overwater Your Air Plant Again

While it’s important that you add moisture back into your air plant, make sure not to overdo it again. It might take several days (or weeks) until the humidity around this houseplant starts to go back up again, so keep the soil moist but not soaking wet.

Use Only Distilled or Rainwater on Your Air Plant Again

Now that you’ve noticed your air plant has started to rot because of how much water they were absorbing, make sure never to use normal tap or filtered drinking water ever again. This is because water from these sources may contain chemicals, minerals and pollutants that can damage the health of your air plant.

Return Your Air Plant to Its Pot

Finally, after you’ve successfully removed the rotting parts on your houseplant leaves, start slowly adding distilled or rainwater to their soil again. After a few weeks, you can also add some moss back over the top of this desert-dwellers soil and then place it back in its usual spot inside your home or office.

For even better results, try using a spray bottle to mist the air around your plant and keep it moist all day long. Doing this will help raise humidity levels right away, which is extremely beneficial for saving an air plant that’s starting to rot due to low moisture levels in the air.

Keep Your Air Plant Clean at All Times For Better Results

The final step that you can take to help save your air plant is keeping it clean. This means you should wipe the leaves of this houseplant every day using a damp cloth or paper towel so that they won’t collect dust and other particles around your home or office space. Dust on top of their leaves will only make them rot faster, so keep them as healthy as possible by wiping them clean.

Keeping your air plant clean at all times will make it much easier to save a rotting succulent.

Stay Away From Plant Food and Other Chemicals

Do not use plant food or any other uncertified fertilizers on your air plants, as this can do more harm than good for these unique houseplants. If you notice that the leaves of your desert-dweller have started to turn brown around the edges, then you should remove them from the soil and put this houseplant away for a few days.

If your air plant isn’t absorbing water anymore or its leaves are starting to look wrinkled, it’s time to start these simple steps immediately. In case there is no sign of rotting on the leaves, then the chances are that humidity levels in their immediate environment have gone down.

To help fix this, try adding a little bit of distilled or rainwater directly on top of the soil and wait for an hour before adding more water. If your air plant is turning bad because it absorbed too much moisture from its surroundings over time, remove them from their container by gently pulling off any moss on top of the soil. Then, add a little bit of distilled or rainwater directly on top of their soil and wait for about an hour before adding more water to the container.

If you notice brown spots forming around your air plant’s leaves, then you should remove them from this houseplant entirely and put them away for a few days so that humidity levels can go back to normal.

Conclusion

Rot in air plants can be a serious problem. This is especially so if you notice brown spots forming on the leaves of this plant. If there is no sign of rotting, then the chances are that humidity levels in your home or office have gone down because it’s starting to get colder outside as winter sets in. Taking the right steps towards saving your air plant is essential. Whether it’s making sure these desert-dwellers get enough humidity levels or adding distilled or rainwater directly on top of this houseplant, you are doing their health a huge favor.

Last update on 2022-09-28 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

read this next

Cacti Vs. Succulents: If you’re new to the world of succulents, or are looking to purchase your first piece, it may be helpful to compare the two most common types of fleshy stemmed plants. Though they are similar in appearance, cactus vs. succulent stems have distinct visual differences that set them apart.
Watering Portulacaria Afra Elephant Bush: What to do, what to avoid. When you water your Elephant Bush is very important as much as how you water it.An under watered Portulacaria Afra presents the same symptoms as an over watered one and the difference between them is the soil they are planted in.
Mother of Thousands (MOT) is a very interesting succulent that produces little plants around the mother plant. They stick out randomly from the base and look like they are falling off the plant. This very unique and queer quality intrigues people and makes them wonder how this succulent propagates.
Sometimes, you need to cut your cactus to help the plant grow healthier. The signs that indicate that your cactus needs pruning include overgrown leaves and stems, mealybug infestation, rotting, dead stalks after blooming, and excess height.
Bunny Ears Cactus is a very unique plant that has many interesting ways to grow and develop. It is one of the most popular types of cactus mainly because of its unusual growth patterns. Often do people buy a Cactus and wonder how to grow it properly? Here is the complete guide
Echeveria are popular succulents that make wonderful houseplants. These stunning plants can be found in many stores, but propagating an Echeveria yourself is much easier than you might think!
Succulents are great for gardeners who love beautiful plants and do not have a green thumb. Succulent plants are low maintenance and can thrive right through the winter when frost and snow is present. What temperature does a succulent need in order to survive?
Looking for a complicated, yet interesting cactus for your garden? The Jumping cholla Cactus should be part of your list. These low-maintenance plants are not only fast growing but also lenient to the busy and forgetful lot.
Got your cactus plant broken and wondering what to do next? Struggling to find the right information that you need on fixing a broken cactus? Well, your dilemma ends here as we get into the nitty-gritty of this vexing problem. Whether you are a novice at gardening or consider yourself an experienced gardener, we will provide you with tips on how to fix your broken cactus and make it grow beautifully without w
Aeonium needs more sunlight than most other succulent species. It requires at least full sun and partial shade is sufficient in winter and cloudy days. Aeonium is a succulent with broad leaves, so it has the ability to photosynthesize much more efficiently compared to other succulent plants.
With propagation, you’ll have new plants in no time. Propagate your succulent pups indoors or out. Whether you decide to start from cuttings or a leaf, as long as your succulent is happy, this is a great way to get more plants.
Venus flytrap
Venus Flytraps are intriguing and rewarding plants to grow. While the plant is small, it can grow very large and will constantly surprise you with it’s appetite for flies, gnats and other unsuspecting insects.
Cactus plants are some of the most unusual plants under the Sun. They have a wide range of uses and applications all over the world. Take a look at some of the animals that depend on cactus plants for their survival.
There are over 1,500 cacti species that come in different sizes, shapes, and colors. The average lifespan of these plants varies greatly from one species to the other. Species such as the Saguaro can live for up to 200 years while jungle cacti species such as Christmas cactus have an average lifespan of between 20 to 30 years

Receive the latest news

Get Our Cacti Newsletter

Stay updated with the latest facts, tips, advice, and more!

Your privacy is important to us.