Plant Care Instructions
The plant care that we provide here are guidelines we’ve developed from our knowledgeable growers and experienced staff. Plant care varies depending on the environment that they are in. Please feel free to contact us for more specific information.
Since Tillandsias are air plants, they do not need soil to grow in. They do however need light and water. Tillandsias prefer bright light and generally like to be within 5 feet of a window.
They need to be watered twice a week in the summer and once a week in the winter. To water your tillandsia, take it to the sink and run it under the faucet for a minute or two until it turns a brighter green. Then, shake it out and let it dry out a bit upside down so that any water down in the leaves comes out. Water that is left down in the leaves towards the stem of the air plant can cause the air plant to rot, which will eventually kill it. Be sure to keep your plant in a place where it receives plenty of air circulation. If your air plant is in a terrarium that makes it impossible to take it out to water it, then you can spray the air plant with a mister. It is best to do this lightly and often. After each watering give your plant time to dry before placing it back into any type of container for at least an hour. Airplants like to be fertilized once a month or so during the warm months when they are growing the most. We recommend MaxSea and carry it for sale in the shop.
Indoor Cactus & Succulent Care
Water & SunLight
Once every 2 - 3 weeks, or when soil is dry. Plants near a sunny window might need more frequent waterings. (Removed text about taking plants outside occasionally as this can shock them to have too much of a change in environment).
Cacti and succulents need at least a few hours of direct sun each day. When kept indoors beware sunny areas that don’t get a lot of air flow; these areas can get too hot and possibly cause the plants to burn. Keep in mind that cacti and succulents are able to withstand drought better than wet soil. Let the soil dry out between waterings, as drenching an already damp pot may result in rot.
Outdoor Cactus & Succulent Care
Sun Light and Temperature
Apart from shade-loving woodland plants such as Christmas Cactus or Orchid Cactus, most succulents need as much light as possible, and when well established will be more robust, of a better color, and flower more freely, when exposed to full sun. They will tolerate less light, but will be a paler green, and less inclined to flower well. During the growing season, temperature and light can be considered together; those plants requiring some shade usually preferring somewhat lower temperatures. During winter, most succulents survive well with a nighttime low of 40 degrees F and daytime temperatures in the 60's. Many, particularly those from mountainous regions, will withstand much greater cold, even actual freezing, so long as they are fairly dry, and often flower much more freely as a result.
Whether being grown in containers or in the ground, the growing medium should always be well-drained. Many mixtures will work, including soil-free mixes, provided that there is sufficient coarse material such as grit, lava rock, or perlite present to enable surplus water to drain away quickly. When wet, an ideal soil mix would contain 50% solids, 25% liquids, and 25% gases. Repotting into fresh mix and/or a larger container should be done annually for young plants, less often for slower growers and larger specimens. Best times are spring or fall.
Like all other plants, cacti and succulents will only grow and bloom well with ample water during the growing season. This varies from daily for small pots in full sun, to once or twice a week for plants in larger containers receiving some shade, or in the ground. As a rule, leafy kinds need more water than swollen-stem kinds. In the winter, or their resting period, watering should be limited to only an amount sufficient to prevent shriveling. Thin-leaf succulents and Epiphyllums are exceptions and should be kept moist year round.
Air: As important to plant growth as water, air should always be in good supply and freely circulating, in order to provide the plants with oxygen and carbon dioxide for growth, as well as discouraging pests and diseases, which thrive in conditions of high humidity.
Once the nutrients in a container soil mix have been depleted, supplemental feeding will be required. We recommend using a liquid fertilizer like Maxsea or some other organic brand. In addition, fall feeding with a 0-10-10 liquid fertilizer improves winter hardiness and flowering.
Pests and Disease
On the whole, most succulents and cacti stay fairly free of problems, but outbreaks do occur. Insects such as aphids, mealy bug, scale, or spider mite can often be controlled by washing with a jet of water, or failing that by spraying with a 50/50 mixture of isopropol alcohol water with a drop of dish soap. Should neither remedy work, Safer Soap is a good option. Fungal attacks usually respond to spraying with fungicides such as Serenade or Neem Oil. Large cuts made during propagation or to remove infected areas should be treated with sulphur or another appropriate fungicide as a preventive measure.
Sun Light & Temperature
Closed glass containers trap and hold heat, and excessive heat is perhaps the main cause of death in terrariums. It is important that terrariums not be placed above radiators or in direct sunlight. A newly planted terrarium should be placed in shade for about a week. Then adjust light according to the requirements of the plants. Most terrariums do better in diffused or filtered light than direct sunlight. Artificial light such can also be used. If there is too much light, leaves will wilt and develop burned spots. Move the terrarium to a shadier spot if this happens. Too little light and the plants will develop tall, thin stems that are weak and unable to hold up leaves and the leaves will be pale and fragile. In this case, increase amount of light slowly.
In an open terrarium, test soil before watering. For plants that like moist soil, the top earth should feel barely moist before you add water. For cacti and succulents, touch below the surface layer. Lower soil should be only slightly damp. If you have a closed terrarium, these should rarely if ever need water.
If the terrarium plants’ leaves wilt and look pale and moss becomes brown or faded, add a little water and mist leaves.
Excessive water encourages the growth of molds and causes plant decay. If your terrarium walls have more than 25% condensation, remove the cover until they clear. You may have to do this more than once. In a closed terrarium, there should be only occasional clouding.
Terrarium plants should be scaled to the size of the container. As plants grow, prune back those that show signs of overcrowding. Clip and remove dead leaves. Replace dead plants. Remove plants that become too big.
Molds and Mildew
The presence of mold or mildew indicates that one of three things is wrong. The terrarium may contain too much water. Air circulation may be poor. Or you may be using plants that do not do well in closed terrariums. Remove infected plants immediately and correct the environment by letting the terrarium dry out or increasing air circulation.
Insects and Pests
Cut out infected area and spray with an insecticide like 50/50 mixture of isopropol alcohol and water with a drop of dish soap.
Keep the container clean. Remove moisture or dust from the glass. Remove algae, which may form a green coating on the glass. Clean leaves and remove dead leaves and blossoms promptly to prevent the growth of fungi.