The plant care that we provide here are basic guidelines we’ve developed with our knowledgeable growers and experienced staff. Plant care varies depending on the type of plant and the environment they are in. Our blog has more detailed information about specific plants, watering, and fertilizing. There is a general light and water graphic at the bottom of this page.
Please feel free to contact us for more specific information.
While tillandsias don't need soil, they do need light and water. Tillandsias prefer bright light and generally like to be within two to three feet of a window. 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.
Tillandsias need to be watered once a week, possibly more in the summer. To water your tillandsia, fill a cup or bowl with water and soak them for 10 to 15 minutes, until they turn a vibrant, wet green. When they're done soaking, shake them out and turn them upside down to dry. Make sure they dry thoroughly within four hours of watering to prevent rot. Air plants can 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.
Once every 2 - 3 weeks, or when soil is dry to the touch, like an unused sponge. You can also get used to how much the pot weighs when well watered and when dry. If the pot is light when lifted, it's time to water. 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.
Succulents enjoy at least a few hours of direct sun a day. Without enough sun they will stretch and become leggy. Be careful with sunny areas that don’t get a lot of air flow, like window boxes. These areas can get too hot and cause the plants to burn.
Most succulents need as much light as possible, and when well established in a good environment with plenty of bright, direct light will be more robust, more vibrant, and flower more freely. While most succulents and cacti prefer very bright and direct light, some like a little more shade. Contact us or research your specific plant for more precise guidelines.
Like indoor succulents, make sure your outdoor cacti and succulent have good air flow to prevent burning, pests, and disease.
Succulents and cacti will always prefer to be potted in a well draining potting mix. In the shop we use a standard cactus mix, though many other mixtures will work so long as they are rocky enough to drain well.
Watering depends on the type of succulent. or cactus, its container, and the weather. Plants in full sun will need to be watered once or twice a week, especially during summer. If they are in a small pot, they may need to be watered more often. Plants in the ground or in larger containers, or plants in some shade, will need to be watered less. 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. If you notice shriveling, it's time to water.
Though charming, terrariums can be finicky, and require close attention to sun exposure and enclosed heat. Closed glass containers trap and hold heat, and excessive heat can be the downfall of a terrarium. Do not put your terrariums in extremely warm places or in direct sun. 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 though, depending on the plants, artificial light can sometimes be used. If there is too much light and trapped heat, leaves can wilt or develop burned spots. If this happens, move the terrarium to somewhere with less light. With too little light, the plants will stretch and grow leggy and unbalance. In this case, increase amount of light slowly.
To water your terrarium, we recommend heavily spraying it with a spray bottle, letting water run down the sides and saturating the soil. Think of it as a tiny rainstorm. It can take a bit of time but doesn't dislodge soil and helps maintain the look of the terrarium. Gently watering by pouring water on the soil is fine as well.
In an open terrarium, test soil before watering by touch the soil or looking through the sides to see if soil is dry, or if there is sitting water. For plants that like moist soil like ferns, the top of the soil should feel moist, like a wrung out sponge. For cacti and succulents, make sure soil is dry to the touch and has no sitting water.
If your terrarium is closed, think of it as a tiny earth. A happy terrarium will have no condensation during the day and some condensation at night. If there is condensation during the day, remove the top so some water can escape and soil can dry a bit. If it is dry at night, add more water to balance the system.
Look out for signs of mold, mildew, or pests. These are signs that something is wrong. As always, feel free to contact us for help.
Here are some rough infographics to help guide you in properly caring for your plant. While every home varies, these are some good places to start when considering light and water for your plants.