Can You Trim Air Plants? Understand Why Pruning Your Unusual Plant Is A Good Idea

can you trim air plants

Air plants, or Tillandsia, are a unique type of plant that can be found in many homes and gardens. Unlike other types of plants, air plants do not need soil to survive – they get their nutrients from the air around them. As such, caring for an air plant is much different than tending to one rooted in soil. Which is why you may be wondering, can you trim air plants? Because they seem so different from other plants!

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In this article we’ll discuss why it’s important to trim your air plant and how you can do it safely without damaging these unusual plants!

Can You Trim Air Plants?

Yes, you can trim air plants! In fact, it can be extremely beneficial to the plant to trim air plants. One important aspect of keeping your air plant healthy is pruning and trimming off parts of the leaves, browning leaves, roots and pups as needed. Doing so will help keep your air plant looking its best while promoting growth.

Why Your Should Be Trimming Air Plants

Trimming your air plants helps to remove dead or damaged leaves that may be detracting from the look of the plant. It can also remove any brown tips caused by an accumulation of salts on the leaves due to too much fertilizer.

How Can You Trim Air Plants?

So now we’ve decided that you can trim air plants, how do you do it? And this depends on what you’re trying to prune, and how your air plant is looking!

I suggest using small, sharp scissors, like these bonsai scissors for trimming your air plants for precise pruning.

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Pruning Air Plants Roots

While air plants don’t need to live in soil, some of them still grow roots. These are mostly for stability, to keep them from blowing away in the wind in nature.

If your air plant has long roots, is beginning to look overgrown, or you just don’t like the look of your air plant having roots, trim them back. Use sharp scissors and snip the roots close to the base of the plant, taking care to not damage the plant itself.

Pruning Blooms off Air Plants

Another reason you may need to be pruning air plants can be to remove the old blooms from the plant. If you have a variety of air plant that blooms, to help maintain the health of your plant, you’ll want to prune of the flowers once they’re finished. Snip them off at the base of where they grew. Make sure to use sharp scissors or clippers and be careful not to cut the leaves near the bloom.

Trimming Pups From Air Plants

Air plants can also form pups, which are like small clones of your original air plant. Trimming these off can expand your air plant collection, and keep your current air plant healthy.

To trim these off, you’ll want to use sharp scissors or a pair of clippers. Gently twist the pup away from the main air plant, and then snip it at its base. Once the pup is cut free, you can take care of in the same manner as the original air plant.

Keep reading about air plant pups on how long do air plants live.

Pruning Brown Leaves on Air Plants

If your air plant is beginning to look brown, it may be time to do some trimming. Browning leaves on air plants can occur due to an accumulation of salts on the leaves caused by too much fertilizer, not enough water, or age. To help improve the health of your air plant, you’ll want to carefully snip off any browning leaves, either the entire leaf if it’s completely brown, or just the tips that have browned.

Avoid Over-Pruning

Like any plant, you don’t want to over-prune your air plant. If you take too many leaves off for aesthetics or anything, it’s likely the plant won’t be able to photosynthesize as much as it needs. So take care to only trim off what is necessary.

Can You Trim Air Plants? In Summary

In summary, air plants can be trimmed to help maintain their health and improve their appearance. Trimming off browning leaves, roots, blooms, and pups can help keep your air plant looking its best. When trimming air plants, it is important to use sharp scissors or clippers and take care not to damage the plant itself.

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