Tillandsia Duratii Air Plants in Bloom in the Sunset

How Much Light Do Air Plants Need?

5 comments by Jamie Beck

One of the best things about air plants is that they require minimal maintenance as compared to many other house plants. However, this doesn’t mean that they are maintenance-free, and just like with most plants, the three main factors that can affect their health and life span are air, water and light. We’ve talked fairly extensively about watering your air plants, so today we’ll talk a bit more about light. 

Tillandsia Ionantha Rubra Air Plants

In general, tillandsias (AKA air plants) prefer bright, but indirect, filtered light. We recommend either south or north facing windows as opposed to east or west, as these tend to get more indirect light.

We’ve experimented with air plants throughout our house and the ones that seem to do best are near our kitchen window, which is partially shaded by outside trees – so they get plenty of natural, filtered light.

Blooming Tillandsia Aeranthos Air Plants

The humidity of your environment can also dictate how much direct light air plants can handle. In general, if your air plants are living in a more humid environment, they will be able to handle a bit more sunlight since they will not dry out as quickly. For example, air plants living outside in the humid Florida environment can often do OK with more sun.
ost air plants do not do well with direct or full sun.


Flat Bottom Glass Globe Terrarium with Sand and Tillandsia Argentea Air Plant


Because they require indirect light, air plants make great office plants as long as they get some light, either indirectly from a window source, or artificially from full spectrum fluorescent lights.

Of course as with anything in nature, there are exceptions. Some of the silver-leafed air plants can handle more direct sunlight. The great Xerographica air plant is one of the few tillandsias that can take full sun (read more about the Xerographica here). We recommend that you experiment with positioning your air plants in different lighting situations to see how they respond best. 




  • JOHN


  • Kay Perry

    I have a bathroom with absolutely no windows. Will air plants survive with just the lighting from the overhead and makeup mirror lighting?

  • Meriel@AirPlantDesignStudio

    Hi Amanda! You should be able to remove the glue without killing the plants. It is actually safe to use hot glue or super glue on plants when adhering them to objects. Hope this helps!

  • Amanda Workman

    I just purchased two globes with airplants. I was so disappointed when I got home and realized the plants were glued in! Can I remove the glue without killing the plants? I probably should just try and return them! Any advice? Thanks

  • coralie mcleod

    Very helpful thankyouu

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