Second in our 'Watering Your Air Plant' series is soaking! This is one of the most common ways that people water their plants. It ensures that your plants get fully saturated with water, and is great for the more mesic varieties of plants. Learn more about the difference between mesic and xeric plants in our article Mesic Air Plants Vs. Xeric Air Plants.
Soaking is the best way to ensure that greener, less drought tolerant plants are getting enough water. If you read our previous blog post about dunking, you learned that some plants such as the T. xerographica, prefer the dunking method to soaking because they don’t need as much water as other air plants due to their native environment and abundance of trichomes.
The climate, time of year, and where you plants are kept, are all factors to take into consideration when it comes to watering, but as a general rule, we recommend soaking the air plants once a week for 30 minutes to an hour. You can use a bowl, a bucket, or your sink, just make sure that the plants can be completely submerged.
Rain or pond water is best, but you can use tap water as well. We recommend letting tap water sit out so that the chemicals can dissipate before you water your plants. Do not use distilled or softened water to soak your plants. ** If you are in a drier climate such as out west, near Arizona etc. give your plants a longer soak each week, or soak them a couple times a week. **
After soaking, lightly shake out an excess water and set them out on a towel to dry so their leaves are facing down. Allow them to dry completely before adding them back to their terrarium, holder, or planter. Excess water left in their leaves can cause them to rot. Soaking at least once a week will ensure that your plants stay happy, healthy, and thriving.