For additional help check out our Air Plant Care Page. Okay, so your plants have arrived and you know nothing about how to care for them. The first thing you should do is place them in a bowl or glass filled with water. Go grab a cup of coffee and remove them after approximately 30 minutes. Pick them up by the base and turn the plant upside down, then gently shake to remove any excess water that may remain. If your plant has areas that can retain water (cups) always make sure that you these are not filled with water. Now place your air plant on a towel or paper tower and let it. Three to four hours should do it. For most plants this process should be done weekly.
If you display your plants in a container, always remove it before watering. Terrariums, bowls, etc... will hold moisture which will make your plant rot, usually this starts at the base. If you have plans to permanently secure your plant to any type of object (driftwood, etc...) make sure you choose a material that can be immersed with the plant and will also dry completely. If you live in warmer regions and/or areas where humidity is fairly low, you may need to water your plants more often. Maybe two or three times weekly. You can use a spray bottle and mist the plants every few days in between your normal waterings. But, immersing the plants is the preferred method and will yield the best results.
Proper watering, air circulation, proper sunlight and medium temps (fifty to ninety degrees) are the keys for air plant care. Different varieties can require different environments to flourish.
Plants with soft, thin leaves seem to respond well to cooler temperatures. This also includes Spanish Moss. If you have the plants outside and the leaves are curling dramatically or appear to be droopy, move them inside. Spanish Moss with turn brown if they receive too much sun or are left in very warm areas. You may also find that the plants will not do well if placed close to an exterior window that received direct sunlight. These types of plants seem to need more water, must dry completely and do not do as well in enclosed receptacles (terrariums). Air flow for these guys is also key.
If you have purchased a plant with stiff leaves or one with thicker/broader leaves, then they have different requirements. These plants tend to be hardier and require less water than the soft leaf varieties. Xerographicas for example fit into this category. They do much better outside and seem to adapt well to warmer, drier conditions. They also are very tolerant if placed in areas that receive more direct sunlight.