Air plants are a favorite of many because they photosynthesize at night and emit fresh oxygen into the air while you sleep.
Their infrequent watering needs and lack of soil also make this plant easy to care for even if you don’t have a green thumb.
Although these lovely indoor plants require little care, it is important to note that they can still suffer from common issues, including bugs.
Do Air Plants Attract Bugs?
While air plants won’t necessarily attract bugs on their own, they can suffer from infestations if they are not properly looked after.
An air plant usually won’t attract bugs directly unless the plant is rotting, usually as a result of overwatering.
Some other cases that cause these plants to attract bugs could be a lack of proper air circulation and an extremely humid environment.
Conditions That Attract Bugs To Air Plants
As mentioned, an air plant can attract bugs depending on specific conditions.
Since air plants don’t require any soil, this helps to eliminate one of the biggest attractions for bugs to thrive in.
Most of the time, if you notice your air plant has bugs on it, it is typically due to some form of an overabundance of water.
Overwatering Your Air Plant Can Cause Bugs
One of the biggest and most common struggles for any plant owner is overwatering.
You may think that since air plants don’t have any soil to water that it would be hard to overwater the actual plant, however, air plants are quite sensitive to water and a little usually goes a long way.
There are a couple of ways in which you can water your air plant: You can spray it with a misting bottle or just soak the entire plant in water.
You should only soak your air plant if it has gotten extremely dry and is in bad need of water.
How often you should water your plant will depend on the conditions of the environment your air plants are in, however, you can generally expect to give your air plant a light watering about 1-2 times per week.
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Symptoms Of An Overwatered Air Plant
If your air plant is suffering from overwatering you will notice it.
The base of the plant will turn brown, the plant will be wet to the touch, the leaves will start falling off, or the plant might start emitting a rotten smell.
A Rotting Air Plant Will Attract Bugs
Once your air plant begins rotting, that is when you will most likely notice it attracting bugs.
The most common bugs that will be attracted to a rotting air plant are scales, mealybugs fungus gnats, and whiteflies.
These types of bugs will feed off of the rotten parts of the plant, making it even harder for the plant to survive.
Overwatering is the most common cause of death for an air plant and once bugs get to it, the likelihood for survival is very slim.
So, if you see this occurring in your air plant, you will want to tend to it immediately.
How To Stop Your Air Plant Attracting Bugs
In order to stop your air plant from attracting bugs, it’s important to try to create an environment that it thrives in.
Like most other indoor plants, air plants prefer warmer weather and do not like cold, wet environments.
Providing the right humidity in your home, however, can be a bit tricky when it comes to air plants.
Air plants prefer warm humid environments, as this helps them to absorb the water they need through their leaves.
Unfortunately, many people do not have this type of environment in their homes, especially during the winter season.
Most air plants tend to start experiencing problems during this season due to an indoor environment that is cold and has too much moisture in the air.
This mixed with a lack of proper air circulation will create an overabundance of water in the air and may cause your air plant to begin rotting.
Again, once your air plant begins to rot, that is when bugs will be attracted to it.
In general, situations with an overabundance of water, even if you can see it, is a huge concern for any plant.
Air plants like to dry out, so if you want to keep them healthy and avoid bug infestations, make sure to keep them out of cold, wet environments and avoid overwatering.
How Do I Get Rid Of Bugs In My Air Plants?
You should take action and treat your air plant the second you notice mealybugs or any other bugs on it as they can easily destroy your plant by feeding on its juices.
Use water to flush out any bugs from your air plant.
If the infestation persists, use an insecticide to get rid of the bugs.
Keep a close watch over your plant and repeat the treatment if the infestation remains or comes back.
Overall, air plants are generally very hardy and are easy to care for.
While they can attract bugs in certain conditions, they are highly resistant to them.
You won’t just randomly find an infestation of bugs on your air plants one day, and if you do notice them it will most likely be due to one of the reasons we’ve discussed in this article.