Plant Talk

Air Plant Care Basics

Air Plant Care Basics

Air plants are very hardy and easy to care for. We have seen them survive up to 2 weeks in a shipping box with no light or water (Do not try that at home). When your new air plants arrive you will want get them acclimated 

To lower the stress you will want to soak your air plants in room temperature water for 20 to 60 minutes. Just fill a bowl with good water and submerge the plants completely. Municipal water often has some chemicals such as chlorine and/or fluoride. If you have well water, pond water, creek water or rain water, air conditioning water your air plants will love that. You can also use bottled spring water o. Do not use distilled water as it has fewer natural minerals and nutrients that air plants like. As air plants do not live in soil they get all of their moisture, light and nutrients through their leaves.

You may notice that your air plants have a white, fuzzy, layer on their leaves, especially after a good watering. These are called Trichomes. Trichomes are small outgrowths on the leaves which absorb water and nutrients for the plants. They are not mold or a fungus.

After their soak, remove your air plants from the water, gently shake off the excess water and lay the plants out on their side or upside down so they can dry completely before placing them in a display. A nice sunny window sill is a perfect place to let them dry and soak up some sunlight. Do not place your air plants in direct sunlight. They like bright indirect sunlight. If you are planning on putting them in a glass terrarium, a wall hanging display, or any kind of enclosure (or in a hole to stand them up), it is important that you allow your air plants to dry completely. Letting the air plants dry completely reduces the risk of your plants rotting.

Your air plants should dry within one to two hours. Once they are dry you will want to display them in an area with plenty of bright, indirect sunlight. Do not place them in direct sunlight as this will dry them out very quickly. Typically, your air plants will only need a 30 minute soak in water once or twice per week. If they are in a very dry or warm environment you may need to spritz them with water once a week in addition to the soak. You will know if they are getting too dry if their leaves begin to curl. Give them a good soak if you see this happening. Remember that despite their name, air plants need a little more than just air to live happily.

If you display your air plants in a manner that does not allow soaking them in a bowl of water you can spray them with water two or three times per week instead.

Potting Plant demystified: How and when to Pot your indoor plants

Potting Plant demystified: How and when to Pot your indoor plants

How and when to pot your plants. Plants that are recently repotted can be a little thirstier at first—they need the extra moisture to grow and adjust to their new home. They're also likely to be a bit more sensitive overall. So, try to keep them in the same spot they were before, and don’t overwhelm them with tons of light just yet.Read more
All about Light : Par VS Lumen

All about Light : Par VS Lumen

Lumens are for humans and PAR is for plants. And the two don't have much to do with one another. 

Lumens is a measurement of the total amount of photons being emitted by a light source. Lux is the amount of photons being measured on a surface or at a specific point away from the light. This is what LUX meters are for.  

By contrast, PAR (photosynthetic active radiation) are the photon light radiation which plants "see" to photosynthesize. PAR is a quantum measurement and it cannot be easily converted to LUX. They are each their own interpretation of the photons being measured. 

So Lumens are the spectrum that our eyes perceive. The higher the Lumen the brighter the light source is to our eyes.

PAR is the spectrum that plants absorb or perceive. The higher the PAR the more intense the light source is for the plants. 

PAR is measured with a specialized quantum sensor which accurately measures PAR.  PAR meters and sensors can be found in meters section 

These sensors display PAR in PPFD or photosynthetic photon flux density. When you hear that someone grows 1000 umols/ms this means their PAR level is 1000 PPFD. 

PAR levels change over distance from the light being measured. If you increase the distance from the light PPFD will drop dramatically. This is because an artificial light source produce a limited amount of photons as compared to the sun. These photons don't always shoot straight out of a light. They shoot in many directions. PAR  typically drops by 50% for every 30 cm of distance away from an artificial light source. These are wasted or lost photons that the plant will benefit far less from. 

tomatoes in the flowering stage of growth do best between 800-1000 PPFD. If supplemental C02 is added to the grow area plants can tolerate up to 1500 PPFD. Veg and herb plants on the other hand prefer light levels between 250-400 PPFD. And clones and baby seedlings can't tolerate much more than 100 PPFD. 

An additional consideration in lighting layout for grow is what is called crossover. This is the area between two light sources where the light from each source crosses over. These are the photons that shoot at an angle and are still beneficial to the plants. Crossover is an important consideration and can significantly improve PPFD levels. Lighting layout that consider the distance between fixtures based on the amount of PPFD each light can produce allows light loss to be recaptured creating less wasted photons and more beneficial light for your plants. 

There are many different types of lamps in the market today. Some are better than others at distributing energy evenly. See what lights we have