5 Reasons You Shouldn’t Soak Your Air Plant Overnight

Soaking your air plant is a great way to hydrate it, but it can easily overhydrate your plant if you leave it in the water for too long. Overhydration leads to drowning and kills your air plant. When soaking your air plant, you should only let it soak for a few minutes or a half-hour at a time.

You should only submerge your plant underwater if they are extremely dry. Submerging already-wet plants underwater can be detrimental to your air plant’s health. It can cause rotting and over-hydration, killing your air plants.

Always be conscious of how long you soak your plants, or you can cause internal rotting or dehydration to your plant. These can shorten the lifespan of your plant significantly. Instead, it would help if you misted them once per week to maintain an appropriate amount of hydration.

Can You Soak An Air Plant For Too Long?

It is possible to soak your air plants for too long. If you soak your air plants for too long, you can overhydrate them. Overhydrating air plants is a major cause of death for the air plant because plants become mushy and fall apart from internal rot.

To avoid overhydration, lightly soak your air plant for no longer than ten minutes at a time. Soak your air plant twice per day or once a week for up to four straight hours.

How Long Can You Soak An Air Plant?

It is normal to soak your air plant for roughly five to ten minutes in a bowl of clean, de-chlorinated water but the amount of time can increase based on dryness. Soaking your plant in tainted water can hurt your plant immensely, so you should always use water free of impurities.

You never want to overwater your plants, or they can rot from the inside out. Typically, you only mist an air plant once a week at most. Misting or watering your plants more than once per week can overhydrate your plants. Remain aware of your plant care regimen and pay extra care to how long you water your plant.

Can You Soak Air Plants Overnight?

Soaking plants overnight can rehydrate a dry plant. Hydration can be a huge difference in the life or death of a young air plant. Ideally, you will provide your air plants with enough hydration they do not require overnight soaking.

After soaking your air plant overnight, you should leave them out to dry hanging upside down. Leave them to dry in an open space for at least four hours. If you do not leave them to dry, they will rot.

If you choose to do weekly soaking, you should avoid spraying your air plant throughout the week, or you could cause internal molding.

Close up Tillandsia air plant with flower on white background.

Why Should You Not Soak Your Air Plants For Too Long?

Never soak your air plants for too long, or you can overhydrate them. Overhydration can lead to molding, too many nutrients, and much more. 

Be sure the water you use to soak your air plant is full of minerals and nutrients, like rainwater or spring water. Soaking your plant in tainted or poor water is dangerous. Doing so for a long time is especially dangerous to your air plant.

Poor Water

The type of water you use to soak your plants can be detrimental to your health. Your air plant will absorb the water as you soak it, and filthy water can be poisonous to your air plant. Absorbing too much poor water can kill your plant.

Too Many Nutrients

Air plants soak their nutrients from the water. Soaking them for too long can cause the air plant to soak excess nutrients and minerals from the water. Too many minerals can cause your plant to over-mature.


Overhydration of your air plant can cause the roots to mold. To avoid molding, lay your air plants upside down to dry. Allow them to dry entirely before setting them right side up again but avoid drying them in the sunlight, or you can cause them to overdry.


Leaving your air plant to soak too long can lead to too much water retention in the pseudobulb, leading to internal rotting of the air plant. The plant will rot from the inside out. A rotting plant will feel mushy on the inside, and it may begin to fall apart.

Already Dead Plants

It is a waste of time to soak dead air plants. You cannot revive a dead air plant by submerging it underwater for a long time. By submerging a dead plant underwater, you are wasting water.

How Often Should You Soak Your Air Plants?

Soak your air plants underwater once per week for between twenty minutes and one hour. Completely submerge the plant in water, removing it from the pot or other place you keep it.

The amount of time you submerge your air plants depends on how dry your plant is. You should only submerge your plant underwater long-term if they are extremely dry. Soak your plants more frequently, misting in-between each soak if they are a drier plant. 

Unlike dry plants, submerging wet plants underwater can be detrimental to your air plant’s health since it can cause overhydration. A hydrated plant will be colorful and bright. Overhydrated plants can grow mushy and moldy, causing them to fall apart and become potentially infectious.

What Air Plants Should You Avoid Soaking?

Avoid soaking air plants that have already been fully hydrated. If your plant is already hydrated, it will rot from additional water, especially soaking. While soaking plants is helpful, it can sometimes be damaging if you are not careful.

In most cases, you will soak all your air plants in a singular tub or bowl. Soaking your plants together means you must be mindful of your plant and the encasement. Never soak plants together that are infected with disease or covered in fertilizers, or you can damage your air plants significantly.

Maintain a careful plant care routine, including avoiding fertilizer and tending to any sicknesses. If your plant shows signs of sickness, treat them as soon as possible to avoid passing the sickness to other plants. Soaking your air plants will not cure sicknesses.

Fertilized Plants

Soaking a fertilized air plant can be dangerous to the health of other air plants if you issue a cumulative soaking. Fertilizer is unnecessary and poisonous to your air plant. It will poison your other air plants if you soak plants together.

Unhealthy Plants

Never soak your unhealthy air plants in a tub with groups of air plants. Soaking unhealthy air plants together can cause your air plant to pass their sickness to your other air plants. Examples of unhealthy plants are plants infected with sickness or infested with mites.

Here are other reasons why your Air plant is falling apart.

Air Plants In-Bloom

Avoid soaking a blooming air plant underwater. It is normal to submerge the entire plant underwater, but you can keep the bulb above water to keep it undisturbed. 

Overhydrated Plants

Avoid soaking overhydrated air plants, or you may cause internal rotting or other issues. Internal rotting means your air plant is dead and will likely fall apart under your touch. Your plant will become squishy and eventually die. The best way to avoid this is to soak your plant once every ten days and avoid spraying between each soak.

Blossoming Air Plants

Blossoming air plants do not need soaking. However, soaking blossoming air plants can be a great way to encourage your air plant to bloom. It can bring out the bright red colors of your air plant if your plant is blooming.

Dead Air Plants

Don’t bother soaking a dead air plant. Soaking dead air plants will not bring them back to life, so there is no point in attempting to revive them by soaking. Plus, soaking a dead air plant can pass any problems onto other plants.


How Long Do You Soak Air Plants To Revive Them From Extreme Dryness?

Soak your air plant overnight to revive it from extreme dryness. Your air plant will retain moisture from the tub of water as long as it remains submerged underwater. Always remember to dry them upside down, or you could cause the plant to mold.


Soaking your air plant in mineral-rich water can be a great way to rehydrate a dry air plant. If you choose to hydrate your air plant by soaking them, you should avoid spritzing them with water in between each soaking. Spraying your air plant with too much water between each soaking can overhydrate them and cause rotting.

Since you will soak every plant in a single tub, avoid soaking unhealthy air plants together, or you could infect other plants. You could kill your air plant if you soak unhealthy plants with healthy plants. Similarly, it would help if you never soaked fertilizer-covered plants in tubs with other plants, or you risk contaminating other plants.

To revive an air plant from extreme dryness, you can submerge them in water overnight. Be conscious of how long you soak your air plants, or you may lead to overhydration. Never try to revive dead air plants. You cannot revive a dead air plant from the dead.

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