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Hot Summer Sun & Air Plants

Air plants can get sunburn....

Air plant leaves possess tiny scales, properly called trichomes, that serve two major functions. First, they assist the plant in absorbing water and nutrients. Second, they help to reflect sunlight off of the leaf surface. If you live in the south, the grayer your plant, the safer it is in the sun. Florida direct sunlight in summer is never good for your plants but morning and late afternoon sun can be tolerated for the fleshier, grayer airplants such as Recurvafolia or the Seleriana x Circinnatoides.

Notice the thickness of the leaves (better to hold moisture) and the grey color. The Streptocarpa mini x is another good choice and is very pretty with great clumping characteristics.

Signs of Sunburn include brown spots, dried out patches appearing on inside growth, and very unhealthy splotchy appearance of outside leaves when totally wet.

Taking Care of Sunburned Plants

Take the plant out of the sun and provide it with bright light. (A sun shade cloth can be used as cover), gently pull off outside leaves if totally damaged and easily removed. Cut with scissors if you can't gently remove manually. Soak plant weekly in a vitamin B revive bath. Sprits with water daily. Do not fertilize until plant is healthy. If plant is "in pup" and the pups have been damaged, remove them also trying to save as many as you can. Don't be discouraged or impatient and do not over-soak as the plant will come apart if it stays too wet too long.

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