E xposure to sunlight can turn some Tillandsia species red 

Specific varieties of air plants like the Tillandsia brachycaulos and Tillandsia bradeana are known to turn a shade of red when exposed to bright light.

This trait is attractive for plant collectors who seek them out solely to include this beautiful tone in amongst their collection.

You’ll know if your air plant is receiving too much direct light (essentially drying it out) if the tips of the leaves begins to turn brown instead of red.

If you plan on keeping your air plant indoors where it will get a lot of light in a space that isn’t humid, make sure you mist it at least twice a week.

Providing indirect light for indoor plants is always a safer play if you’re not quite sure what conditions your plant needs to thrive.

If you’re wondering if you can use artificial light to help your air plant turn red, the answer is yes, but you’ll need to follow a few rules to make sure your plant is able to continue photosynthesizing and growing as it would under natural sunlight.

  1. Use full spectrum lighting: Regular lightbulbs don’t provide the wavelengths that help your plants fully photosynthesize and grow. 
  2. Place your plant no further than three feet from the artificial light: Placing your air plant too far away from a weak light source, even a fully spectrum one, will prevent it from being able to absorb enough light to remain healthy. 
  3. In surroundings entirely devoid of natural light consider providing supplementary light for a minimum of 12 hours per day: You’re essentially mimicking natural sunlight here, most grow lights have an automated timer in-built.

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