Air Plants… Easy, Artsy, and Fun! For every level of gardener


Air Plants… Easy, Artsy, and Fun!

Photo Credit: flickr © Megan Amaral

  • Posted December 30, 2013

Air Plants are trendy right now! Air Plants (Tillandsia genus) live on air in the sense that they pull moisture and nutrients from the air through their leaves, rather than from soil. They do not possess true roots, but root-like structures that help them anchor to trees and rocks.

Many have colored foliage or interesting blooms and often the leaves mature from green to red before flowering and then dying. No worries, though…they live several years and produce offshoot “pups" to continue the family line!

air plants

Air Plants can be displayed anchored or unanchored in or on a multitude of places - as long as they get their needed light, air flow, and moisture. Create groupings of them on a wall or shelf or plop them here and there for a touch of surprise. Check out these quick tips to get your collection started and keep it thriving:


air plant

Display your Air Plants

Aeriums, wall hangings, free form, etcetera

  • In clear glass containers (wine glass, fish bowl, aerium container) AIR FLOW is crucial, so be cautious of placing too deep into a container!!
  • Perched atop vintage tea cups, recycled tins, colored bottles or other shabby chic finds
  • Hanging from string or wire
  • Anchored to chicken wire, or screen, in a picture frame
  • On driftwood, rocks, aged twigs or distressed boards (NO treated lumber)
  • Amongst dried moss, shells, stones or tumbled glass bits

air plants on wood

Mounting

Air Plants can be simply laid into place or anchored by their base if needed, with glue, string or wire

  • Glue - liquid nails or hot glue are best, NO superglue
  • Wire or string - not too tight and NOT copper wire

Light

Bright light that is filtered or indirect is best. Don't place air plants directly in front of windows, especially those in glass globes. Outdoors, silvery varieties can take direct sun.

air plants on rock


water air plants

Misting & Watering

Remember, Air Plants do not have roots to take up water nor do they store water like succulents. They take in moisture through their leaves throughout the day and carbon dioxide in the evening.

  • Mist heavily, to fully wet the leaves, 2-3 times per week.
  • When humidity is low such as in desert climates or in a heated room, lightly mist the air directly around the plant daily.
  • Every 2 weeks, remove from container or mounting site and soak, upside down, in water for 2-3 hours.

Shake excess water out after soaking and allow leaves to dry completely (1-3hours) before returning to container or mounting site. Do not allow to sit in water once soaking time is done/while on display.

Do soaking or misting early in the day as Air Plants need dry leaves to “breathe" at night, absorbing carbon dioxide and releasing oxygen.

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Air Plants… Easy, Artsy, and Fun!
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