Decorate with Exotic Easy-Care Air Plants
Tillandsia, the Amazing Air Plant - An Exotic Houseplant Even I Can Grow!
No green thumb, but your living space needs a little green plant life to achieve feng shui perfection? Try the Air Plant, Tillandsia!
There are hundreds of air plant varieties to choose from, and they're ridiculously easy to care for - give them the right growing conditions and they'll take care of themselves. Even here in the north, these epiphytes of southern US and Central and South America can thrive indoors - even for those of us who just can't grow houseplants!
I have great luck growing almost any plant outdoors in my garden, but indoors? Houseplants and I have a sad history... except for the indestructible Aloe Vera, spider plants, cactus, and the delightfully exotic little Tillisandia.
Tiny Vignettes with Real Living Tillandsia Plants
Create your own little tiny landscape (I wonder, should that be "xericape" since watering is not required?) with fascinating air plants, an eye-catching container, and bits of natural materials to accent the green.
Air Plants in Miniature Glass Globe Terrariums
Or you might want to replace the starfish and other decorative bits with your own beach-combing treasures, to create a very personal souvenir of a beach honeymoon or special holiday on the ocean.
I like to hang a glass globe planter like this one in a bright window, but you can also slip them into empty spots on a bookcase or shelves for an eye-catching bit of nature in your decor, if that's what your feng shui is calling for.
When it comes to creating a decorative display or even a miniature landscape with your air plants, really the only limit is your own imagination! Almost any kind of shallow container will do to showcase your air plants, since they don't require any soil or watering in order to grow. You can be quite creative in choosing a display container.
Air Plants in Sea Urchins
Check out the adorable spiky little air plants, growing happily in their pale-pink-colored sea urchin shells - no potting soil required, so no mess or fuss. A fascinating hostess gift idea, or as table decoration or favors for a beach-theme wedding.
Air Plants in Seashells
Easy to Grow House Plant
Here's One Houseplant You Don't Need to Remember to Water!
My guest bathroom at the time was a bright room with two big south-facing windows, done in a beach theme all white-painted wicker and sandy-tan towels with blue accents, so it was easy to decide where to put the air plant.
The warm moist air from baths and showers and the bright indirect light were just right conditions for Tillandsia to grow in, as it takes moisture from the air. Every few weeks, when the weather was especially warm and dry, I popped the plant out of its seashell and dipped the roots in spring water.
My air plant was happy and healthy for a good couple of years, until - suddenly, just out of the blue - Jasper (the Smart Cat of whom I have written elsewhere) decided to start batting around the air plant and then take it apart. There is no accounting for the ideas that cats get into their heads...You'll be glad to know, luckily, air plants are not toxic to cats!
Air Plant Care Instructions: "Benign Neglect"
In fact, unless your home is very dry indoors, you may want to keep a close eye on any Tillandsia you're growing in a mostly-enclosed terrarium or glass globe. Moisture that builds up on the inside of the glass is a sure sign that the air plant is probably getting a little more humidity than it needs, and while that can be fine for a short time (like in the muggy days of late summer), you don't want that to be the permanent condition.
As I mentioned, air plants LOVE to be ignored, which is why they're the perfect houseplant for people who always forget to water houseplants - or to decorate your workplace, where they may be left alone on weekends and vacations. A little "benign neglect" is actually what the air plants seem to thrive on!
One Tillandsia Air Plant Can Multiply
I'm not sure how long my first Tillandsia might have lived without the intervention of Jasper's paws and claws, but I understand they reproduce after their once-in-a-lifetime flowering and you can get a whole lot of babies or "pups" off your original plant, if you're reasonably lucky. I'm going to try this with the new Mexican air plant I just bought for my office terrarium.
Colorful Mexican Air Plants - Tillandsia Ionantha
How's this for a stunner? Mexican air plants start out green, but just wait for the explosion of colors when they burst into glorious bloom! As the plants mature and reproduce, they will grow together into a rather spectacular "Mexican ball" - or you can gently remove the "pups" to plant separately.
There are so many varieties of air plants, and most of them are very inexpensive, so it is tempting to build a full collection. Fascinating plants, really...
Learn More About Tillandsia / Air Plants - Useful Resources
- Save Florida's Native Bromeliads
Factsheets on Florida's Native Bromeliads (Catopsis and Tillandsia species), part of a project by the Florida Council of Bromeliad Societies, the University of Florida, and the Florida Department of Agriculture & Consumer Services (Division of Pl
- Tillandsia - Bromeliad Society (Houston)
Bromeliad fanciers group has detailed information about the Tillandsia genus and its culture, with specifics about growing the plants in the Houston area.
- Tillandsia Club - GCS Forum
Green Culture Singapore has a wonderful forum for plant lovers, and this is the section dedicated to air plants. Even if you're far from Singapore, we're talking about Tillandsia as houseplants so much of the information here will be useful and inter