Do you have a history of killing plants that you purchased or received as a gift? Are you afraid to decorate with houseplants, fearful that they may wilt away and die? Fear no more our brown-thumbed friends, air plants are the solution to your gardening woes.
Air plants are notably different than most houseplants since they are very hardy and require far less care and attention. The low maintenance nature of these plants make them ideal for novice gardeners and their beauty and charm make them attractive for plant lovers of all skill levels. Before you begin decorating with this whimsical plant variety, here are the five things you need to know about air plants:
#1: Air plant is the common name for Tillandsia.
If you have started to research air plants, you may have run across another lengthier term, tillandsias. Don’t get confused, this is not a different type of plant. Air plants and tillandsias are one in the same with air plants being the more commonly used name.
#2: Create an aerium and impress all of your friends.
We recommend creating a decorative aerium for your new air plant. An aerium is simply a terrarium for air plants. Like a terrarium, you can use decorative mosses, stones, sand, sticks and miniatures to create your aerium environment inside a glass vessel.
# 3: Air plants require absolutely no soil.
Air plants collect their nutrients from the air and take them in through their leaves. Air plants do not use their roots to perform this task. Their roots are used for attaching themselves to trees and rocks in their native habitats. Therefore, air plants require no soil. In fact, you should not plant your air plants in soil, as the moisture in the soil will cause rot.
#4: Air plants still require water just like any other live plant.
Although they do not require soil, air plants still require water to survive. There are a couple of methods of watering that can be used separately or together. These methods are soaking and misting. When you first purchase your air plants, soak them in a bath of room temperature tap water for 20 to 30 minutes in a sink or a bowl. Expert Tip: Do not allow air plants that are blooming to soak. Instead, allow them to rinse under running water. After soaking, lay them out on a towel for 2 to 4 hours to dry thoroughly as air plants are prone to rotting. Repeat this soaking procedure once every month. Misting is another recommended method of watering your air plants. You should mist your plants once every 4 to 5 days. It is best to mist your plant thoroughly; however, do not mist to the point that water is dripping off of the plant and collecting at its base in order to avoid rot.
#5: Air plants can be displayed in a variety of containers, so unleash your creativity!
One of our favorite things is how versatile air plants are. Without the need for soil, air plants can be displayed almost anywhere, in any way. Twisted pieces of decorative wire, sea shells and even found driftwood can be transformed into a decorative display piece for your air plants. Some of our favorite containers for air plants are our hanging terrariums and modern glass cylinders.
Now that you know the basics about air plants, have fun putting them on display in your space!