Air Plants

11/12/11

Of all the fabulous plants you can have in your home, Tillandsias (sometimes called air plants or tillies) are by far the trendiest. Here at City Planter, they have gone from an unknown to one of our hottest items… and for good reason!

Tillandsias are easy to care for, interesting to look at, and can be collected and displayed in many different ways.

 

The most interesting thing about Tillandsias is the reason they are sometimes called an “Air Plant.” Tillandsias don’t need to planted in soil. In fact, don’t plant them at all. Just placing the little plant on a countertop is enough for it to be.  I have seen Tillandsias mounted on mirrors and picture frames, suspended from fishing line across a mantel, nestled in chandeliers, etc.

 

The easiest way to display your air plant, however, is tucked into a glass vessel. The shape is completely up to you, be it a globe suspended from the ceiling or an old repurposed fishbowl on your counter top.  Simply placing your Tillandsia into the glass is cool enough on its own, but here at the store we have started making little worlds by adding some moss or twigs to give the piece dimension. Suddenly your glass because sculptural art!

 

Tillandsia care couldn’t be easier. The thing to remember is that they do not like direct sun. Believe it or not, they will get sunburned! Bright, indirect sunlight is best.  They also respond favorably to florescent lighting if the light is on for 12 hours. The general rule is as much indirect light as you can give your plant.

Watering Tillandsias is also very easy once you know the drill. The biggest mistake with Tillandsias is letting them get too wet. Your air plants need to dry out! If you have your Tillandsia inside a vessel make sure there is no water pooling at the bottom – any standing water will rot your plant. The best way to water is to submerge your plant into a bucket of water once a week for 30mins – 1hr. Pull it out and gently shake out the excess water.  If possible, let your plant dry upside down on a paper towel for an hour to make sure no water pools at the base of the leaves. Then place your plant back into its vessel. Ideally, your plant should fully dry out 4 hours from the time of its soaking.

 

Tillandsias thrive in high humidity, so using a mister 2 or 3 times a week to spray a fine mist into the vessel is a good supplement to the weekly soaking. Just make sure you are not spraying enough water to create a pool.

 

Once you become adept to caring for your Tillandsias, you will begin to see all the places where their could thrive.