Last updated on February 19th, 2019
In recent years, there has been a resurgence in the love for indoor plants. Driven largely by millennials, this nurturing trend is taking root across all age groups, with one of the most popular plants being Tillandsias, better known as air plants.
Nicknamed air plants because they get most of their nutrients from the air, these easy-care plants are a fun, decorative way to accessorize any space. According to most estimates, there are more than 650 types of Tillandsia plants ranging in size from an inch to more than 15 feet. Many boast colorful leaves and will grace their owners with flowers once in their life.
Easy Care Tips
If your thumb isn’t green, don’t worry, air plants are one of the hardiest and most resilient types of indoor house plants. They grow without dirt, instead rooting themselves to rocks, trees, shrubs, and even rooftops. To take the best care of air plants, follow these easy tips:
- Place your air plant where it will receive bright or indirect light most of the day. A southern or eastern-facing window is best.
- If you need to use artificial light, fluorescent light is preferred. Keep your air plant no more than 3 feet away from the light for 12 hours a day.
- Water your air plant about every one-to-two weeks by soaking it in warm tap water for 5-10 minutes. Leave your plant upside down on a towel to drain overnight before putting it back.
- Once a week, use a mister, like this one from Etsy, to thoroughly mist your air plant to the point of being moistened (but not dripping.) Preferably, water and mist in the morning.
- Keep an eye on your air plant. If the tips of its leaves start to turn brown, or the leaves curl under more than usual, your air plant is showing signs of being adequately watered.
- If the leaves are falling off and the plant is turning black or brown, it has likely been overwatered and will probably not survive.
Longevity of Air Plants
If well cared for, air plants usually live for several years. A sign that they are reaching their peak of life is when they flower, which they only do once. Depending on the variety, they will bloom anywhere from a few days to a few months. Before, during, or after this time, they will propagate by producing two to eight “pups”, or baby air plants. The pups can be removed from the mother plant when they are 1/3-1/2 its size.
Decorating with Air Plants
Since air plants are not confined by containers, there are numerous ways they can be displayed. One of the most common containers is a hanging terrarium, which allows them to receive the air and filtered light they need. They can also be tucked in conch shells, pods, votive cups, or nestled in flower arrangements. The options are as endless as the varieties themselves. For more creative display ideas, check out Small Garden Ideas.
It is easy to see why air plants are so popular. They are fun, versatile, and low maintenance, making them perfect for any indoor environment. They are also easy to purchase. A great place to shop for a variety of air plants is AirPlantShop.com. Not only can you get beautiful and healthy air plants, but a portion of your purchase will help build a school in Guatemala.