Appealing Air Plants
An Apple and a Pear
There is such a tremendous variety of appealing plants now. You have a great chance to choose the ones you exactly need in order to make your home look greener and make your entire interior design look different from what you have had so far. It is possible to make it happen with the air plants that you can grow in unique containers. Generally talking, any houseplants can make people happier and more productive. Though we do not know of any studies that have covered the thing that the plants are also good for the soul. Anyhow, if you are a huge fan of air plants, you do need to try to grow them. Their weird and wondrous forms can attract the attention of anyone.
If you know the simplicity of air plants, you can be ready to give them a try. They do not need soil; the display options are nearly endless, just use your imagination. They gather their nutrients, not from soil, but from moisture and particles in the air (decaying leaves, insect debris, and dust). Isn’t it amazing! They are easy to care for and incredibly versatile in terms of display.
Air plants are the common name for Tellandsias, a type of Bromeliad that grows on rocks, trees shrubs, etc. without soil. Unlike other plants, the roots of tellandsias are not used for absorbing water and nutrients but serve only as anchors to attach to trees or rocks. There are over 650 known species plus many hybrids. They grow in parts of the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and South America on trees as epiphyes, and on rocks. Tellandsias make unique houseplants and can be used in terrariums. They can also be grown outside in certain locations and situations.
Air Plants Containers
Cute Air Plant Container
Air plant containers can surely enhance the appearance of the plants as well as the environment it beautifies.
Air Plants Care
Water Spray Bottle
After you got and unpacked your new plants and spent enough time marveling at their unique beauty (and may be giving them even names), give them a good soak in a water bath for about 20-30 minutes. After this shake gently to remove any excess water, and set in a spot with bright light and good air circulation to dry off.
Soaking Air Plants
Do not think of the air plants as if they do not need water since they feed from the air. While they do not grow in soil, they definitely need to be watered. While the plants can survive for long periods of drought, they will not grow or thrive and will eventually die off if water is too poor. If you water your plants on a regular basis and properly, they will stay alive and well for quite some time.
As the best and useful methods of watering your plants, we recommend giving them a thorough rinsing under running water or letting them soak in a bath of water for 20-30 minutes. You may use a bowl, the sink or even the bathtub if you’ve got a family. After their shower or bath, gently shake the plants to remove any excess water from the base and the leaves, and set out to dry in an area with enough air circulation to dry them out in about 4 hours. If your plants need an in-between watering, misting them with a spray bottle is a great method. A plant in bloom should be rinsed rather than submerged in water, and take care when rinsing the delicate flowers. It is preferred to water them once per week, and 2-3 times is recommended for optimal care. A longer, 2-hour soak is recommended every 2-3 weeks. If you are in a drier, hotter climate, more frequent watering or misting will be needed. You will begin to notice that after watering, your plant’s leaves will feel stiffer and full of water and they will be softer and lighter in color when they’re in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign of dehydration.
Light for Air Plants
Air plants should be kept where they will receive bright, indirect sunlight or under fluorescent home lighting. Periods of direct sunlight are just fine, but more than a few hours of hot sun will deplete the plants of their moisture. If your plant will be in a spot with some quite direct light, try misting them every couple of days to keep them hydrated.
Air plants will do best in generally warm conditions.
Fertilizing your plants is not necessary, but will keep them in top shape and should promote blooming and reproduction. We recommend using a Bromeliad fertilizer (available at most garden shops) once per month during the period of March through October. Other water-soluble fertilizers can be used at 1/4 strength (Rapid Grow, Miracle-Grow, houseplant fertilizer, etc.) if Bromeliad fertilizer is not available.
Tillandsias are tropical plants that usually live for several years and will bloom and produce flowers only one time during their lifetime. The flowers are striking and brilliantly colored, and the bloom period will last several days to many months, depending on the species. Different species bloom at different times, also depending on their care and environment. A plant will most likely go into bloom sometime between mid-winter and mid-summer.
Around a plant’s bloom time, they will produce offshoots, or “pups.” You will notice the pups have a separate and distinct center of their own, distinguishing them from the other leaves. Once the pup reaches at least one-third the size of the parent plant, the pup can be removed by gently pulling it apart from the parent. Hold both the parent and the pup at their bases and gently twist in a downward motion. You can also cut the plants apart using a clean razor blade, slicing as far down the pup stem as possible. Each pup will follow the lifecycle by growing into a parent plant, blooming and producing pups of its own.
Tillandsias can grow into clumps if the pups are left to grow on the parent plant. Clumps can also be created by wiring multiple plants together, as they will begin to grow into and around each other.
Since air plants are very unique in that they do not require soil to grow and thrive, they can be mounted to almost any different surface for display. We recommend using the base of the plant as the mounting area. Adhesives like E-6000, Liquid Nails, Goop or a hot glue gun will work great, as well as fishing line or any non-copper wire. When choosing your mounting surface, remember that your plant will still need to be watered, so something waterproof or water-resistant will be the best choice for a long-term display method.