by Kate Wilson
Tillandsia, more commonly known as air plants, are a great low maintenance addition to your interiors! Their natural habitat is up in the treetops among the orchids and ferns, cousins with Spanish moss. Hanging out in tropical trees, they are provided with good air circulation and bright, filtered light – essential ingredients to recreate in order to thrive at home.
Watering. Plants in the Bromeliad family, Tillandsia and Spanish moss included, absorb nutrients through water that has been cupped by the plant. Drench twice a week or soak (even overnight) once a week. Because these plants obtain their nutrients through water, it is important to use water that is chlorine free and not to use water that goes through a softener. Rain water is actually the best – setting the plant outside during a summer rain would be a real treat! Well water or spring water are good alternatives to a rain shower. It’s also important to shake off any excess water or drain out any standing water to avoid rot.
Display. Because these plants don’t need soil around their roots it’s easy to come up with creative ways to display them. They prosper in coral, lava rock (finally, a good use for lava rock!) or potted in a container using moss, twigs or bark in lieu of soil medium. Air plants can also be wired, stapled, or even glued… liquid nails or a silicone-based adhesive is recommended. Here are some inspiring ideas:
And my all-time favorite, the hermit crab! Too cute!
Air plants can also work well in terrariums. I highly recommend giving one a try for yourself or as a gift for a friend. Remember: very low maintenance! Happy Gardening!