A plant that has roots, but doesn’t live in dirt? We know, air plants don’t make sense the first time you see them! But once you get to know air plants, they can be really cool and a lot of fun!
What is an air plant?
Well, air plant is just the common name for the genus Tillandsia (phew! at least I just had to type it and not say it!). They are a member of the Bromeliad family. Air plants are native to the Americas, growing from the southern United States (such as Florida), down to Argentina in South America. They are plants that literally grow IN the air (It is a common misconception that air plants grow ON nothing but air.) , taking all of their nutrients and water through their leaves, not their roots.
How to care for an air plant?
Air plants are easy to care for (In a sense. Don’t get us wrong! Air plants do still require work!), just follow these few rules! Make sure your air plant has constant air circulation – this will keep your plant happy! Don’t let your air plant set somewhere too cold! Anything below 50 degrees will kill your air plant, so be mindful of windowsills and drafty areas. On the other hand, don’t let your air plant sit in direct sunlight. Air plants naturally grow wild on trees, so thinking of that climate, it is best to keep your air plant moist and in partial shade. Bright, filtered light indoors is fine for your air plant, just remember to mist it to keep it moist. It is best to mist your air plaint daily from late spring through mid-fall, and only about once or twice a week during the winter months. You cannot over water your air plant. Let me repeat – you CANNOT over water your air plant (is anyone else rejoicing?)! Air plants actually benefit from occasional soakings. You can soak your air plant overnight in rain water. Just be sure after misting and/or soaking your air plant that there is no standing water in the center of it, because that will cause your air plant to rot and die. You can fertilizer your air plant monthly in spring and summer, but you want to use a weak mixture using a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer.
How to use an air plant?
Glass bubble terrariums! Have you seen them? These terrariums come in teardrop shapes, light bulb shapes, spheres and ovals, and when you hang them with string, ribbon, or twine, with an air plant inside, they look incredible! You can even add colored sand, moss or pebbles for the finishing touch! You can use any type of container to display your air plant, such as old milk bottles, antique bowls or saucers, or any small flower-pot. Or create a hanging display by adding chicken wire to an old wooden frame and hanging your air plants from the chicken wire! The possibilities are endless! Check out our Pinterest for more ideas on how to display an air plant!
So, if you are looking for a new houseplant this year, we suggest you give the air plant a try! A fun, new twist on gardening!