Tillandsia (air plants) are rising stars as house plants.
Air plants are unusual members of the Bromeliad family that do not require soil to grow. They have few roots, and instead rely on their leaves to uptake water and nutrients. They make unique looking and easy-to-grow house plants, which thrive in bright, indirect light. Native to South and Central America and parts of the Southern United States, Tillandsia are surprisingly simple to care for and very fun to arrange.
The decorative possibilities are endless! Air plants are easily slipped into the nooks and crannies of shells, driftwood, knicknacks or nearly anything you can imagine. They can also be glued into their mount, but it does make them slightly more difficult to water.
Try These Cool Display Ideas
Set Tillandsia on gnarled pieces of wood to mimic their natural habitat
Place Tillandsia in shells or containers with sand for a beachy look
Suspend Tillandsia in glass globes with fishing line for a dreamy, ethereal feel
Use found objects such as pottery and knicknacks for a fun eclectic display
Plant Care Couldn't Be Easier!
A Dash of Sunlight
Air plants do best in bright, indirect light such as near an east or north facing window. If placing your Tillandsia outdoors, be sure to situate them in shade or dappled sunlight. They do not tolerate extreme cold or frost, so be sure to bring any outdoor Tillandsia inside for the winter.
A Splash of Water
Thoroughly soak indoor plants 2-3 times a week, and outdoor plants 3-4 times a week in the warmer months. Watering can be reduced to as little as once a week in the winter, depending on the temperature and lighting. Be sure to shake off excess water before setting air plants back in their mount, avoid letting them sit in water for long periods of time.
Thin-leaved varieties will benefit from occasional misting in between waterings, especially if they are placed outdoors. Leaves curling inward is a sign of insufficient water, and leaves turning black is a sign of overwatering.
A Little Pinching
Feel free to trim away any dried-up leaves at the base of your Tillandsia if it begins to look unkempt. Keep in mind that many Tillandsia species are monocarpic, meaning they complete their life cycle after flowering and reproduce by tiny offsets surrounding the mother plant. Try to avoid severing these pups while grooming your tillandsia.
A Dose of Vitiamins
Like all plants, Tillandsia will grow more quickly when fertilized. Feed them with water-soluble orchid or bromeliad fertilizers, according to the package directions, on a regular basis during the growing season.