All through high school and into college I worked at a beautiful garden center. The owner’s sister managed the greenhouse. I spent countless hours learning how to properly water hydrangeas, and trim angel vine topiaries. Upon return from a buying trip in California, she brought me an air plant and a 100 year old chunk of grape wood to display it on. Sadly, my air plant wasn’t long lived. Because it requires so little care, air plants can be easily forgotten. The waterings were so infrequent that I missed them all together, and it was up on an obscure shelf where the air plant easily went unnoticed.
Fast forward to last weekend. I got my hands on a beautiful piece of cholla cactus with the idea of decorating my coffee table. I thought back to Christine and my 100 year old grape wood and decided to give another air plant a try. I drove up to Cactus and Tropicals, a nursery that specializes in houseplants, to purchase the perfect Tillandsia. With the hopes of keeping this air plant alive, I’ve researched Tillandsia and its care requirements.
So… air plants or Tillandsia grow the best in humid environments. Now my apartment in Orem, UT is anything but humid. The good news is that humidity can be falsified. By lightly misting the air plant once or twice a week, or soaking it in a bowl of water every two weeks, the plant can survive in drier climates.
Tillandsias prefer bright, filtered light. Direct light from window sills are is a definite no. Instead try place your plant a few feet away from a bright window.
Because air plants survive without soil, they can be attached to pretty much anything. Branches of driftwood, cholla cactus, manzanita, or grape wood are great decorative options. You can also use sea shells, rock, or glass terrariums. Air plants can be mounted using a non water soluble glue or silicone caulk.