How (Not) To Plant Air Plants

May 10, 2015

Greetings my lovely! I have another plant and gardening themed post for you today! I’ve already written about how to plant succulents for the outdoors and how to make a terrarium and maybe you’ve read both but keep thinking they’re too much effort and it’s a bit too much work to maintain? Well, have I got the solution for you. Cue the air plants, people.

Air plants are a part of the Bromeliad plant family and are also known as epiphytes, which means they attach themselves to other plants for support and don’t require any soil. Plants that don’t need soil?? I hear you ask incredulously. That’s right – air plants take in water and nutrients through their leaves and actually really don’t care for soil at all. So that’s one less thing for you to worry about! They do still need a good watering (between 2 or 4 times a week with a misting spray OR soaking them in a bucket of water for 10 minutes once or twice a week) and prefer bright light – though no burnies! They don’t respond well to direct light so indirect lighting with good air circulation is what these babies love.

I recently bought myself some air plants because I wanted something I could sit on my desk. My terrarium is too big for that area and tends to prefer the direct sunlight where it is so I figured an air plant would be the best solution. Here’s how I made it!

You’ll need:

  • Some sort of container to keep your air plants in. I’ve gone with the traditional hanging glass bowl but you can get creative and almost use any receptacle. I bought mine from Collector’s Corner at Garden World for $7.00.

Air Plant Glass Container

  • Small pebbles. I bought a bag of mini pebbles from Bunnings.

Air Plant Stones

  • Some pretty air plants! Given this was my first attempt at keeping air plants and I only had a small space to keep them, I opted for two plants. The one on the left is Tillandsia stricta and the one on the right is Tillandsia harissii. They are also from Collector’s Corner and cost $7.00 each.

Air Plants

1. The first thing you need to do is put a thin layer of the small pebbles on the bottom of the container.

Air Plants Set Up
2. Then, place the air plants in the container. It’s not exactly a science, so just place them however you like. The beauty of these guys is you can always move them later. Spritz them with some water and you’re done!
Air Plants Completed

I kid you not, it is that simple*****. I think the pebbles help to complete the look and tie in the different colours of the two plants nicely. You could buy some really bright pebbles to add a splash of colour or maybe put some sea shells in there to add a tropical touch!

What are your thoughts? Does this seem like something you’re interested in having in your life?

***** HAHAHAHA. Oh boy. Massive disclaimer needed here.

“Air plants are easy”, they said. “You can’t kill them”, they said. Well. I showed them, didn’t I? I hate to admit it, but my air plants have both died brown, dry, horrible deaths since I first got them and wrote this post (a few months ago now). I don’t know how. I don’t know why. I just managed to kill them.

Seriously though, I would recommend double checking the watering requirements of the particular air plant you buy. I suspect I over-watered mine and then overcompensated by under-watering them. I would actually argue that succulents and cacti are much less work than air plants, which is not necessarily a bad thing – just something to keep in mind!

I felt you should know the truth, as I was quite confident when I wrote this post that it would be fine and look how that turned out. This is not to say that YOU shouldn’t try air plants. I think you should! And I will try them again! Maybe just one though. If they let me…

Jacquie

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