Springtime’s finally here, and it’s the perfect moment to add a bit of green to the interior décor of your home. When we say green, we’re not thinking wall-paint (though you can go for it if you really want to). Instead, we’re thinking air plants (or Tillandsia), which are a great option for plant-lovers who can’t afford the time, space or money for a full-scale gardening project. Simple to grow and care for, air plants are an ideal green detail for any home and they require little attention, a bit of moisture, some fresh air and virtually no soil to thrive and bloom, so they serve as a great botanical accessory to add to the ambiance of your home.
Unlike most regular houseplants, air plants do not require any soil to collect vital nutrients – all they need is adequate air circulation, moisture, regular fertilization and protection from direct sunlight, so they are incredibly easy to care for in the long-run. With over 700 different species, air plants thrive in the wild on rocky terrains, shrubs and trees. Thanks to their epiphytic nature, they gather all the nutrients and water necessary for growth and survival through their special leaves (most types have strap- or triangle-shaped leaves), which means no water, soil or extra attention is needed for their growth. Although they don’t need soil to collect nutrients, Tillandsia have a sturdy root the main purpose of which is plant support and attachment to the base. Though they love warm weather, you shouldn’t expose them to direct sunlight as they are fragile and may deteriorate or dry away in contact with bright light.
If you want to treat your air plants with some tender love and care, make sure your Tillandsia garden gets constant air circulation, a partially shaded environment, regular fertilization (use a one-quarter strength mixture of low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer in spring months) and some mist (spray them daily from late spring to mid-fall and once or twice a week in wintertime). An occasional bath, sufficient fresh air supply and an odd trim or two (in case the leaves go brown or die) will keep your air plant garden happy, prosperous and green throughout the seasons, so you don’t have to worry that your indoor botanical project may go to shambles through neglect.
The best places to plant your Tillandsia are terrariums, pots, suspended glass bowls and seashells, but you can improvise with just about any set of open containers you can think of – get creative! Bloom-time happens once in the life cycle of a Tillandsia, right after the plant starts producing baby pups, and once out, the flower (usually a tubular or funnel-shape shoot) may stick around for days or even months depending on the species.
If you like the idea of harboring an easy-to-care-for yet charming air plant garden in your home, you can get the Hinterland Trading Airplant Assortment with five beautiful Tillandsia plants (the set includes Argentea, Juncea, Ionantha, Caput Madusae and Velutina) which are perfect for terrarium-based growing.
Your new air plants will need a home, so check out the decorative Hanging Glass Round Terrarium – with its dual seated/hanging design, wide mouth and vent holes, this little glass vessel (4.5 x 4.5 inches) will be a great home for any air plant or succulent you decide to sow. Or, go basic with your garden and plop it in a Teardrop Terrarium with Pebbles and Moss; made from clear glass and measuring 5.5 x 2.75 inches (H x D), this cute terrarium will make a fine botanical addition to your home or office and comes with a pre-planted Tillandsia which is convenient.
For a more unique air plant design, check out the Faceted Porcelain Air Plant Holders. Handcrafted from premium porcelain and finished with a top glaze coat, the three-vase set (plants included) are available at a discounted price and they will turn your tabletop or counter into a small lush air plant garden in a flash. Measuring from 1 inch to 4 inches in width, these trendy ceramic vases look equally stunning either grouped in a cluster or arranged around the room as standalone plant holders.
For more daring plant-lovers with headspace to spare, the Hanging Air Plant Cradle offers a handsome display for just about any Tillandsia you decide to grow. Handmade from unglazed natural terracotta clay (slow-dried and fired for maximum strength and longevity), each air cradle has a 1 ½-inch hole in the centre to secure the plant’s root and measures 9 inches in diameter at the widest point. Delivered with a hemp cord for simple mounting and instructions for tending to your plant, the terracotta air plant holder is designed to display the individual Tillandsia charm coupled with a unique sculptural design and functionality. The hanging cradle can be suspended from a wall, window frame or even outdoors, so it can serve as a great conversation piece too.
With air plants, growing and keeping your garden happy and alive has never been easier, so make sure you check these little guys out ASAP and start your spring with a dash of clean and simple indoor greenery.