There is no easier way to brighten up a room than with tillandsia, a.k.a. air plants! They can add all sorts of colors, shapes, and textures to any house, workspace, or chill space. Air plants are native to forests, mountains, and deserts of the southeastern United States, the Caribbean, northern Mexico, Mesoamerica, and parts of Argentina.
Tillandsia will pretty much grow onto anything their seedpods can land on. They are commonly seen growing on trees, rock walls, or even man made structures like telephone poles. They do not require soil to grow in, and they have the ability to pull water out of the surrounding atmosphere, making it seem as if they live on air, hence, their common name: air plants.
At Fifth Season Gardening, we have tons of varieties of air plants to choose from, in many sizes, shapes, and color variations. The best part about deciding to add these beauties to your plant collection is the fact that they are super easy to care for! Just follow a few simple steps, and your plants should thrive.
First, place your air plants where they can get ample indirect sunlight (a few feet away from a sunny window, or outside on a porch or patio shaded from direct sunlight). This site should also have good air circulation. Next, make sure that your air plants aren’t subjected to temperature extremes. As tillandsia are tropical plants, they can stand temps into the 80s, but freezing temps or scorching hot temperatures can damage or kill plants. So don’t forget to take your plants inside on super hot or cold days!
Give your air plant plenty of water. Once a week, soak air plants in a water-filled container for 5-10 minutes. Turn the air plant upside down and shake it gently to drain off excess water. Additionally, it is a good idea to mist your air plants using a spray bottle two or three times a week to ensure adequate humidity. If you have a heavy trigger finger with the mister, shake off excess water to prevent rot. If a plant is blooming, rather than soaking the whole plant, rinse it under running water, taking care with the flowers. You’ll begin to notice that, after watering, your plant’s leaves will feel stiffer and full of water. They’ll be softer and lighter in color when they’re in need of water. Wrinkled or rolled leaves can be a sign that your plant is dehydrated and needs a drink.
Now comes the fun part: showing off these beautiful, unique plants! The sky is the limit when it comes to displaying air plants. At Fifth Season Gardening, we have everything you need to build your own custom air plant ecosystem, including air plant terrariums and hangers, along with decorative sands, rocks, and mosses. Tillandsia also show beautifully when nestled on found objects like driftwood, tree branches, and rocks. If you’re not sure how to create a habitat for your new air plant, don’t worry. We have some great books with gorgeous photos and clear instructions, and, of course, we love to talk about these magical plants and share ideas and techniques for creating beautiful displays!