Looking like creatures from outer space or the depths of the ocean, Air Plants, (also called Tillandsia) are fun, low-maintenance plants to grow. They thrive in almost any bright spot and they grow in the air, so you don’t need to plant them in a container (no dirt – YAY!).
Air Plants are epiphytes, so they don’t rely on soil to survive. In nature, they attach themselves and grow on the branches and trunks of other plants and gather nutrients and water with their leaves and exposed roots.
Types of Air Plants
At Molbak’s we carry a wide number of Air Plant species and although they are related, they come in a bunch of different looks, each with their unique personality. Above are just a few we have at Molbak’s.
1.T. tectorum ‘Ecuador’, 2. T. xerographica, 3. T. andreana, 4. T. pruinosa ‘Guatemala’, 5. T. ionantha ‘Red’, 6. T. ionantha ‘Raspberr
Caring for Your Air Plants
Once you have found your new favorite, here are some tips for the care and feeding of your Air plants.
High humidity and good air circulation are vital for Air Plant health, so keep them far from drying air sources like heating vents, appliances and fireplaces.
A good practice is to mist or shower your plants at least twice a week. Their vase-shape helps them capture and store water.
Air Plants spend their time sheltered by other trees in nature, so they love bright, filtered light. Place yours near an east, south, or west-facing window. Keep them away from direct sunlight so they won’t get burned.
Shower or mist your Tillandsia once or twice a week. Once a month, soak your plant in lukewarm water for 15 minutes to give it a good drenching. Use tap water that has sat overnight, to allow some chlorine to dissipate. After soaking, make sure you gently shake off any excess water and set them in a place to dry.
Feed your plants with a balanced houseplant fertilizer at half strength one or two times during the growing season (March through October). Add it to the water you mist or soak them in.
Native to warm, tropical locales, Tillandsia prefer warm days (70° to 80°F) and cooler nights (50° to 60°F).
Air Plants bloom just once, but their pups will flower when they mature. Simply snip off the blossom when it is spent and wait for the “pup” to grow and blossom!