Printer Friendly Version
Care and Keeping Of Your Air Plant
Welcome to the fascinating world of air plants (TILLANDSIAS). These
unique plants are members of the bromeliad or orchid family. They
are native to Mexico, Central and South America, growing mainly in
the trees - sometimes even on rocks or wires. There are over 250 different
DO NOT USE TAP WATER!!
CARE OF PLANTS
WATER - Mist the leaves thoroughly 2 to 3 times per week with
non-chlorinated water (no tap water). In extreme heat or dry conditions
it's a good idea to soak the plant, (totally submerged in water) for
no more than 2 hours every 10 -14 days. This allows the plant to soak
up as much water as it needs. The preferred type of water is distilled,
rain, well water or water from a stock tank, pond or aquarium. The
stock tank or pond and aquarium have the natural fertilizer these
LIGHT - The plants enjoy medium to high light but not direct
sun. Morning sun is acceptable, afternoon is not!
INDOORS / OUTDOORS - These plants will grow either indoors
or outdoors. Outdoors under a patio cover or under the trees is ideal.
Indoors in bathrooms or in kitchens are best for the moisture and
humidity. These plants are tropical so they must be brought in during
SOIL - NEVER! - If you feel you must "plant" your air plant
- Spanish moss, sphagnum, marbles, pebbles, aquarium gravel, or rocks
work best. Place around the base of the plant. NEVER use soil, sand
or peat moss.
GROWTH & REPRODUCTION - Air plants grow slowly but some can
reach the size of 2 feet in diameter or as small as 1 1/2" tall.
They are self propagating. The life cycle is they grow, bloom and
reproduce by pups or offshoots. Once a bloom spike is seen developing
that is as large as that plant will get. A plant will bloom for a
week to several months. At anytime during the bloom cycle the adult
plant will begin producing pups or offshoots around the base of the
Pups can be removed from the adult at 6 months or when they are about
half the size of the adult. Pups can also be left attached and will
form clusters or groups of plants.
HOW TO DISPLAY AND MOUNT - Since there is no soil the sky is
the limit on display. They can be put in shells, baskets (all varieties
get along), rocks, driftwood, wreaths, unusual containers or even
in old cowboy boots!
To secure the plant, wire with lightweight florist wire or tie with
monofilament fishing line. Some glues to use are: E-6000 or Household
Goop. Hot glue can be used with caution. Put the puddle of hot glue
down and wait (approx. 2 minutes) until glue is just about set. Then
apply your plant.
Air plants are great gifts, fascinating school projects or are just
plain fun to work with. Take your choice of many beautiful and unique
plants and let your imagination run wild.