Tillandsia Air Plants

Tillandsia, also known as air plants, are a very versatile choice for terrariums because they do not need any soil. Air plants are epiphytic meaning that they grow on trees or other structures and get their moisture and nutrients from air and rain.

There are about 600 different species of tillandsia, ranging from Spanish Moss to the small air plants you will find glued in seashell souvenirs at the beach.

Spanish Moss Tillandsia

Spanish Moss growing in Charleston, SC

Seashell Air Plant

Tillandsia Air Plant in a Seashell

Their epiphytic nature allows for unlimited creativity when you are creating a terrarium. Tillandsia can be glued or wired to almost any surface.

Hanging Air Plants

Hanging Air Plants from Michael McDowell

Caring for Tillandsia Air Plants

Tillandsia are very easy to care for, as long as you remember that they DO need water. When you first get your air plant, soak it in water for 20-30 minutes; allow it to dry completely before placing or mounting it in your terrarium. Mist your air plants about once a week, although you may need to adjust this more or less depending on the humidity of your house and terrarium container. If your air plant looks unhappy and too dry, take it out and soak it again for at least 30 minutes.

Tillandsia prefer bright indirect light so try to make sure they are in a well lit area in your home.  Just be careful not to place them in direct sunlight, especially in a terrarium, since the glass container will heat up very quickly and cook your plants.  They can also grow happily under fluorescent lighting so they can be a great low-maintenance choice for offices.

More Information about Tillandsia Air Plants:

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