Air Plants: What are they and how do they survive?

Air Plants: What are they and how do they survive?


Air plants, otherwise known as Tillandsia, are native plants to the southern United States, Mexico, Central and South America, and have the ability to thrive in the warm temperatures, despite neglect. With over 650 types of Tillandsia, these unique looking plants survive without soil OR water.

Air plants use their specialized leaves to obtain from the air the water and nutrients they need to survive. The roots of the air plant are simply used for attaching themselves to rocks, trees, shrubs and the ground. Most air plants grow with long, triangle shaped leaves and boast attractive funnel or tube-shaped flowers, offering beautiful architectural elements.

Although air plants are easy to maintain, they do need proper care to live a long, lasting life. Constant air circulation is key to keeping Tillandsia varieties happy, along with very minimal watering. This can be achieved by misting daily or submerging the plants in water weekly.

Tillandsia Varieties, courtesy of www.pinterest.com


Air plants are lovers of the light and are best suited in high light situations in the indoor environment. Wild varieties tend to grow on trees or in areas that offer moist ground and partial shade. Tillandsia species also make fine companions on a planted branch with orchids since they essentially like the same conditions.

Since air plants are naturally suited to growing in trees, they can be lashed to a piece of drift wood or the trunk of another plant using translucent fishing monofilament and a bit of sphagnum moss to add extra moisture. Hanging air plants are a popular design element.

Photo courtesy of www.pinterest.com


Love the look of air plants, but aren’t certain of the best way to display or care for them? Call in the Green Team at Leafscape! We are experts at indoor plant care and are able to create the best environment for your plants – air plants included – to thrive. As a full-service plant provider, we can help you choose the best plants for your indoor space and provide their ongoing guaranteed care.

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