What Is Air Plants

Tillandsias, a member of the Bromeliaceae or Bromeliad species, is the true name for air plants. They are also known as epiphytes since they can grow without soil. In Central and South America, Mexico, and the southern United States in North America, the air plant is frequently found in the jungles, on mountain tops, and in deserts.

Because they are an epiphyte species, air plants may grow without soil. They do in fact need a platform to start growing. These plants rely on their host for support and are not parasitic. The moisture and dust fibers that are drifting through the air provide the plant with its sustenance. The basic purpose of the roots is to affix itself to the supporting subject.

These sorts of plants require little maintenance. For their wellbeing, regular watering, healthy air circulation, and dazzling filtered light are crucial. You can spritz your plants entirely 2-3 times each week or immerse them in water for about 20 minutes once a week. Allow them if they reside in a container or plate. Prior to moving them back with their storage containers, allow them to dry for three to four hours. Instead of doing so during the day, air plants absorb carbon monoxide at night. The plant can’t breathe properly if it is moist. This information indicates that morning watering is always preferred. Make sure there is enough airflow in every container used. Your plants will prefer filtered or indirect light; never leave them in full sunshine for long periods of time.

Only once during their lifetimes do air plants flower, yet during this time they will produce pups or progeny. After the pup is one-third to one-half the length of the parent, it normally stays connected to the parent or can be separated with a delicate twisting/pulling motion at the base of the plant. Simply remove the parent leaves when they wither and die if the pups remain linked. As a result, the space will quickly fill with pups.

Almost anywhere can be used to grow air plants. Driftwood, old picture frames, seashells, and pottery can all have them added to them. To attach those to pressure-treated wood, copper objects, or copper cable is strictly forbidden and will result in the destruction of your plant. In general, if you decide to attach them all, you can use reasonably priced specialty glues.

What are the benefits of air plants?

Because they photosynthesize at night, air plants are also ideal houseplants for bedrooms. So they release new oxygen into the air while you sleep. Being around plants can increase focus at home or at work, lower blood pressure, and reduce stress.

Is the air plant a houseplant?

Any of the nearly 500 distinct species of flowering perennial plants in the Tillandsia genus, a member of the Bromeliad family, are referred to as “air plants.” Their roots don’t need any soil. They take moisture out of the air instead. The term “epiphyte” refers to this kind of plant, which includes Spanish moss. Plants naturally grow on trees and are fastened to the bark in warm, arid environments, which are their native habitat. They are commonly planted as indoor houseplants, where they flourish under fluorescent illumination, despite the fact that they are perennial in appropriately warm climates.

Air plants are currently highly fashionable and employed in a number of hanging garden applications, despite earlier being uncommon in commercial use. Most species are mounted on pieces of bark or driftwood and suspended in the air, while a few can be grown in pots. Because it organizes a collection and promotes good air circulation, a hanging grid is another common display for air plants. Garden centers now sell air plants in large quantities. Some are quite little and must be observed closely to be appreciated.

Although there are several Tillandsia species, many of them lack popular names. They are simply grouped together under the terms “air plants” or “sky plants.” Or the species name alone might be used to sell them.

Whatever you choose to name them, here are 25 different varieties of air plants you should think about cultivating indoors.

Gardening Tips

Since the majority of air plants aren’t cultivated on soil, they require a special kind of watering. Your plant will stay hydrated with a light spraying two to three times each week; this is especially important in arid climes or areas with dry winter air. Submerge the air plant overnight in the kitchen sink when it starts to look dehydrated, and it will start to flourish once more. In order to preserve the flowers on your air plant while it is in bloom, softly rinse it under running water as opposed to completely drowning it.

What makes air plants unique?

1. Epiphytes and occasionally lithophytes both describe air plants. A plant that grows on another plant, such as the limb or bark of a tree, but is not a parasite, is called an epiphyte. Instead of utilizing their roots to absorb nutrients, they employ them to anchor themselves. The air, rain, and dew provide them with the nourishment they need. A plant that grows on, around, or amidst rocks, sand, or other hard surfaces is called a lithophyte. There are several “xeric types of lithophytes that use their trichomes to capture moisture from the atmosphere include air plants.

2. Tillandsia (air plants) are closely related to pineapples because they belong to the Bromeliad family.

3. Trichomes are used by air plants to capture moisture and nutrients from the atmosphere. For additional information on trichomes, see our blog posts All About Trichomes and Tillandsia Trichomes in Depth. Trichomes seem like tiny cups that open and reopen to absorb and hold moisture up close. Some air plants may catch your eye because they are “fuzzier than others, and trichomes are the reason for this. Due to climatic factors and dry regions, these fuzzy plants have evolved to have more trichomes. In our blog post “Xeric Vs. Mesic Air Plants,” you may read about the distinctions between plants with more and less trichomes.

4. The utilization of CAM photosynthesis by air plants to exchange gases and “Unlike most plants, which do their breathing during the day, nocturnal plants employ sunlight for photosynthesis. We have a detailed blog entry regarding CAM photosynthesis if you’d want to read more about it.

5. Tillandsia plants can be found in a variety of climatic conditions and landscapes, including hot, humid rainforests, high cloud forests, deserts, and mountain slopes. They have developed adaptations to survive in these often harsh conditions since they are present in such a variety of temperatures.

6. It’s interesting to note that most air plants don’t produce fragrant blossoms. The citrus blooms of T. diaguitensis and the nutmeg aroma generated by Tillandsia cyanea are two examples of plants that have fragrant flowers and produce some of the most subtle scents.

There is truth to the rumor that T. duratii blooms smell like grape soda.

7. After blooming, air plants produce offsets (pups). After giving birth, the mother plant frequently dies, and the pups can be cut off when they are 1/3 the size of the mother plant. If permitted to develop, they will eventually grow into a striking clump. Our blog entry “Air Plant Propagation: Pups” has more information on air plant propagation.

T. cacticola pups from the mother plant were left to grow into this clump without being removed.

8. A few air plants, including T. caput medusae, T. seleriana, T. pseudobaileyi, T. butzii, and T. streptophylla, have pseudobulbs. A distinct bulbous base that assumes the shape of a bulb is what is known as a pseudobulb. They are referred to as pseudobulbs since the majority of them have empty chambers inside of which ant colonies naturally grow.

9. A lot of hybrid air plants exist. There are actually some hybrids that grow naturally, albeit the bulk were created via the efforts of botanists and horticulturists. A naturally occurring cross between T. schiedeana and T. ionantha is the T. rectifolia. This is regarded as a “It is an introgressive species because it is a natural hybrid that has multiplied to the point that it is now regarded as a separate species.

10. The T. xerographica, one of the most well-liked air plants, was nearly exterminated by poaching in the 1980s. Since that time, exporters and farmers of these plants have been required to abide by stringent laws.

Did you previously know all of this information? Do you want to share a personal fact of your own?

How long are air plants alive for?

Perennial plants are tillandsias, also referred to as air plants. According to the source, they have a lifespan of between two and five years, which indicates that they normally survive longer than two years.

The type of air plant and the growing conditions have an impact on how long they live, though. They reside in deserts, on various surfaces, and on tree branches in their natural habitat (other surfaces they can grow on).

Air plants only experience one flowering during their existence, which marks the culmination of their development and maturity.

Depending on the species, the flowers might remain in bloom for a number of months. However, the air plant will begin to die when the blossoms start to wilt and fade. Air plants develop pups or offsets before they die to carry on the same growth cycle.

Despite the mother plant dying, you can take the pups out and raise them separately. Separating the pups from the mother is referred to as “division is a method of air plant propagation.

As an alternative, you might leave those puppies grouped together ” (also known as “tillandsia balls).

Where should air plants be placed?

All air plants are native to tropical regions where freezing temperatures never occur. It’s crucial to keep them at a reasonable temperature without a sweater, right? typically from the 1960s or earlier. Keep them away from windows that are cold in the winter and air conditioner vents.

At least a few hours of bright, indirect sun each day are necessary for air plants to thrive. The optimal placement is between one and three feet from an east or west-facing window, or around two feet from a source of artificial light. They can be exposed to hotter, more direct sun for longer periods of time if you maintain them well-hydrated. Avoid areas that are poorly lit.

How Much Light Does an Air Plant Need?

Air plants require strong, indirect light to grow. Good possibilities are rooms with windows that face the south or east because the sun will shine brightly in these areas for the majority of the day. As long as the plant is put close to the window and the window is not covered by trees or an adjacent apartment building, rooms with North-facing windows also perform effectively. Western light typically arrives later in the day and has a tendency to be quite warm and powerful. Take care not to burn your air plant!

The air plant will generally withstand more light as the humidity level in your area increases. This means that you should plan to spritz your air plant more frequently, such as twice a week or even every day, if you’re placing it where it will get a lot of light. An air plant will thrive in a bright bathroom or bustling kitchen since the humidity from your shower or boiling water will take care of the majority of plant misting for you.

Air Plants and Artificial Light

A lot of customers ask us if they can put their air plant in a basement or office where there won’t be any windows for natural light. The answer is yes, but there are a few particular guidelines to follow to guarantee the success of your plant.

Fluorescent light must be full-spectrum. These plants can’t photosynthesize in the kind of light that regular incandescent bulbs produce. Place your Tillandsia no more than three feet from the source of light. Additionally, if you plan to use fluorescent lighting, the plants will require at least 12 hours every day.

We advise purchasing a dedicated bulb for your plant (such as a Gro-Lux, Repta-Sun, or Vita-Lite) and setting it on a 12-hour timer if you live in a basement or wish to keep an air plant in your office to ensure that it receives the proper amount of light to survive.

Sand, rocks, and dried wood arranged in a shallow dish make a wonderful air plant display.