What To Plant Air Plants In

  • Don’t bury them in the ground. Ever. Because they are epiphytes, they grow atop other plants rather than in the ground.
  • You can plant them in imaginative locations because they don’t require dirt. One can be set in a shallow bowl or vase with rocks or sand, one can be put in a small container with a magnet and placed on the refrigerator, or one can be tied to driftwood with a clear fishing line.
  • Don’t confine them to a terrarium. Yes, they are adorable, and Instagram is full with pictures of air plant terrariums, but air plants need to breathe. They will become overly damp in a confined vessel, which will cause them to rot or contract a fungus.

In what may you place an air plant?

People who enjoy plants, especially those who wish to have greenery in their homes but don’t have a lot of time to care for it, are quite fond of air plants. They come in a variety of forms, hues, and textures and require very little upkeep.

Moisture and the surrounding air provide nutrients for air plants. So it’s simple to locate a space for them. Put them in common pots, terrariums, frames, baskets, bowls, seashells, urchins, and seaweed. Using wires, fishing lines, or adhesive, you may also hang or fasten them to wreaths, cork bark, and other materials.

If you decide to put your air plants somewhere specific, continue reading to learn how to care for them and how to water them.

How can air plants be grown the best?

Since air plants don’t require soil to survive and, like succulents, store surplus water in their leaves, they require no upkeep. As a result, air plants are preferred by DIY house decorators. The following air plant care advice can help you cultivate air plants at home:

  • 1. Regularly mist. Mist the leaves of your air plants to provide water. For easy-care misting, use a spray bottle filled with tap water.
  • 2. Plant hanging planters with air plants. You can grow air plants everywhere, not only in conventional pots because they don’t need soil. Instead, think about getting your air plants hanging wire planters or pendants. The Tillandsia xerographica air plant, which often grows on tree limbs, can flourish when kept suspended inside.
  • 3. Plant terrariums with air plants. The majority of air plants, including Tillandsia ionantha air plants, thrive in glass terrariums (also known as sky plants). Just add some driftwood or other organic material to the terrarium so the air plants have something to anchor to. The fact that air plants may grow on top of healthy plants without causing any harm should be noted. They are not parasitic.
  • 4. Ensure adequate airflow. Make sure your air plants have airflow, but don’t put them next to vents for the HVAC system.
  • 5. Make sure your air plants receive UV light. Either utilize a UV-producing artificial light or hang your air plants in a window.
  • 6. Occasionally fertilize. Consider fertilizing your air plants using bromeliad fertilizer, which is typically sold at garden centers, during the growing season (spring and summer).
  • 7. Spread your air plants’ seeds. In order to reproduce, air plants produce offsets or pups. From the mother plant’s base, smaller plants sprout. Before separating, wet the mother plant and offsets, then take care not to damage the young air plants.

Does substrate matter for air plants?

Although tillandsias have recently experienced a well-deserved rise in popularity, many indoor gardeners have yet to give this simple, entertaining, and rewarding houseplant a try.

Tillandsias, also referred to as “air plants,” are distinctive in that they don’t need soil. Because of their incredible adaptability as indoor plants, aficionados love to come up with exciting and unique methods to exhibit them. Tillandsias instantly bring vibrancy and excitement, whether they are simply placed in a basket or artistically arranged inside a picture frame.

The best part is how little maintenance they require. Nothing could be further from the truth than the expectation that such unusual plants would necessitate a lot of specialist expertise and care. There is no doubt that air plants have distinct regulations than any other plant you can grow, yet those rules are straightforward and simple to understand.

You’ll be prepared to start caring for tillandsias once you understand the fundamentals.

No Soil, No Problem

There isn’t a need to plant air plants, which is the most noticeable distinction between them and other indoor plants. Even if you tried, they would perish. They are very organized and practical housemates as a result. No repotting, root pruning, or dirt spills on your kitchen counter. Water and sunlight are all they require.

Due to their distinct specialized structures known as “trichomes,” tillandsias do not require a soil or substrate. The plant needs the moisture that these minuscule silver hairs hold onto long enough to allow the leaves to absorb. In the meanwhile, an air plant’s “roots serve just as anchors.

And it appears that this tactic is pretty effective! Tillandsia has around 500 different species. From the southern United States, to central and south America, and all of the Caribbean islands, they are originally from a vast area. While certain tillandsia species love the company of cacti or even the loneliness of a jagged alpine cliff, others prefer the misty upper branches of tropical rainforest trees. Some even float above the shifting sands of the desert.

Tillandsia Care Basics

Possibly even more simple to grow than succulents, if you can believe it, are air plants. That is, once you are aware of their requirements.

To allow their leaves to absorb water, air plants require a regular misting or soaking as well as bright but not overly intense light and excellent air circulation. Fortunately, temperature is rarely an issue unless they are in direct sunlight or within a glass container. They can acclimate to temperatures between 50 and 90 degrees Fahrenheit.

How to Care for Air Plants

Before spending the time and money to create this fantastic terrarium, you might want to get a quick lesson on how to take care of air plants. Fortunately, it’s really simple for you! Tillandsias, often known as air plants, require this in order to flourish.

  • Although they may tolerate some direct sunlight, air plants prefer bright light. Low light levels might abruptly cause air plants to falter and perish. Make sure you attend to their lighting requirements since once they reach that stage, saving them becomes challenging.
  • It’s simple to water air plants… Put all of your air plants in a big bowl or sink and soak them in water for 20 to 30 minutes once a week. Allow them to dry on a towel, upside-down. Give your air plants a gentle shake before setting them out to drain since they are prone to rot if water is allowed to gather in their leaves.
  • Add a water soluble fertilizer to the water you soak them in every other time you water them during the growing season.

I’m done now! Now that you know how to construct an air plant terrarium, you can not only showcase your plants in a stunning fashion but also enhance the design of your home.

Air Plant Terrarium Supplies

  • Open terrarium or glass container that provides for optimum airflow
  • Sand or gravel for aquariums
  • Sculptural rocks, stones, and wood
  • Ideally, different types and sizes of air plants

Our initial air plant terrarium was created with simplicity in mind. This consists of of two stunning air plants, a few stones, and white sand. Observe how the one is blooming! There is a misconception that air plants perish once they bloom. They still have a lot to do, despite the fact that they will eventually die after flowering. Blooming is a sign that the plant is preparing to generate air plant pups, sometimes referred to as baby air plants, near its base. Therefore, never throw away an air plant that has bloomed because it is still very much alive.

Air Plant Terrarium Instructions

  • Sand or gravel can be added as a base to the terrarium’s bottom.
  • Include rocks, stones, wood, or other beautiful natural elements.
  • To achieve the desired look, add air plants. For a more understated appearance, use one or two; for an urban jungle feel, use as many as you can!
  • Done!

As you can see, there are numerous varieties of air plants. Others have more coarse leaves than others, some with fine leaves. various shapes, hues, and even watering requirements.

Additionally, we wanted to give this air plant terrarium a more natural look. We gathered materials for our DIY terrarium from our neighborhood beach, including a piece of driftwood and a stone coated in barnacles. We adore this terrarium, which contrasts three distinct air plants and a small amount of preserved moss beautifully.

With the plant parent revolution, air plants are popular, and this only goes to show that they can be just as stunning and fascinating as any philodendron or fern!

Where to Buy Air Plants

We are so satisfied with the air plants, preserved moss, and terrarium that were provided by Etsy seller “Spyloh” that as of right now, we won’t purchase our air plants from anybody else!

We hope you are prepared to construct your own terrarium for air plants. Make the ideal area for your plants to be shown! We believe you’ll also enjoy our posts on What are Air Plants and Clever & Cool Indoor Garden Ideas & Projects. or check out OhMeOhMy’s DIY Branch Chandelier Air Plant Display!

There may be affiliate links in this article. For additional information, please see our disclosure.

My air plant will fit on rocks, right?

Terrariums are a wonderful way to add some greenery to any area, and you can really make your terrarium stand out by using several types of bases! We frequently receive inquiries regarding how to exhibit air plants in terrariums, including what types of bases to use and whether they require soil. The bases and decorations you should pick to create a stunning air plant terrarium are discussed below.

You can use small pebbles, seashells, bark, marbles, preserved reindeer moss, beautiful sand, etc. for the base. Have fun with it! There are countless options for the colors and textures of the sand and rock used in terrariums.

There is no need to provide soil because air plants can survive without it. Most air plants, in fact, shouldn’t be planted in soil. Layering moss, sand, or rock is a simple way to add variety and texture to your terrarium.

Make sure the base you use is entirely dry. You don’t want your air plants to be resting against any moisture in their terrariums or containers.

You should also consider the type and size of the terrarium you are creating. This terrarium will be presented where? Will it hang or rest on a table? You can choose the substrate for your terrarium by responding to these questions. Since moss is lighter than sand and won’t shift as much if the terrarium sways, using it as a base layer may be preferable for hanging terrariums.

Small bits of bark or driftwood can give your terrarium a charmingly rustic appearance as a base or accent, but make sure the wood you pick is pest-free. We like to use orchid bark, which is available at Home Depot or Lowe’s. Use caution when utilizing logs or bark that you may find outside because they could contain insects or pests that could harm your plant.

Watering Terrariums and Plants:

  • If you water your plants while they are in your terrarium, too much moisture may become trapped amid the moss, rock, etc., leading to the rot of your plants.
  • Before putting the plants back in your terrarium, remove them, soak or mist them, and then make sure they are totally dry.
  • No water or moisture should be present in your terrarium or next to the Tillandsia.

Alternatively, if you’d prefer a kit that includes everything you need, look no further—we also carry those!

Check out these DIY terrarium kits, which include everything you need to build one.

My air plant will fit in a jar, right?

Fill the remaining third of the jar with tiny stones. First, place the lichens in the jar in the desired order. Then use your finger to make a little hole in the pebbles. Set the air plant firmly inside the opening.

How are air plants inserted into shells?

I’ve been buying and building air plant displays for nearly ten years now, and one thing I’ve observed is that a lot of people have questions regarding air plant adhesive.

The air plants are virtually always glued in place when I pick up air plant displays or air plants in shells. This is frequently unnecessary because the plants aren’t being hung upside down or in a container that needs glue to stay in place. So I seldom ever use adhesive while creating an air plant decor piece. In essence, I only do it if it is required for the design to work.

Consider it this way: rather than caring for a houseplant, adhesive air plants are disposable, sort of like a long-lasting floral arrangement. The air plant must eventually be taken out of the glue if you want it to survive. In general, I believe the air plants shouldn’t be bonded into the shells because it will be harder to water and take care of them.

How to Care For a Glued Air Plant

What if you purchased one that was already adhered? How can you be sure to look after the plant properly? Fortunately, there is a reasonably easy fix. You must water your air plant according to the guidelines listed below, completely submerging it.

Then thoroughly shake it out. You will eventually have a healthy air plant after the plant eventually grows out of the adhesive and the attached leaf withers.

Attempting to safely pull the plant away from the glue is another option, however it might be challenging.

How to Safely Glue an Air Plant

When glue is required, it’s crucial to utilize the appropriate kind of adhesive. Never use hot glue, no matter what you do! The plants might suffer harm. Hawaiian Botanicals advises using E6000 glue, however the smells are horrendous. I try to fit them into the shells or display without glue or using wire because I can’t seem to come up with a viable adhesive alternative.

A Beautiful Glue-Free Way to Display an Air Plant

There are so many more simple ways you may display your air plants if fiddling with glue sounds like it won’t be worth the hassle. Keep in mind that there is no need for adhesive; you can simply insert the air plant into the seashell.

The seashell can alternatively be removed, an air plant added, and the complete arrangement placed within a terrarium. They will look lovely no matter where you decide to arrange them. Additionally, you will now have a use for all of your amassed seashells.

This air plant display made of wire and river stone is another popular technique. It looks good and lets you take good care of and water your air plant.