Friday, March 11, 2011
All About Air Plants
Air plants. Another house plant that is almost impossible to kill. I have professed my love for succulents recently (because they are the only indoor plant I have yet to kill) and showed you my succulent terrarium. I picked these plants up from the nursery last weekend and plan on making some terrariums with them. If you are a notorious plant killer like me, air plants may be a good option for you.
So What are Air plants Anyways?
Air plants are commonly referred to as tillandsia. Tillandsia are one of about 540 species in the bromeliad family.
They grow in the forests, deserts and mountains of South and Central America, Mexico and the Southern United States. Tillandsia species are epiphytes, meaning they do not need soil to grow. The roots grow on an object, usually a tree for support but they are not parasitic. They absorb nutrients from the air and water through their leaves.
What’s so great about air plants?
* They look really cool! Some have really long alien-like tendrils and some have pretty flowers.
*They are non toxic (no need to worry about your pets getting poisoned if they eat them)
*No soil means less mess and they don’t require a ton of water.
* They are low maintenance and easy to care for
*You can get creative. They will grow on anything, on driftwood, in glass terrariums, indoors or outdoors. Use you imagination!
How should I care for my air plant?
Good air circulation is essential. Don't plant the root or have the plant sitting in water for long periods of time or it will rot. Keep the plant out of direct sunlight but not more than 10 feet away from a window. You want filtered light but if it is too bright and hot it will get sun burned. Water your plant once or twice a week. Soak the plant or mist the leaves with water. Since the plant will be getting it’s nutrients through water you want to try to avoid tap water. Try using water from a pond or collecting rain water. If you have to use tap water put some in a bowl and let it sit out overnight to dechlorinate like you would with a fish tank.
All these plants were less than five dollars each at the nursery. I'm working on some terrariums this weekend. I will have some tutorials posted next week. Stay tuned!