Sunday, January 9, 2011

For the Love of Air

I recently fell in love with these cool little plants called Tillandsias, or Airplants.

These funky little guys come in all shapes, sizes and colors (over 550 known species).  Belonging to the BROMELIAD family, Tillandsias are found primarily in Central and South America where they grow on rocks, cliffs, trees and shrubs.


They need no soil because they gather their moisture and nutrients from the rain and air through their leaves.  How cool is that?

Although they are relatively hardy and easy to take care of, Tillandsias do require 3 basic things:

 Light, Water and Air Circulation

The amount of light will depend on the species, but generally speaking, they like bright and filtered light.  The thick-leafed, grey to white species require more light and can tolerate full sun.  The softer leafed species need less light.  You can experiment by moving the plant around to see what it prefers.

Although they can withstand long periods without water, Tillandsias do like water.  Soak them every one to two weeks in a bowl or bucket of water for anywhere from 5 - 20 minutes.  The frequency, again, can depend on the species so play around with it to see what your plant likes.  If you notice the leaf edges beginning to curl up, this could be a sign that they plant is drying up.  Give it a good soaking.  Spray misting is not recommended for indoor plants since it is usually not a sufficient amount of water for them.  Make sure they dry thoroughly within 4 hours or else they are susceptible to root rot.  They like humidity so a bathroom with good filtered light and good air circulation could be a perfect spot for them.  

Air Circulation
Fresh air will do them good.  Open a window or set them outside once in awhile.  Outdoor plants can withstand a wide range of temperatures from 100 F to freezing.

 They make great gifts and many of my family and friends received some of my creations over the holidays.

1 comment:

  1. i have always wanted to make one of these... but my fear of not being crafty gets me.

    perhaps you can help claire make one for me? ha! Jk

    i'm loving these :)