Instant Expert: Air Plants Are Amazing!

Why air plants need to be your new houseplant.

With their edgy look, these otherworldly plants are the rock stars of greenery. They'll help bring the party to your home, but they're not a high-maintenance set. In fact, air plants don't need soil and don't need to be watered much, which means you can admire them without worry during busy days.


Their sunny side: Tillandsias, known as air plants, do have roots, but they don't use them to obtain nutrients. With the right amount of direct sunlight and hydration (think a daily light misting), their leaves take care of that.

Take two: Air plants have made a major comeback since their popularity blossomed back in the 70's. There are two main types. Xeric Tillandsias flourish in super dry and hot locales (think the desert), and they have a furry looking surface that absorbs light and water. Whereas Mesic Tillandsias grow in more moderate climates that receive a little more moisture (think Central America). This variety has a smooth, porous surface.

Location, location, location: In nature, air plants grow on rocks, as well as on trees and other plants without harming them. At home, you can showcase them in bowls, on trays or in hanging glass globes. Find more creative display ideas in the book Air Plants.


Taken from Air Plants: The Curious World of Tillandsias© Copyright 2014 by Zenaida Sengo. Photos by Caitlin Atkinson. Published by Timber Press, Portland, OR. Used by permission of the publisher. All rights reserved.

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