There is a lot to love about Tillandsia! Often commonly called air plants, they are the largest genus genus (around 650 species!) of evergreen, perennial flowering plants in the bromeliad (Bromeliaceae) family.

 

Native to the West Indies, Mexico, and much of Central America and South America, these intriguing epiphytes are found in diverse regions and environments like jungles, rain forests and deserts. And with an incredible array of shapes, sizes and textures, along with their relatively low-maintenance needs, air plants can be an excellent addition to everyone’s plant family!

 

CARE

The three tings to keep in mind with any tillandsia arewater, light and air circulation.

 

WATER

The trickiest of the three, is definitely the watering. Because these epiphytes absorb all their water and nutrients through their leaves, one has to be particularly mindful that they are getting adequate moisture. Many people often believe that weekly spritzing or misting is sufficient–but this is often not the case. However, there are some varieties (such as the fuzzy Tectorum) that do not prefer being completely submerged.

 

Although it is a good supplemental approach, the best way to go about watering most tillandsia, is with weekly soakings or baths. Depending upon the particular environment and variety, submerging your tillandsia once or twice a week, for 20 minutes to an hour or so, is the best way to keep it well-watered. After submerging, be sure to give it a good shake and turn your air plant upside down to completely dry, so water doesn’t sit in the crown, which can cause its core to rot.

 

Finding a balance and noticing when your air plant is thirsty or well-hydrated, completely depends upon the environment and the plant. We also advise using room temperature distilled, filtered, or rain water to mist and bathe your tillandsia, avoiding using water straight from the tap.

 

LIGHT

Bright, indirect or filtered sunlight is ideal for most tillandsia, although some direct sun can be tolerated, such as morning sun or winter rays.

 

 

AIR

Although these tropical and subtropical gems do like a certain level of humidity, adequate air circulation is also important to a happy air plant. Enclosed terrariums are not the best idea, as the air tends to be too stagnate and wet, which can quickly lead to rotting.

 

And because they don’t need soil, creatively displaying your air plants can pretty much be be whatever you can imagine. From drift wood, coral, shells, and stones, to interesting glass vessels or wire designs, you can have all sorts fun finding new and usual ways and places to house and display your Tillandsia.