What are Air plants?
Air plants are part of the Tillandsia family of plants and, surprisingly, do not require soil to grow. Instead, these unique plants get their nutrients from the air and water. This means that they can grow in unusual locations such as rocky areas or on tree branches and trunks. This also means that as plant owners we can get creative with how we display our air plants. Air plants are low maintenance and are ideal for beginners.
Whether you are green fingered or are a complete plant novice, the great thing about air plants is that they are super easy to care for, and only need to be watered every week or two. In fact, over-watering is one of the most common mistakes made when caring for these plants, as they may have a tendency to rot.
Air plants come in all shapes and sizes, as well as some pretty striking colours. If you can stand to part with them they make a great gift for a nature-lover in your life.
Why are Air Plants good for beginners?
Here are some reasons why air plants well-suited to beginner plant lovers:
• Air plants are low cost plant options - no soil or pots needed.
• Air plants are easy to take care of - they can tolerate a little neglect.
• Air plants come in a variety of shapes and sizes so there are lots to choose from.
• Air plants are compact so are perfect plant for small homes, student accommodation or apartments.
• Air plants are a great way to add some greenery to your home or work space.
How to take care for Air Plants:
Air plants can be grown without soil so all you need to do is find a creative way of displaying them. While they don’t require a lot of care, there are a few things you can do to help them thrive. Ensure you give them a bath of water every 1-2 weeks for a maximum of half an hour. After their soak make sure you gently shake off any excess water (to avoid rot) and allow them to dry before putting them back on display. If you forget or don’t have time to give them a proper soak, then you can mist them with water to keep them going until their next bath.
Light is also important to help air plants photosynthesise. Air plants need bright indirect light so place them in a bright spot but out of direct sunlight. An added benefit to their health is some air plant fertiliser which can be sprayed onto their leaves approximately once a month. With optimal care your air plant may even surprise you with flowers!
You can also check our more detailed air plants care instruction in our blog page.
Which Air Plants to choose?
There are many different kinds of air plants, but not all of them are suitable for beginners. Here are some of the best air plants for beginners.
Tillandsia ionantha is one of the best air plants for beginners. They are easy to care for and don't require a lot of maintenance. Tillandsia ionantha is native to Mexico and Central America. They can be found in a variety of climates, from hot and humid jungles to dry, desert-like regions. Because they are so adaptable, they make a great choice for beginners. Tillandsia ionantha grows best in bright light. However, they can also tolerate low light conditions. If you live in a less sunny climate, then place your plant near a window where it will receive some indirect sunlight.
Tillandsia harrisii is one of the best for beginners. It is a sturdy air plant with strong leaves and doesn't require a lot of maintenance. It has beautiful silvery-grey leaves. The colour of its leaves indicate that it is from a more arid climate in the world and therefore doesn't need much water.
A very different shape to the rest of the air plant family, the Tillandsia usneoides, or Spanish moss as it is commonly called, is a delicate trailing plant. You can get very creative with where you hang this plant in your home. It is very easy to look after and indeed quite difficult to kill.
Stylish ways to display your air plants
Air plants in a terrarium
A terrarium is a great way to show off your air plants. A terrarium doesn't need to be an expensive shop bought vessel - you can make your own from a variety of everyday objects. Examples include glass jars, bowls, test tubes, milk bottles, or baubles.
Air plants in a vase
If you're looking for a simple way to display your air plants, try putting them in a vase. You can use any type of vase and your air plants will look fantastic.
Air plants on a mount
If you want to show off your air plants in a more creative way, try mounting them on a piece of wood, cork, bark or plank.
Air plant as a centrepiece
Air plants can also make a great centrepiece for your coffee table. Several plants grouped together is very effective. Try using a variety of shapes and sizes for maximum effect. You could use a bowl, a tray or even a large shell for this type of display.
Air plants as a hanging vessel
Try using a hanging container to show off your air plants for maximum effect. This is a great way to add some life to a bare wall or window sill. Macrame or twine can be useful for achieving this effect. Many people enjoy inserting an air plant into an urchin shell for a floating jellyfish effect.
Air plants on a book shelves
Of course air plants don't need a container to hold them. They will be perfectly happy placed on a shelf. Provided that your book shelves are in a well-lit area, then air plants displayed on your shelves can look very attractive as objet de art.
There are plenty of ways to display your air plants - you’re your imagination and get creative.
Optimum Air Plants care tips
Here are a few air plant care tips for the ultimate beginner:
• Give your air plants plenty of light but not in direct sunlight
• Create a watering routine every 1-2 weeks, but be careful not to overwater them.
• Mist your air plants regularly if you forget to bath them. This will help them stay healthy and hydrated.
• Don't let them sit in water and get soggy. Make sure you gently shake off excess water after bathing them. This will help prevent them from rotting.
• Fertilize your air plants once a month or so with specialised liquid air plant fertilizer.
By following these air plant care tips, you can ensure that your plants stay healthy and happy.
So, if you're looking for an easy-care plant that's perfect for beginners, air plants are a great option. Check out our shop for some air plant options as well as care products, such as air plant fertilizer.