Air plants are some of the most interesting types of plants out there. As the name suggests, the way they grow is unique. These plants look very peculiar and ornamental. If you’re looking to grow a few types of air plants or have never heard of them at all, the information here is going to be useful either way.
In this article, we are going to talk about air plants and how to grow them:
* What are air plants?
* Get to know more about Tillandsia
* Growing air plants: our top picks
What Are Air Plants?
The more you learn about the plant kingdom, the more you find out that there are some very unique and unconventional plants out there. Air plants fit into this category without a doubt. These plants form a unique group of flora and do not require soil for their roots to grow in. For most other plants, soil provides not only support but, more importantly, a rich source of the mineral nutrients and water required for healthy plant growth.
In air plants, the moisture and mineral sustenance that the plants need is absorbed directly from the air. Trichomes are the name given to the specialized cells in the leaves that allow air plants to absorb moisture from around them rapidly. This absorption can also take place from rain, dust, and decaying matter. As you can imagine, this makes air plants quite low maintenance. There are different species of air plants, and many of these are small plants. Air plants may also be known as sky plants and are the group of perennial plants belonging to the genus Tillandsia.
Get to Know More About Tillandsia
Tillandsia is a big genus of around 650 different species of mainly air plants. These are all perennial, evergreen flowering plants. Most of these plants are classified as epiphytes, and this means that they grow on other plants. You can also find them growing on telephone poles, rocks, or anywhere else with favorable conditions. Tillandsia species are native to many parts of Central and South America.
As far as their appearance, all air plant species are unique. Many of them have a compressed stem and a leaf rosette. This adaptation allows the plants to increase their area for moisture absorption. Sky plants usually have a silvery color to their leaves. Different types produce different kinds of flowers. In general, these flowers are usually brightly colored. The most common options are yellow, red, pink, and purple. This visual appeal is important for attracting the air plant’s pollinators, which include moths, hummingbirds, and even bats.
Growing Air Plants: Our Top Picks
Air plants can be fun and exciting plants to grow in your own space. The benefits have already been touched on, and these include the beautiful uniqueness of the plants and their low maintenance. Air plants make the perfect house or office plants, even for complete beginners. They do not require must waters, up to four times a week is enough, and as you know, they don’t need soil to grow. In fact, with most types of air plants, you shouldn’t even try to grow them in soil because that is not how they are adapted.
If you want to grow air plants indoors, there are a few places you can place them. One of those is in a terrarium. These plants usually require a fair amount of sunlight, although this differs from variety to variety. Another simple option is to place your air plants in beautiful decorative seashells.
To get started with an air plant, you can buy the plant whole. From there, you are going to need to soak it for about 15 minutes, then hang it upside-down until it dries completely. You need to make sure there is no excess water trapped between its leaves, so we recommend a good shake. Once the plant is dry, you can turn it the right way again and place it in the new home you have for it.
Air plants do not need a whole lot of watering. You can do this by misting them or occasionally soaking them for the larger varieties. These can be soaked for around 15-30 minutes once a week in hot summer and once every fortnight in the wintertime. Once again, the plant must be dried out completely before returning to its spot to prevent mold from developing. The hotter and drier it is, the more you should provide them with water. When it is cold and damp, you should limit how often you water these plants.
To get started with cultivating your own unique ornamental Tillandsia, here are some suggested varieties:
* Tillandsia xerographica is a marvelous choice and is commonly referred to as the “queen of the air plants.” It is a stunning plant with characteristic curving leaves. These are a light silvery-green color. This small plant is very low maintenance and quite slow-growing. A plant that has a diameter of 4-5 inches can be just under 5 years of age.
* Tillandsia tectorum is another exquisite species of air plants worth considering. It has very large, bright white trichomes. The leaves are thin and spirally in nature. Having this easy-to-grow plant in your space can definitely add some beauty and charm.
* One other air plant we want to bring to your attention is the Tillandsia ionatha. What is particularly special about this plant is the bright peach color that some of its leave turn. It also has lovely purple flowers when it eventually blooms.
The diversity of the Tillandsia genus of plants means that you get air plants that are completely different and special in their own way. Growing air plants is fun and easy to do. They don’t require much care. All you have to be aware of is the sunlight and watering requirements during various weather and seasonal changes. We hope you give these bold and beautiful small plants a try in your home or office space.