You are here

The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

Plant of the Week: Tillandsia (Air Plants)

Looking for unique plants to tuck around your home? You'll love Tillandsia (also known as Air Plants). Set them on a stack of books, hang them near a window, grow them on driftwood or simply set them in a shallow dish. No soil needed!

Whether it’s because of the plant’s popularity on Pinterest boards, or its architecture appeal, the tillandsia plant has made a comeback in the horticulture world—and in a big way. Tillandsia are one of the easiest plants to grow and is the largest genus in the bromeliad family. Commonly known as air plants, they are found from jungle to rain forest to even desert environments.

Most tillandsia species use their root systems to attach themselves to trees or rocks and absorb moisture and nutrients through their leaves. This classifies them as epiphytes. Since tillandsia are epiphytes, the mounting medium you choose is limited only by your imagination. These plants are adaptable and tolerant to a wide range of environmental conditions and require minimal care.

If your tillandsia is going to be indoors, care must be taken to provide enough light and correct moisture to maintain a healthy plant. Bright light or filtered sun is recommended. To water, simply mist 2-4 times a week with a water bottle. Never leave them standing in water.

Air plants do exceptionally well in outdoor environments. A backyard tree, screened porch or pool patio will be the most likely areas to find the bright filtered light conditions that tillandsias love. Plants grown in humid outdoor environments should be watered once weekly. In drier climates, more frequent watering may be necessary. If the plant’s leaves start to curl or roll, it could be in indication of dehydration.

Check out more of our favorite plants! OUR PLANTS OF THE WEEK >>