Tillandsias, or air plants, have the unique ability to draw all the water and nutrients they need from tiny scales on their leaves. Air plants require minimal care and are highly adaptable, and although they do grow roots, they do so to anchor themselves to a particular location, such as branches. A member of the bromeliad plant family, these gorgeous little plants can survive off air alone and make for beautiful décor in your office, home or garden.
What is an air plant?
Air plants, or tillandsias, are a tropical American plant that usually grows on trees. It has long, narrow laves that absorb water and nutrients from their environment. There are more than 650 types of air plants that can grow and thrive without soil.
What does an air plant need?
The professionals at garden supply store Hoselink say that air plants generally require good air circulation, a misting of water from spring to autumn every couple of days, and once a week in winter. Air plants also require dappled sunlight and temperatures of more than eight degrees Celsius.
Where should an air plant be positioned?
Air Plant Décor is an Melbourne-based online destination for obtaining air plants in Australia, and they recommend positioning your air plant in an east of west facing window as long as they won’t get overly hot. Air plant will also grow outdoors in partially shaded conditions in warmer climates. Rooms with north-facing window will work as well.
Should air plants be immersed in water?
Tillandsia International says to maintain air plants correctly they need the good light, water and air circulation. The group recommends soaking your air plant in water in a bowl or the sink for two hours every couple of weeks, then gentlly shake them to remove excess water and leave them to dry in a well circulated area for around four hours. Mist in between soakings.
How do I know if my air plant needs water?
An air plants leaves feel stiffer when they are full of water, but softer and lighter in colour when they are thirsty. If the leaves curl or wrinkle then your air plant is probably dehydrated. Never leave a tillandsia standing in water.
How to care for air plants
- Air plants generally aren’t affected by pests or diseases and don’t require feeding.
- Don’t let water gather at the base of your air plant as this can be detrimental to its health.
- Air plants can grow all year round.
- The higher humidity in your space, the more light your air plant can tolerate.
- The hotter and drier the conditions, the more you need to water them. Heaters and fireplaces can dry the air out in your environment.
- If your air plant has been over watering and is showing signs such as the base turning brown or black, or leaves falling off, then it is most likely too late to save it.
Air plant life cycle
Air plants only flower once in their life cycle when they reach ‘old age’, and after it flowers it will eventually die. Before, during or after flowering the air plant will reproduce by sending out two to eight baby air plants. They start out very small and can be removed from the mother air plant when the reach one-third to half the size of the original plant.
Where can you buy air plants in Australia?
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