collection of air plantsThink you have a big family? Try being a tillandsia. As part of the bromeliad family tillandsias, commonly known as “Air Plants”, haveĀ over 3,000 cousins that are as weird and wonderful as spanish moss and pineapples! And they themselves are just as unusual.

Native to the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America, tillandsias are known as air plants on account of their independence from soil. As epiphytes they only have roots to anchor harmlessly onto larger plants. There are about 750 species of air plant that range from tree-huggers in rain forests to dune-surfers in the desert. They get their water and nutrient requirements from the air, rain and debris that lands on their leaves. Thinner leafed varieties are more accustomed to high humidity while thicker leaved ones are a bit more tolerant to drought.

Spanish moss and pineapple

Spanish moss and pineapple.

Popular in the 80’s as shell-dwelling fridge magnets, air plants are regaining popularity as minimalist oddities for the office or modern living room. Their striking shape and their ability to live without soil makes them a great living art installation. Put them in a clean lined glass vase with moss or on a tray with pebbles and a figurine for an unusual vignette.

For air plants in winter we recommend an enclosed glass container to help trap humidity. Keep them in a brightly lit spot out of direct sunlight and water every couple days depending on the humidity levels in your home/office. Some people have better luck misting them every day or two, while others like to give them a little plunge for 5-10 minutes once or twice a week. It’s important to make sure there is no water accumulated in the base of the leaf, as this can lead to rot.

Air plant in modern frame.

Tillandsias in wire frames to hang or sit on a table.

Tillandsias will bloom once in their adulthood. Once the adult has bloomed it will send out multiple babies from its base. These babies will in turn bloom and send out multiple babies from theirĀ bases. In this way they can grow to be giant clusters of individual plants covered in blooms! This can take a while though, so be patient.

We carry a wide range of air plant varieties throughout the year, as well as an assortment of display options to suit any style and decor. Come check them out!