Air plants are actually called Tillandsias, which happens to be part of the Pineapple family otherwise known as the Bromeliad family. Tillandsias are an attractive and interesting plant species native to the Southern United States, Mexico and Central/South America. They have also been labelled as Epiphytes, as they do not need to have soil to grow. Most grow on trees and rocks. They receive all their water and nutrients through fuzzy gray scales on their leaves called trichomes. In nature, nutrients are provided by decaying leaves, dust or insect matter. Their wire like roots are used for anchoring only.
Growth Cycle: Tillandsias come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Their growth cycle begins as a single plant, which grows to maturity. When the plant reaches maturity it blooms beautiful bright colors, with spikes lasting from several weeks to many months. When the bloom is finished, new plants, referred to as pups, babies or offshoots, grow out the base of the parent plant. These new plants will grow up and surround the parent as it slowly dies. The new plants will grow to maturity and complete the blooming cycle in one to several years. It’s fascinating to watch as these new plants grow to maturity and bloom without soil.
Caring For Air Plants: Your Tillandsia likes bright light but not direct sunlight. A shaded patio or near a bright window in the house is an ideal environment. Make sure to keep your Tillandsia away from severe cold. It likes fresh moving air from time to time. Water your plants once a week by dunking the plants in a bucket and Drench them in distilled or rain water. Be sure to shake the plant of excess water after.
REMEMBER: Mounted Air Plants are excellent floral gifts. Their long lasting mounted arrangements cost the same as flowers but last much longer. They are excellent desktop decorations making them a hit for Secretary’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Teacher’s Appreciation Day.
Do Not Mount Air Plants With: