Air Plants

Playing with houseplants is one of my favorite ways to garden over the winter. It is not nearly the same as being outside for sure, but I enjoy sprucing up my houseplants this time of year. It is a great time to freshen the soil in existing plants, moving some up to larger pots or divide and create cuttings.

I also can’t resist adding a few new friends as well.

I recently adopted some air plants. These are three Tillandsia, a type of epiphyte. There are over 600 varieties of Tillandsia, all native to the southern US, Mexico and South America.

Epiphytes are plants that do not grow in soil. They grow on another plant. They never touch the ground. Hence the name “air plants”. A common example of an epiphyte is an Orchid.

Even more specifically these are bromeliads (family Bromeliaceae) . Other commonly known bromeliads? Spanish Moss that hangs from trees and pineapples.

I had a hanging bubble planter from my garden center days that was needing a bit of a makeover. I filled the bottom on the bubble with some decorative stones I had left over from another project. You can get these at a craft store or a pet store in the fish tank section.

Then I added the air plants and a few seashells I saved from vacation. I love the big Tillandsia, it kind of reminds me of an octopus. I liked the way the “tentacles” poke though the holes that allow for air in the top of the bubble.

And that is it. Easiest planting project ever. Just hang it up in a sunny window and mist the plants once a week, or take them out and soak them in warm water for an hour or so.

I love the contrast here between the tropical air plants and the snow outside the window. Nice way to bring some summer to winter.


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