I’ve only been bitten by the “plant bug” recently in the last few years, but it’s been really fun discovering and learning about different types of plants and how to care for each variety. Some of the coolest kinds out there are air plants! These small plants don’t need soil so you can use a wide variety of planters to display these air-loving friends.
Buying air-plants: There are lots of places that you can get air plants from online (we bought ours here and here) and several different varieties to choose from. I recommend getting a multi-pack that has a few different kinds and sizes of plants to vary the look of your terrarium or planter.
Watering: “Wait, do these plants need water? Don’t they just live off air?” Well, actually, no they don’t. These plants may not live in soil, but they do need water! When you get your air plants, you’ll want to soak them in a small container of water for 20-30 minutes. Try to use filtered, well, or rain water if you can as regular municipal water from the tap can have harmful chlorine. Gently shake the water off your plants and allow them to dry completely before placing them in their new homes. You’ll need to repeat this soaking ritual once a week in order for your plants to stay hydrated. If you don’t, they really will die. Believe me.
Make sure not to let your air plant sit in water or soil for extended periods of time. (They get their nutrients through their leaves, not through their roots.)
Light: Air plants love bright, but indirect, light. While bright, indirect light is best, they can also thrive in direct indoor light, if that’s the best available spot. Just make sure to mist them with a spray bottle every couple of days, and consider moving them if the direct light seems too much for a particular plant. You can even keep your plants outside as long as they are in filtered light. (Just be sure to water them more often than indoor plants.)
Grooming: If some of the lower leaves of your plant have dried out, you can gently pull off those withered stems. You can also snip any tips of leaves that have dried out as well. Don’t worry about hurting your plant; the leaves will grow back.
Air Plant “Pups”: Another cool thing about air plants is that they will eventually produce little sprouts, or “pups,” from their base (up to 2-8 per plant!). When a pup reaches 1/3 of the size of the adult plant, you can gently separate it by pulling it apart from the parent plant. Cool, right?
Displaying your plants: I love the fact that you can display these plants in some unique ways (like here, here, and here) since you don’t have to have a container for soil. We chose these simple hanging planters for our new studio, but I’m sure they won’t be the only air planters around for very long!
Now that you know all about air plants, you can see why we think they are such a fun area of the plant world to dive into. Got any tips of your own to help keep air plants happy and healthy? xo. Laura
Credits // Author: Laura Gummerman, Photography: Laura Gummerman and Sarah Rhodes.