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No green thumb? No worries! Now you can enjoy plants that don’t need water – or dirt? No such thing, right? Well…not exactly- check out these little gems affectionately referred to as Air Plants! Want to know more? Read on…
What are Air Plants?
With over 730 species in the Tillandsia genus, these air plants (epiphytes) are in the Bromeliad family. Ok, enough botanical talk- let us move onto more interesting facts.
These plants are native to the jungles and forests of Central America, South America, and the southern United States. Typically, they grow without soil while attached to other plants. They get almost all their nutrients through their leaf structures from such things as dust, insect matter, and decaying leaves. New plants can be propagated from their offshoots. Some species produce vibrant colorful blooms and others produce fragrant flowers. A few varieties bloom only once before dying and their leaf color will change from green to red (blushing) when getting ready to flower.
Growing and Caring For Your Air Plants
With a little imagination and about 15 minutes, you can dress up the dreariest corner, an empty spot on your wall, or add a splash of color to your kitchen counter, bathroom, or desk! Let your imagination run wild on the possibilities – these precious little plants never demand much attention. They fit perfectly into teacups, conch shells, small glass-bowl terrariums, hanging globes, small ceramic pots, etc. Research the type of air plant you plan to buy and its natural habitat will help you understand its care.
Common to all air plants is the fact that they all need constant air circulation. Other factors to consider:
- Mist your air plant daily – they need some moisture –if located in a humid environment, such as a bathroom, misting is not necessary. Mist only once or twice a week during the winter
- Fertilize with a weak solution monthly during spring and summer-mix a low-nitrogen liquid fertilizer at ¼ strength
- Protect from full sun-if it grows wild on trees, provide partial shade and keep it in moist
- Ground types will do well indoors in bright, filtered light or outdoors in partial shade
- Air plants will not survive temperatures below 45 degrees