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Air Plants are Easy Care and So Cool

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When I see something notable from colleagues in the garden industry, I like to share it with you. Here’s some fun information on a family of plants you may not be familiar with: air plants. Chris Martinez of

Orchard Nursery & Florist in LaFayette, California, is into air plants. You may be too, after reading this!

 Houseplants make a great living addition to any room in the home. All they need is light, water, nutrients and love – and they return the favor by cleaning the air, as well as adding zen, life and beauty to your home! Tillandsias are a fun and trendy houseplant, and they are easy to care for –perfect for the beginner!

Tillandsia are a form of epiphyte (airplant) from the Bromeliad family. These exotic plants come from all over the world, including tropical locations and the desert, where they are found growing on trees, shrubs, rocks and cliffs. They need no soil to survive because they get all their nutrients and water through their leaves. Tillandsias come in a variety of colors, sizes, shapes and textures. (There are some varieties of tillandsia that are planted in potting soil, but today we’re focusing on the air plant varieties. Check out our houseplant article later this month for more information on the tillandsias that need soil.)

The air plant varieties of tillandsias mostly fall into two categories – xeric (drought tolerant – originally from drier regions) and mesic (originally from more humid environments like rain forests). Xeric tillandsias have a silvery sheen and a more fuzzy texture. This fuzzy texture holds moisture well, which is what makes them more drought tolerant and a great choice for beginners or those who forget a watering every once in a while! Mesic tillandsia have a smoother texture and are more green in color. The care for them is mostly the same. Tillandsias like bright, indirect light (set back 12-18 inches from a bright window is ideal). Mesic tillandsias can tolerate lower light locations, and xeric varieties can take brighter light. Water tillandsias by running them under water once every other week. Mesic varieties can be submerged in a tub of water for a couple hours, instead of running them under water. Mist your tillandsia two to three times a week to maintain humidity. Fertilize once a month in the growing season (spring to fall). If you submerge your tillandsia for watering, add a water soluble fertilizer to the tub once a month or add fertilizer to your mister once a month for easy application. Tillandsias need good air movement for optimum health, but keep them away from the direct path of your heater/air conditioner vents.

Tillandsias are so versatile, they are an easy addition to the home. They can be placed on counter tops, tables or even mounted to be hung on the wall. They’re perfect for terrariums too – we have both table top and hanging terrariums available. We have a wide selection of tillandsias in stock – come by and start your collection!Han

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