What Are Air Plants And Why Are They Special?

What are Air Plants

The air plants (they also call them "daughters of the air“) Are a motley group of epiphytes belonging to the family of bromeliads.

There is more of 700 species of different shapes and sizes. Some look like fireworks in the middle of an explosion; others resemble the eccentric hairstyles of old rock stars.


All have adapted to survive by holding on to anythingFrom branches and electrical cables to sinister cliffs. The best? They get their nutrient and moisture needs directly from the air, this means that They are NOT parasitic plantsThey don't hurt their host, they just lean on them.

Air plants will stick to just about anything, so you can get creative with growing them.

This is a radical departure from the typical plant that takes root in the ground for its sustenance. In the botanical world, this indicates that air plants are quite independent types.

tillandsia in bloom

How do they survive?

The way they absorb moisture, minerals and organic nutrients is through small surface flakes called trichomes. These trichomes are what give many air plants their silver or gray appearance. Some species have densely covered areas, while others have less, indicating the variety of habitats these plants have adapted to.

Flowering plants to grow in fall

Air plants have adapted to survive by clinging to branches.

Interestingly, all these characteristics make air plants are ideal for staying at home. They will stick to just about anything, so you can get creative when growing them. Place them on dry wood, put them in open glass terrariums, or hang them with string - the options are endless.

You can even mount them on surfaces like wood or metal, although I prefer to keep them free and mobile to facilitate watering. If you are going to mount them permanently for display, make sure the surface is waterproof and secure the plant to the base.

air plant in terrarium

How to choose them?

Air plants are perfect for those with a black thumb - their care routine is easy!

Natural remedies for the garden with medicinal plants

When considering air plants, you have to focus on what catches your eye. Search spanish moss (Tillandsia usneoides), which works well as a hanging plant. Other weird and wonderful options are the Bulbous tillandsia, soft green in color, which seems to have been plugged in and given an electric shock, and the hardest to find, the Tillandsia xerographica, a large silver-gray species from Central America.

When buying them, you can look for them on Amazon or Aliexpress, but you can also choose a store like Egoi to buy tillandsias, especially if you are in Spain, since they have free shipping and a really exquisite variety.

General care of Air Plants

air plants

Once you have chosen your air plant, the care routine is simple. Here are my top five points for growing air plants at home:

What to do and what not to do to care for air plants

Why is it fashionable to buy plants online?
  1. Keep them in a protected position with bright but indirect light. In hot regions they can be kept outside in the shade, but in colder regions it is best indoors.
  2. Do not neglect the air flowThey need a well-ventilated position to stay healthy.
  3. Water regularly. Soaking them in rainwater is the best way to provide your air plants with the moisture they need. Do this for 20 minutes, two to three times a week during the warmer months, allowing the plants to dry in a well-ventilated area or with a gentle shake immediately afterward. Spraying can be helpful in hot, dry weather.
  4. Don't overwater when temperatures drop. Rot can develop if the plants are too wet or if water collects between the leaves.
  5. Fertilize your air plants immersing them in water with a small dose of soluble fertilizer every month in summer. This will accelerate the growth of the plant, promote flowering and the production of suckers.

If you want to know in more detail how to care for air plants, you can read the Tillandsia Care Sheet

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