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Amazing Air Plant Displays
You already know that miniature gardens take time, effort, and plenty of care. They need to be watered and given just enough sunlight. In order to thrive, miniature plants need healthy, rich soil and occasional fertilizing. Would you believe it if you saw a plant that did not need soil, and only required a little moisture? A plant you could hang on the wall, grow in a teeny-tiny jar, or even scatter across a table?
Air Plants and Air Plant Care
It must be your lucky day, because we are taking on the exciting and sometimes mysterious world of air plants. The tillandsia genus contains about 650 species of plants native to the south-eastern United States, northern Mexico, and the Caribbean. Sometimes people just call them “tillandsias.” These plants come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. A Tillandsia tectorum is delicate, while the Tillandsia Xerographica can grow to be very large.
Air plants have become very popular and trendy over the last few years. This could be, in part, because they are relatively hardy and simple to care for. These small plants are ideal for apartment dwellers, dorm rooms, and other small spaces. Some are so small, you can hang them from a Christmas tree!
Caring for your air plants takes a little time and attention, but they will not overwhelm a gardener, especially if you are already familiar with miniature gardens. They prefer bright, indirect or filtered sunlight, but should not be placed directly in the heat for multiple hours.
Air plants should be watered 1-3 times per week, ideally through a 30-minute soak in a water bath. They can also be misted with a spray bottle in between waterings.
Displaying Your Air Plants
One of the best things about these unique plants is that they can be displayed, sans soil, almost anywhere. They can be mounted on the wall, scattered on a surface, or even grown in a glass orb. Air plants do need air circulation, so they should not be put in enclosed containers, but almost anywhere else is fair game.
Unlike other plants, air plants can be mounted to surfaces. You can purchase special air plant holders that include wire holders an air plant can sit upon. There are even magnetic options with pockets for small plants. If you can believe it, you can even grow an air plant inside a seashell! Some gardeners prefer to mount their plants using adhesives such as hot glue, but there are plenty of other options if you do not want the plant to be permanently affixed to a surface.
Wiring is another option for these special plants. When wired together, air plants will grow into and around each other, creating beautiful displays. This could be an option for miniature gardens and fairy gardens. Air plants can hang in trees, curl over fairy houses, and sit on top of sand in Zen gardens. They can also be placed inside small planters. If you choose a planter with a silly face, the air plant becomes the hair!
Other popular options include cholla wood planters, perching air plants inside glass containers with pebbles or sand, and mounting several plants on large pieces of driftwood, tree bark, or wooden slices.
Some people say “you can never have too many air plants,” and we tend to agree. Next time you want to add something new to your fairy garden or take your miniature gardening hobby to new heights, consider an air plant…or two, or three…or more!
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