Ever heard of air plants? If not, come with us and we'll tell you all about it!
Photos by: Unsplash
These alien-looking plant species are almost an odd brew that not many know about. They don't need soil, they grow in the air. Their leaves look like tentacles or octopus appendages, but are very exotic to look at and possibly the simplest plants to grow in any setting.
They are a fascinating way to say the least, and in many countries they are a popular choice for those who want a few green additions to their home or office, but with as little maintenance as possible. Especially in the last year these have been added in many environments and shops selling them have popped up everywhere. You won't find them in grocery stores, gardeners, gardening stores, and can even be easily and efficiently delivered to your door without damaging them.
One of the most popular species is called Tillandsia, and if you order an air plant, chances are that you will be presented with one. They take in nutrients and water through scales on their leaves. If you've ever been to the world or in a forest, most likely you would have seen her hanging from a log. Click here to learn more. The thing to note is that, however easy to care for, they may die or wither if you're not careful. Sometimes their leaves can dry out and so it is important to take care of them. We're looking at a few ways you can take care of these when they get home.
Care of air plants
Dunking these beauties
For most of the greens that you have in and around your home or office, watering and spraying once a week can be enough to keep them healthy and lush. Not only do you have to spray them with these guys, they also need a bit of extra grooming. It is recommended to submerge them. To do this, you need to fill a bucket or tub with lukewarm water. Don't use water that is too cold as plants don't like it. You immerse them completely and let them sit there for a few hours. Some gardeners recommend leaving them in the water overnight. Doing this once a week should be perfectly fine for them to thrive.
After following the advice above and taking them out of the water, allow them to air dry properly. You can gently shake off excess water and place them in the sun to dry or in a bright spot near a window, but be careful not to have a strong draft to tip them over. Leaving them in a place where they can't dry properly can cause their leaves to rot or dry out completely, causing them to turn brown. Even so, it is good for them to keep them in a bright, well-lit room. But make sure that it is indirect light. Since they are native to rainforests, you can imagine the conditions that allow vegetation to thrive in these surroundings, and you can understand what it takes to thrive in a home or office.
You get hungry too
Yes, plants need food too. They also need food and fertilizer. Adding liquid fertilizers to your water or adding plant food to the tiny tuber under their foliage will allow them to thrive for as long as their lifespan requires. However, it is important to remember that, like any other vegetation, this too cannot tolerate too much of a good thing, i.e. too much food and fertilizer. Some plants come in glass bottles known as "terrariums2" and as beautiful as these can be, when it comes to proper care, it's best not to keep them locked up. However, if you want to add some aesthetic appeal to them, you can choose a glass bowl that has a mouth wide enough for these little guys to breathe. A fishbowl would be the perfect thing for her.
Don't forget to let them dry completely before placing them in the fishbowl. Sometimes when you order a Plantedpot delivery you will find that the companies have already placed it in one of these plants so you don't have to remove it until you have submerged it in water. They will sometimes come with care instructions, and if not, ask the company for some great tips to keep you (and the air plants) going.
Shade, warmth or light?
There are a few types of these plants that can handle shade. So if you're in an environment with not too much sun or bright light, you can order either a T. lindenii or a T. cyanea, both of which can handle some shady areas and less intense morning or afternoon sun.
As mentioned above, they come from the rainforest, so some of them grow under a canopy of other trees and plants that give them shade. However, they love a warm atmosphere, so they should not be kept in direct sun, but in a warm room no colder than 45 degrees. When it's colder, investing in a humidifier or heater is an option or they will wither and die.