Air plants don’t require soil, need only moderate light, and a good soak every once in a while. Beautiful as modern home décor, in terrariums, or as a very affordable gift for any occasion, these little guys have so much personality you just want to name each and every one that you adopt!
Air plants, also called tillandsias, are really easy to grow. Their stylishly unique appearance and growth habit make them good conversation starters. They can bring a bit of elegance and/or whimsy to any room. They are so easy to grow that they are the perfect starter plants for kids and grandchildren.
What are Air Plants?- Air plants are ‘Epiphytes’ which means they are a plant that can grow on the branches of other plants in the forest. This is why they look so natural as accessories on houseplants.
They are NOT parasitic like mistletoe. They do not feed on their host plant. All the moisture and nutrients these little plants need come directly from their surrounding air and humidity. They are related to orchids, ferns, Spanish moss, and bromeliads, but are far easier to care for and grow.
Caring for air plants – Simply place them in a spot that receives medium to high light, but not direct sunlight.
Watering is key – Dunking is the simplest method. Dunk your air plant into a tub of lukewarm water and let soak for 10 minutes once every 1-2 weeks.
Be mindful of the humidity in your home. Some rooms such as kitchens and baths are naturally a bit more humid. Also, in winter be aware of the effects of indoor heating. A fireplace, stove, or furnace dries the air in your home faster than during other seasons. You’ll want to adjust your watering of air plants accordingly.
Decorate & Display Air Plants
Hanging glass globes or teardrops with rock moss and other accessories are a cute way to display your new air plants. They also make unusual gifts and ornaments for birthday and holiday celebrations.
Add air plants to your indoor terrariums or succulent gardens.
Create an elevated display of air plants; they will appear to float above their containers.
Air plants have become very popular at weddings for boutonnieres, bouquets, and centerpiece arrangements.
One large air plant on a coffee table creates a modern display that is guaranteed to be a conversation starter for gardeners and non-gardeners alike.
Gardening Classes – The spring series of classes starts this weekend! Every Saturday at 9:30 I will host a free one-hour gardening class at the nursery. Catch the entire schedule of class topics on my website at WattersGardenCenter.com
A quick run down of the January classes is as follows:
January 10 – Advanced Landscape Pruning to Spring Success. Not all plants in our yards need pruning, but timing is critical for those that do. Learn these spring-timely mountain techniques sure to make any yard happy, bloom better, and reduce diseases. Dress warmly and bring garden shoes for this class; it will be a working demonstration on the landscapes here at Watters.
January 17 – Growing Plants Indoors – Where Inspiration Begins (includes a coupon) Growing tropical plants indoors in our arid climate presents a unique set of gardening challenges. Success is in the soil, the food, and choosing the right plants. The info from this class will deliver the know-how to grow healthy houseplants. Each student will receive a free coupon towards an item from Watters’ inspiring 2015 pottery collection.
January 24 – Come Alive with Advanced Seed Propagation – $35 Learn how to tell if your seed is fresh, if you are using the correct soil, the basics of proper watering, the importance of seed temperatures, and more. Like all of Watters’ gardening classes, this session is free, BUT some of you will jump at our $35 offer to the first 10 gardeners to register for this class. There will be 10 lucky registrants who will get a season’s worth of advance propagation material to start this year’s garden! The kit is worth more than $35, but it is only available to the first 10 gardeners who register. “Registration” is a snap; simply call the garden center to get your name on the list.
January 31 – Landscape Designs for Mountain Retreats This class offers far more than where to sling more rock. This will help to design, remodel, or install a new landscape that feels just right to each gardener’s individual taste. Beginning with evergreens and the early spring bloomers, this class offers exceptional guidance for landscapes that will shine for each of the four seasons.
Until next week, I’ll see you at the garden center.
Ken Lain can be found throughout the week at Watters Garden Center, 1815 W. Iron Springs Rd in Prescott, or contacted through his web site at www.wattersgardencenter.com or Facebook page www.facebook.com/WattersGardenCenter .