Want to improve your home’s indoor air quality while adding more oomph to your interior design? Add air plants, the real kind. There are many types of air plants – even those which thrives without sunlight. Getting the majority of their nutrients from the air, tillandsia or commonly referred generally as air plants require less of your time and attention making it a perfect plant for indoor container gardening. You can create a terrarium, hanging planter or a ceramic self-watering pot to house these gorgeous house plants.
You may also anchor it on another plant or a driftwood or a window sill or wherever/whichever catches your fancy, and it will still thrive. Like orchids and lichens as well as mosses and ferns, this plant genus does not suck out nutrients from their host. But what tillandsia to pick?
Types of Air Plants
Belonging to the bromeliad family, the simple yet adorable tillandsia comes in around 650 types or varieties. There are also countless hybrids to give you more choices. Take these popular varieties for starters:
Tillandsia Aeranthos. Native to Latin American countries Brazil, Argentina, Paraguay and Uruguay, this type comes with gorgeous silver-blue scaly leaves and dark blue flower seeping out of its deep pink bracts. Vibrant and appealing, it can grow up to 6 inches in height and 9 inches in width. This Drunken Gnome below is one variety of Tillandsia Aeranthos.
Tillandsia Xenographica. Another Latin American native, this type particularly thrives in the arid areas of Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. It’s an attractive plant great for indoor gardening for its unique looks. From the silver-gray leaves that clung like a spider on the base then, slowly curling into tapered tips to its spiral rosette flower, this makes an attractive centerpiece in terrarium containers. Check out this variety from Garden in the City below.
Tillandsia Cyanea. A Native in Ecuador’s rainforest, this bromeliad air plant is popularly known as Pink Quill plant. Characterized by thinly recurved leaves in stemless rosettes, paddle-shaped spikes, and deep blue (almost violet) flowers. Take a good look at this one.
Tillandsia Ionantha. One of the most popular air plants, it includes quite a lot of varieties and hybrids. Though often ensconced on driftwood, some are cut to thrive in a miniature hanging terrarium. Characterized mostly with silvery-green leaves that tend to go deeper in color as it extends turning into red and pink in color as it prepares to bloom. Flowers can either be red, blue, purple or white. This Ionantha Fuego below is a good choice for beginner indoor gardening.
Tillandsia Purpurea. Deliciously aromatic, this air plant type is perfect for living rooms as well as bedrooms. Its attractive reddish purple flower emits an appealing cinnamon-like scent which relaxes the mind. Even the stiff leaves which come in purple-tinted mauve hue adds more appeal to this air plant type.
Caring for Air Plants
Generally, there is not much to do about cultivating any of these types of air plants. Tillandsia varieties can thrive even in humid environments with low sunlight. They, however, need a certain amount of moisture to keep them from dying a slow painful death. Supplement them with artificial light at least 12hrs a day or place them in areas where natural light comes in. Submerge them in a bowl of water when the plant looks arid. Spray some liquid fertilizer like this Jack’s Orchid Liquid 8oz Grow 7-5-6 & Orchid Bloom. When cared for accordingly, these air plants will not only add happiness to your indoor abode but also improve its air quality.