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The Plant That Grows With No Soil

January 20, 2016 by Wright Outdoor Solutions

Ever wanted a plant at your desk or kitchen window but don’t want to deal with potted plants? Or, maybe you’re not much of a green aficionado but wish your indoor greenery was more than just silk leaves? Then an air plant might be a great choice for you!

Air plants are Tillandsias, a genus of evergreen, perennial flowering plants, part of the Bromeliad plant family. They are most commonly found in South America, Central America, parts of Mexico and the Southern U.S. These tropical plants tend to live for several years and, if cared for properly, tend to bloom at least once in their lifetime.

Air plants are a variety of epiphytes, meaning they need no soil to thrive. Instead, air plants get all their nutrition from particles floating in the air. The roots they do have are used only to attach themselves to a supporting object.

Growing air plants requires minimal care. Although they are naturally found in warmer climates, they like bright, sun-filtered light; direct light can be too harsh for them. They also like to find harbor in warmer temperatures, ranging from 50-90 degrees Fahrenheit – anything colder than 45 degrees Fahrenheit can be life threatening to the plant.

The plant should be fully immersed in a water bath for 20 minutes once per week or misted with water two to three times per week. If immersed in water, the plant should be allowed to dry before placing back in its holding place. With proper care, your air plant is sure to provide a pop of greenery for many years to come. The plants generate offshoots, or pups, throughout their lifetime as well, so you are sure to have some greenery growing for a long time.

For some display ideas with your air plant, check out some ideas from Better Homes and Gardens. Interested in learning more? Check out this book by Zenaida Sengo called Air Plant: The Curious World of Tillandsias that shows how simple and rewarding it is to grow, craft and design with these modern beauties.

For other ways to liven up the indoors and bring the outside in, visit our Interior Plantscaping group online, or give us a call at 515.987.0800.

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