I have a very bad track record with plants. House plants, plants in my yard – you name it, I’ve killed it. The only plants that can survive around here are the ones that can fend for themselves. Otherwise, they tend to die from neglect or drown in my smothering.
The only two house plants that I’ve ever had luck with are the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue and a Tillandsia air plant. Both of them have survived years with little to no attention. Coming up on it’s 3 year anniversary with me, the Mother-in-Law’s Tongue is thriving. I remember once every three or four months to water it, and it’s still growing and producing new offshoots. It loves me. It really loves me!
My air plant has lived its year-long life with the same experience. It sits in a glass terrarium, hanging from my dead tree (see? I kill things), and I remember to give it some water every few months when it looks sad. I soak it in some water for a few hours and then it perks right up.
The Tillandsia’s tolerance for my neglect as made it a new obsession of mine. I’d love to get a few more. If you haven’t seen an air plant, think of it as a small, green Bromeliad plant that has no root ball and requires no soil to grow…because that’s what it is. All of the water and nutrients come in through the leaves. You can literally set them anywhere that has filtered light and doesn’t get too cold, and it will just hang out and be happy.
There are several different air plant varieties, some bloom and some do not (or maybe my neglect keeps them from blooming? Probably.). You can display them by something as easy as laying them on top of a book or you can be creative and make your own planters and terrariums. Here are some of my favorite plants and unique containers that are available on Etsy right now:
So, how do you care for these fun and funky plants? I mean, the non-neglectful way? It’s really very easy. Make sure that they get filtered (aka indirect) light. If your house has low humidity (the air conditioner cuts down on humidity), you’ll want to put it in a bowl, cover with water and soak for a few hours. If your house is humid, you can mist it heavily with with water a few times a week. Or, neglect it and mist it/soak it when you remember to do so. I’ve also read that you can put a pinch of orchid food in the misting bottle/water bath, but I’ve never done that.
Maybe the whole remembering to water and fertilize thing is key to it actually blooming and producing new plants. By golly, I think I’m on to something!
You can buy these plants online (for just a few dollars) and in local nurseries (price varies depending on where you are, I think). I’m going to get a few more of these little guys myself and come up with a fun way to display them.
Do you have an air plant? How is it displayed?