How to Plant Air Plants in Glass: Easy Steps Explained

Disclosure: As Amazon Associates we earn from qualifying purchases. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no additional cost to you.

Please note that while we always strive to provide 100% up to date and accurate information, there is always the small possibility of error. Therefore, we advise conducting further research and due diligence before consuming any plants or exposing pets to anything mentioned on this site. Kindly refer to the full disclaimer for more details here.

Air plants, also known as Tillandsia, are unique and versatile plants that have gained popularity for their ability to grow without soil. These plants get their nutrients from water and air, making them perfect for decorating various indoor spaces. One captivating way to showcase their beauty is by planting them in glass containers, creating a visually appealing display that is low-maintenance and easy to care for.

Planting air plants in glass containers allows for endless possibilities in terms of style, size, and arrangement. You can use hanging glass orbs, mason jars, or even repurposed items such as wine glasses to create a mini-garden feature. Additionally, incorporating materials like decorative stones, colorful moss, and seashells further enhances the air plant’s aesthetic appeal while providing a comfortable environment for them to thrive.

Proper care is essential when planting air plants in glass containers, as they need indirect sunlight and regular misting or submerging to stay healthy. The versatility of these plants makes it easy to find a suitable spot for them in almost any room. With just a few basic care steps, you can create a stunning, easy-to-maintain display of air plants that will brighten up your living space.

Choosing the Right Glass Container

Size and Shape

When selecting a glass container for your air plants, the size and shape is crucial. The container should be large enough to accommodate the plants without overcrowding them. This allows for proper air circulation and prevents the plants from competing for space or resources. As for shape, choose a container with an opening at the top, which will make it easier to water and maintain the air plants. You can opt for a terrarium or a simple glass jar or vase.


Air plants need adequate ventilation to thrive. It’s important to choose a glass container with openings that promote good air circulation. Avoid using containers with tight-fitting lids, as this can create an environment with too much humidity, which is not favorable for air plants. If the container doesn’t have a natural opening, create one by removing the lid or drilling small holes in the sides.


Although air plants don’t require soil, they still need proper drainage as part of their watering routine. Ensure that your chosen glass container has a drainage system in place. This could involve placing a layer of pebbles, sand, or moss at the bottom of the container to absorb excess water during soakings. By providing proper drainage, you can prevent water from pooling at the bottom, which could lead to root rot or other issues.

In summary, when choosing a glass container for air plants, consider the size, shape, ventilation, and drainage. Each of these factors contributes to the health and well-being of your air plants, ensuring their successful growth and longevity in a glass environment.

Preparing the Glass Container

Cleaning the Glass

Before you start planting air plants in a glass container, you must prepare the container by thoroughly cleaning it. Whether the container is new or used, it’s important to remove any dirt or residue. To properly clean your glass container, use a mixture of soap and warm water to wash it, and then dry it completely before proceeding with your planting process. This step ensures a healthy environment for your air plants.

Adding a Drainage Layer

Once your glass container is clean, it’s essential to add a proper drainage layer at the bottom. This layer can consist of pebbles, small stones, or activated charcoal. The drainage layer helps with air circulation and prevents water from accumulating at the bottom of the container. It promotes a healthy environment for your air plants by preventing root rot and the growth of harmful bacteria.

Here’s how to create the drainage layer:

  1. Choose an appropriate drainage material (pebbles, stones, or activated charcoal)
  2. Add a 1 to 2-inch layer at the bottom of the container
  3. Ensure the layer is evenly spread for optimal drainage

Adding Mounting Materials

After setting up the drainage layer, you’ll want to add materials to help your air plants stay in place. There are several types of mounting materials you can use, such as moss, bark, or a nontoxic adhesive like a silicone sealant.

To mount your air plants, follow these steps:

  1. Plan the placement by setting the plants where you intend on mounting them
  2. If using moss or bark, create a bed for the air plants to settle in
  3. If using a nontoxic adhesive, spread a thin but consistent dab on the mounting surface
  4. Gently but firmly press the plant onto the adhesive or mounting material to keep it in place

By following these steps to properly prepare your glass container for air plants, you’re ensuring a successful and healthy environment in which your air plants can thrive.

Selecting Air Plants

When it comes to planting air plants in glass, there are several factors to consider for selecting the right air plants to suit your needs. These factors include size compatibility and species requirements.

Size Compatibility

When planting air plants in glass vessels or terrariums, it’s essential to consider the size compatibility between the plants and their containers. Air plants come in various sizes, so you’ll want to choose a glass enclosure that allows enough room for growth while providing sufficient air circulation. Here are some general size categories to consider:

  • Small air plants: Ideal for smaller glass containers or hanging terrariums. These may include species like Tillandsia ionantha.
  • Medium air plants: Best suited for medium-sized glass enclosures with more room for growth. Suitable for adding height and texture to your glass planting.
  • Large air plants: Require larger and more spacious glass containers to thrive. These plants can serve as centerpiece displays or statement pieces in your living space.

Species Requirements

It’s crucial to research the specific requirements of the air plant species you choose to ensure they’ll thrive in their new environment. Air plant requirements may vary from one species to another, but most share a few similar conditions:

  1. Light: Air plants generally prefer bright but indirect sunlight or fluorescent lighting to thrive. Keep this in mind when selecting the ideal location for your glass planting.
  2. Water: Most air plants require soaking every two to three weeks for about 15-20 minutes at a time. This helps keep them hydrated and healthy. Avoid overwatering, as stagnant water can cause rot.
  3. Temperature: Air plants generally prefer temperatures between 50-90°F (10-32°C). Avoid placing them in areas with extreme temperature fluctuations or drafts.
  4. Soil: Air plants do not require soil, as their roots absorb nutrients and moisture from the air. In fact, using soil can lead to rot. Instead, use decorative materials like moss, pebbles, or recycled crushed glass to make your terrarium unique and functional.

By considering size compatibility and species requirements, you can select the best air plants to create a stunning and healthy glass planting. Remember to accommodate their growth and provide the right conditions for them to thrive.

Planting Process

Positioning the Air Plant

Air plants are unique in that they don’t require soil to grow, so when planting them in glass containers, you’ll need a different approach. First, add a layer of decorative materials such as pebbles, sand, or moss to the bottom of the container. This will serve as the base for your air plant and also provide proper drainage. Next, gently place the air plant on top of the material in the container. Be sure not to bury the plant’s roots or press it against the vessel’s walls, as they need enough space to properly adapt to their new home.

Securing the Air Plant

Since air plants don’t grow in soil, it’s essential to secure them within the glass container so they don’t topple over. One way to achieve this is by using tiny decorative accessories to surround and stabilize the air plant. These can be small stones, pieces of driftwood, or even muted-colored shells.

Alternatively, you can secure your air plant using a non-toxic, clear adhesive to gently attach it to a piece of driftwood or a larger stone in the container. This method not only keeps the plant stable but also adds a unique visual interest to the display.

Remember to provide adequate air circulation to your air plant by keeping an opening in the glass container. This will help maintain their health.

Here’s a summary of the key steps when planting air plants in glass:

  1. Choose a glass container with an opening.
  2. Add a layer of decorative material to the bottom.
  3. Gently place the air plant on the decorating material.
  4. Use tiny accessories or adhesive to secure the plant.
  5. Ensure proper air circulation by keeping an opening.

Following these simple steps will ensure a beautiful and healthy air plant display in a glass container, adding a touch of nature to your space.

Caring for Air Plants in Glass

Light Requirements

Air plants thrive in bright, indirect sunlight. When keeping them in glass containers, it’s important to provide adequate lighting to ensure proper growth. Place the glass container near a window with filtered light or use artificial lighting such as fluorescent bulbs. Avoid placing the container in direct sunlight, as this could overheat the plants or cause sunburn.

Watering Techniques

There are several ways to water air plants, including misting, soaking, and dunking. Whichever method you choose, ensure the plants receive enough hydration without becoming overly wet or rotting:

  • Misting: Spray water onto the leaves using a spray bottle, moistening them thoroughly without soaking the roots.
  • Soaking: Immerse the entire plant in water for about 20-30 minutes every two to three weeks. After soaking, shake off excess water and let the plants dry completely.
  • Dunking: Quickly submerge the plant in water, then remove and allow it to dry.

It’s essential to let the air plants dry thoroughly before re-watering, as trapped moisture can cause rot.


While air plants don’t necessarily require fertilizers, occasional use of a specialized air plant fertilizer can promote growth, especially in glass containers with limited nutrients. Apply this fertilizer once a month, ideally right after watering, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions regarding the proper dosage.


Regular pruning can help maintain an air plant’s health and appearance. Use clean, sharp scissors to snip off dead, brown, or damaged leaves as needed. When the plant blooms, remove any wilted flowers to encourage further blooming or new plant growth. Additionally, monitor the growth of air plants in glass containers, ensuring they have enough space and are not overcrowded, which could affect their overall health.

Helpful Video