Air plants, also known as Tillandsias, have become increasingly popular in recent years due to their unique aesthetic and low-maintenance care requirements. These versatile plants can thrive without soil, making them an excellent addition to a wide variety of spaces, from offices to homes. Whether you’re a seasoned gardener or a first-time plant owner, air plants can be an excellent choice for adding a touch of greenery to your space.
When it comes to purchasing air plants, there are several reputable online retailers that specialize in providing these unique botanicals. Air Plant Source offers a variety of air plants, gifts, and terrariums for your convenience. Another great option is Air Plant Supply Co., which not only provides quality air plants but also donates a portion of their proceeds to a worthy cause, Pencils of Promise. For those looking for a convenient shopping experience, Amazon also offers a wide selection of air plants to choose from.
Before making your purchase, it’s important to research the specific care requirements of each air plant species, as they can differ slightly. Generally, air plants need bright indirect light and a good circulation of air to thrive. However, with so many amazing air plants to choose from, there’s likely one that will fit seamlessly into your lifestyle and living space.
Understanding Air Plants
What Are Air Plants
Air plants are unique and versatile plants that do not require soil to survive. They are part of the Tillandsia genus and are native to the rainforests of Mexico, Central America, South America, and parts of the southern United States like Florida (source). These plants are epiphytes, meaning they grow on the surface of other plants and extract moisture from the air, rain, and standing water instead of soil (source).
Due to their adaptable nature, air plants can thrive in various indoor environments as well. They can be placed near east or west-facing windows, as long as they don’t get too hot, or in rooms with north-facing windows (source). When grown outdoors, air plants prefer partially shaded conditions in warmer climates (source).
Types of Air Plants
There are several types of air plants, each with its unique appearance and requirements. Some popular air plant varieties include:
- Tillandsia ionantha: Small and hardy plants with spiky leaves that change color as they bloom.
- Tillandsia caput-medusae: Known for its snake-like, twisted leaves that resemble Medusa’s hair.
- Tillandsia xerographica: Large and slow-growing, with silvery leaves that form a rosette.
- Tillandsia streptophylla: Also known as Shirley Temple Air Plant, featuring curly leaves that give it a distinct appearance (source).
It is essential to understand the needs of each air plant variety to provide the appropriate care and environment for them. By learning about air plants’ unique characteristics and growth habits, you can choose the best options to enhance your home or garden.
Where to Buy Air Plants
Local Garden Centers
Local garden centers are a great place to start your search for air plants. These stores often carry a variety of plants, including air plants, and can offer expert advice on how to care for them. Additionally, shopping at a local garden center allows you to see the plants in person and choose the healthiest ones for your home.
Online Plant Shops
There are many online plant shops that specialize in selling air plants, such as Air Plants Design Studio and Air Plant Source. These websites offer a wide selection of air plants, including different species and sizes. Shopping online allows for the convenience of having the plants delivered directly to your door. However, ensure that the online shop you choose has a good reputation and offers a quality guarantee to ensure you receive healthy plants.
Some popular online shops for air plants include:
Home Improvement Stores
Large home improvement stores, like Lowe’s, often carry a selection of houseplants, including air plants. These stores can be a convenient option, as they usually have locations in many cities. The selection of air plants may not be as extensive as what you would find in a specialized garden center or online shop but can still be an excellent resource for finding air plants to add to your collection.
To sum up, air plants can be purchased at a variety of locations, from local garden centers to online shops and large home improvement stores. Consider the convenience and selection offered by each option to find the perfect air plant for your home.
Tips for Purchasing Air Plants
Recognizing Healthy Specimens
When buying air plants, it’s essential to select healthy, vigorous specimens. Look for plants with fresh, strong leaves, as this indicates a plant is well-cared for and will likely thrive in your home. Avoid plants with shriveled or brown tips, as this could mean dehydration or overexposure to sunlight. If you notice softness or loss of multiple leaves, this could indicate rot, which is harmful to the plant’s overall health. When purchasing air plants from a physical store, gently push the plant to check if it has been glued in place, which is not ideal for its long-term well-being.
Choosing Appropriate Sizes and Varieties
Air plants come in various sizes, shapes, and colors, so consider your display preferences and the space available when selecting plants. Smaller varieties can fit well in terrariums or mounted on cholla wood, while larger types suit standalone displays or arrangements with other plants.
Some popular air plant varieties to consider include:
- Tillandsia xerographica: Known for its twisting, silvery leaves, this plant makes a stunning focal point in any display.
- Tillandsia ionantha: This small plant has spiky leaves that blush red when in bloom and works well in terrariums or as a standalone piece.
- Tillandsia aeranthos: This species offers a unique mix of blue and pink flowers when in bloom and is perfect for adding a pop of color to your air plant display.
Before making a purchase, research each variety’s specific care needs, such as appropriate watering methods and light requirements. This information will help you select the best air plants to ensure their long-term health and enjoyment.
Caring for Air Plants After Purchase
Proper hydration is crucial for air plants to thrive. There are a few methods you can use to water your plants:
- Plant Bath: Submerging your air plants in water is an effective way to keep them hydrated, especially indoors. Soak them in room-temperature water for 30 minutes every 7 to 10 days, then lay them face down on a paper towel to dry out before returning them to their container. This helps prevent rot and ensures they receive enough moisture.
- Misting: If submerging is not possible, you can mist your air plants every 2-3 days. This method requires a spray bottle filled with water, and you should thoroughly cover the entire plant. Be sure to let the plants dry out completely after misting to avoid rot.
Air plants require bright, indirect sunlight to grow well. Place them near a window that receives plenty of light, but avoid placing them in direct sunlight, as this can cause the plant to dry out or burn. Artificial light, such as from fluorescent bulbs or LED lights, can also be used if you don’t have access to sufficient natural light.
Feeding and Fertilizing
Although they don’t require much, air plants do benefit from occasional feeding or fertilizing. You can feed your plants by misting them with a diluted liquid houseplant fertilizer once a month. This helps them receive essential nutrients and promotes healthy growth.
Remember to keep your air plant care routine consistent, monitor its environment, and make any necessary adjustments to ensure a happy, healthy plant.
My name is Daniel Elrod, and I have been houseplant love ever since I was 17. I love how much joy they bring to any room in the home. I’ve always been amazed at how a few pots of flowing leaves can turn a drab and sterile office into an inviting place where people love to work at.