How to Care for Air Plants (+ A 10 Second Fall Centerpiece!)

On Sunday I bought a few air plants (and this gorgeous vessel!) at the Somerville Flea. I’ve been wanting to get air plants for a while, both because I love the look of them and because hey, no dirt for my preschooler to dig into or knock over! The lady who sold them to me talked me through some care tips, which I wanted to share with others thinking about getting air plants (formally known as Tillandsias).

Here are four things air plants need to be happy:

1. Light. Air plants love bright, filtered natural light or full spectrum artificial (fluorescent) light. Avoid direct sun in the summer months to prevent sunburn.

2. Water. Thoroughly wet air plants 2-3 times per week (ideally in the morning); more often in hot, dry environments, less in cool, humid ones. Spray misting is not sufficient as the sole means of watering, and air plants should not be placed in standing water.

3. Air circulation. After each watering, air plants should have enough light and air circulation to dry in 4 hours or less.

4. Fertilizer. To encourage blooming and reproduction, use Bromeliad fertilizer twice a month. Other water soluble fertilizers (e.g., Miracle Grow) can be used at 1/4 strength. I’m hoping to get my new little plants to reproduce...they’re so pretty and I was inspired seeing the plant lady’s baby air plants!

And now, how to make a 10 second fall centerpiece with air plants:

While I was at the flea market I was on the hunt for some cute tiny little gold containers for my new air plants but didn't find what I was looking for. But then I came up with this 10 second fall centerpiece idea yesterday morning. Simply grab a few small glasses; I used two square tea light holders + one espresso cup. Fill with baby pine cones. We had baby cones in a bowl from last fall, or it would make for a great task to have your kids hunt for them. Nestle air plants into the pine cones and DONE. So pretty, right?

Image credits: Christine Koh

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