Today we are going to learn about tillandsias, also called “air plants.” Tillandsias are called air plants because in nature they grow in the nooks and crannies of trees and rocks; they are not planted in soil. You never want to plant tillandsias in soil, they will rot very quickly.
They gather their nutrients from the atmosphere. Their roots are used only to help them attach to a surface.
The areas air plants grow in are very humid. To replicate that atmosphere in your home or shady patio, you will need to spray your air plants with a mister every other day or so and dunk them in water for a few minutes once or twice a week. Your location will determine the amount of moisture needed to keep your air plants happy.
To grow air plants in your home or patio, you can attach them to a piece of driftwood, a branch of a tree, or even a rock that may have an area to tuck the plant into it.
Steps on how to make a Tillandsia Driftwood Design:
• A branch or piece of driftwood
• Variety of air plants/tillandsias
• Sheet moss and/or Spanish moss
• Quick Hold Glue
STEP 1 –
Select your branch or driftwood piece. Make sure it sits or lays the way you want it to, or you may prefer to hang it. If so, play with it to get it to the appropriate position. Look for pieces of wood that have little areas to tuck in the moss and the air plant, similar to the way they live in nature.
STEP 2 –
Select a variety of air plants, some sheet moss, and perhaps a piece of Spanish moss to add some texture.
STEP 3 –
I suggest using Quick Hold glue to attach the moss and plants. Again, you want to play around a bit to find the placement that works best for you.
Once you have your design ready, apply a bit of the glue and press the moss onto it, reapply the glue and press the air plant on it. It may need to be held in place for a moment to stick. Adding the moss first not only adds to the look, but can help create and hold moisture.
I used a bit of Spanish moss tucked around the air plants on the left side of my piece and used regular moss for the more dramatic air plants on the right side.
You can make an endless variety of designs sitting or hanging. One can use a leather cord or nylon climbing cord to hang the piece.
On my next creation, I’m thinking to add a piece of sea glass! The options are endless. Be as creative as you want to match your style and personality.
Remember to spray it water often and most importantly, enjoy!