What is an Air Plant?

Air plant is a common name for the genus Tillandsia in the Bromeliad family native to the forests, mountains and deserts of Central and South America.

Air plants are named so because of their ability to take all their nutrients from moisture in the air unlike most other plants which need to draw up nutrients through the roots.

To do this air plants absorb nutrients from any available moisture in the air such as rain, mist/fog or evaporating dew and from here they draw their nutrient source. They are also known as air plants because of their ability to fill a niche and grow as epiphytes in tree canopies, or on other plants such as scrub bushes and cacti. Some species can also be found growing on rocks and cliffs as (saxicoles/liphophytes), some have colonised telegraph wires and even houses and roofs. Others grow terrestrially in environments such as coastal deserts, stabilising sand dunes.

Tillandsia is a genus of over 600 species, with many man made and naturally occurring hybrids and varieties. They vary greatly in size and shape and come from a variety of habitats. The flowering process of these plants is also highly varied with many different colours and perfumes and in some species the flowering process can last six months or more.

Tillandsias are very versatile and fun to grow, there are so many different shapes, sizes and forms of growth making them highly collectable. A lot of fun can be had arranging them and they can be displayed in many ways making them perfect for people with less space to grow plants and with just a regular misting they are very care free and easy to grow.

If you would like to find out more about mounting and displaying your air plants click here.