Mounting and Displaying your Air Plants
After you have received your plants you can start to think about mounting and displaying your air plants, the possibilities are endless.
Tillandsia’s have a very superficial root system that is only used for anchorage, this means that you have much flexibility in how you choose to display or grow your plants. A happy Tillandsia will root on to almost anything, but don’t worry if your plant does not root much, many plants grow to full size, flower and clump without hardly ever putting out roots.
I like to display my plants or mount them onto natural materials like drift wood or sticks, pieces of bark or even rocks. Very often and for convenience I just hang my plants from wire and often they just root out into the air.
When selecting mounting material like bark or drift wood it is important to choose material that is not decaying as this can invite pests and fungus that can in turn damage your plants.
Plants can be placed on horizontal displays for tables or window displays or they can be tied to hanging displays such as drift wood, which makes them great for small spaces, windows in the home, balcony gardens or in the Conservatory.
When tying a plant to a mount care must be taken that the plant is not constricted as it grows, you can use small strips of old stocking, silicone wire, string or plastic coated wire, but remember Tillandsia’s are allergic to copper and some other metals so plastic coated wire is best. Glue can also be used especially for small, fiddly or delicate species such as T. ionanthas. If you use glue try to use a small amount on the leaf bases and not put any on the very base where roots or new pups can emerge.
Tillandsia ionantha, multiple plants mounted together
Multiple plants or even different species can be mounted together providing they require the same conditions as each other ie high light levels.
Mesic or more humid growing species such as Tillandsia punctulata and cyanea have more of a root system and so tying some bark chip and moss around the base of the plant when mounting is advisable or they can be grown in pots with a 60-40 % potting bark or pumice, with peat or coir mix, or similar.
Tillandsia fasciculata fully rooted into a pot of 100% potting bark