By Vanesa Burks Posted 5/1/2020 in LIFESTYLES
Air plants, or Tillandsias, are ideal for people who love plants but know little about how to care for them. An air plant’s leaves have tiny scales that enable it to take in water and nutrients from the air, making it a front runner for the easiest house plant ever.
Unlike plants that grow in soil, Tillandsia grow on tree trunks and on the branches and stems of other plants. You don’t have to put an air plant in a pot, as it will be perfectly happy and able to thrive on wood. Air plants can be glued to magnets and then placed on your refrigerator door. Most air plants have no roots, but some species including the Tillandsia Cyanea, or pink quill, can be potted.
The trichomes on this plant’s slender leaves have a feather-like appearance. Trichomes are very tiny scales a plant uses for the absorption of moisture and nutrients. This petite plant can get by with an occasional spray of water, so you won’t have to worry about it dying if you fail to water because the thought slipped your mind. Tillandsia Tectorum plants grow very slowly.
The leaves on this plant are firm and silver in color with a rosy blush. Mist it every now and then. The Tillandsia Xerographica also grows slowly, so you don’t have to worry about repotting. We’d say that gives it a leg up as one of the easiest house plants.
The Tillandsia stricta ‘Houston Dark Pink’ has narrow leaves that are silver and pale green. It grows a pink bract which, after some time, reveals a flower that’s lavender in color. When it starts blooming, the flower becomes bright pink. Up to three pups will grow from this plant when the flowers stop growing. These you can leave attached or carefully take off and keep separate from the parent plant.
Though most air plants have leaves that do not spread wider or taller than 6 inches, the Tillandsia Ionantha is particularly small. Ionantha means violet flower, and if you look for one with a bud on it you will likely see a beautiful violet flower when it blooms. A Tillandsia Ionantha should be misted often.
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If you would like to own an air plant but are concerned about keeping one in your home because you have small children and pets, don’t worry. These friendly plants pose no threat as they are not toxic. They are reported to live five years and longer, so expect to enjoy them for a while if you decide to bring home one of these easy house plants to decorate your home.
While Air Plants don’t require much maintenance, you can add years to their live time and increase their beauty substantially with some additional care. If you have an air plant, place it near a window that provides it with bright light. The window should be facing the east or the west. Direct sunlight is best in the winter, but do not allow your air plant to have direct sunlight in the summer. The ideal temperature for this type of plant is 80 degrees Fahrenheit in the spring, the summer, and the start of fall. For the winter, 60 degrees Fahrenheit is best. Give your air plant a thorough spray with water two times a week and spray it with a fertilizer that’s rich in phosphorous and mixed 50 percent weaker than normal. Spray it with this fertilizer during the spring and summer months, but not in the fall or the winter. Rest your air plant in sphagnum moss if desired, but it’s not necessary to do this. If you have a pink quill, place it in orchid soil. Don’t worry these plants are very forgiving and are perfect for a homeowner who loves plants, but has little or no success in caring for them.