I’ve never considered myself crafty before Air Plants have turned that around for me! The first time I ordered a mounted Air Plant display, I thought, “Gee, I bet I could make my own displays!” My imagination was captured, I tell you!
As soon as the thought crossed my mind, I began looking at all containers, knick-knacks,” what-nots” and “what-have-yous” in a completely new way! I found all the materials for making 4 different kinds of displays right at my house!
I hurriedly ordered an assortment of Air Plants, and anxiously awaited their arrival so I could check out some of the ideas I had.
After that, I expanded my eye to my local thrift shops and flea markets. Yard sales and bargain bins! With as unique and easy as Air Plants are to display, I realized my imagination was my only limit.
Today I’ve compiled some easy and fast displays in hopes that they’ll ignite your imagination and give you some great ideas. Don’t worry, I have also researched some beautiful and economical pre-made displays and will include the links in the “Air Plant Central Product Picks” section at the end of this article.
In the event that you are new to the world of Air Plants, I’ll include some facts to keep in mind along the way. I’ve got a lot of ideas to share so let’s begin!
Dress up Table-Tops with Air Plants
One of the best things about having plants that don’t need soil is that they’re light, simple to arrange in a container or display, easily portable! An Air Plant will add a pop of color and life to any room when you grace a table-top (or counter-top) with a unique display.
Your main concern in deciding where to display Air Plants indoors is proper lighting. These beauties will need 8-12 hours of bright and indirect sunlight. In your home (or office) this means placing them in brighter rooms, near windows, or under artificial “grow lights”.
Although insufficient indoor lighting may not kill your Air Plant(s) it can certainly inhibit them from reaching their optimum health or full potential for blossoming! In the first photograph, I created a simple display in a cute flower pot I found online.
I filled the deep chambers with wadded up newspaper, and “anchored” the plants with some simple moss I found at my local crafting store. I think it turned out pretty sweet! Do you have a table in hour house where this display would look great?
KEEP IN MIND: If you have pets (or small children), you should know that no variety of Air Plants is toxic to humans or pets. HOWEVER, Air Plants are delicate when in small hands (or paws) and could be easily damaged. I know, because I’ve lost more than one plant to my playful kitty!
Example two (above) shows how easy it is to create imaginative sets to display in any room! These Air plants were simply placed in sea urchins. Easy-peasy, right? In the “Air Plant Central Product Picks” section at the end of this article, I’m providing convenient links to Amazon for you to grab these cute urchins, and score a variety assortment of Air Plants to fill them with, as well!
Another fun thing to do for displaying your Air Plants is to mount them to a simple piece of wood! In example three (below), you see how easy it is to create a beautiful and natural-looking display from essentially a chunk of wood. If the wood is rough, the roots of the Air Plants will “grab on” and anchor themselves.
If the wood is smooth, you will have to get creative in how the plants get attached. Hemp twine is a great and all-natural option for mounting Air Plants, as well as flexible and thin wire to do the job. Ribbon works, yarn works, and some string will work, too!
What tables in your home could benefit from having an Air Plant display on them? I have Air Plants on the foyer table, on my family room coffee and end tables and even have some displayed on the nightstands on either side of my bed!
My kitchen counters host Air Plants, as well as having displays on the breakfast bar. I didn’t forget my formal living room, the guest bedroom or my home office, either. Okay, I’ll just say it! I have Air Plants everywhere in my house, as well as having displays in all my outdoor living areas.
KEEP IN MIND: Sometimes you will need to glue Air Plants to a display. This is not the method I would recommend, as there will be times you may want to remove your plants from their display. However, I do understand many people do use glue. If you decide to use glue for your mounting method, there are two things to remember:
- Use ONLY non-toxic glue. If you can’t eat it, neither should your Air Plant.
- If you use a hot glue tool, let the glue get almost cool before affixing your Air Plant.
You simply can’t go wrong when it comes to what containers you can use when displaying your Air Plant(s), providing the container isn’t toxic to the plant(s). Take a look at example four (above). This Air Plant enthusiast takes full advantage of their plants by providing a complete view! Although I can’t say for sure, it seems likely they were just utilizing containers they already had in their cabinet. Can’t get easier than that!
KEEP IN MIND: Rust and Copper will KILL an Air Plant! Do NOT use copper containers or any metal that will rust over time. If you would like to learn more about what’s toxic to Air Plants, I won’t leave you wondering! You’ll learn all you need to know right here at Air Plant Central by following the helpful link at the end of this article.
Air Plants in Terrariums
Although I was young, I remember the terrarium craze in the 1970s. What a beautiful and unique way to display indoor plants! Air Plants are bringing back Terrariums in an innovative way. There are just a few things to keep in mind if you decide to display your Air Plant(s) in a terrarium:
- Terrariums produce high humidity, a condition Air Plants thrive on. Too much humidity, though, will cause the plant to become “waterlogged” and will promote plant rot. For this reason, make sure the terrarium you use is well-ventilated (see example one below).
- Moss is a great “base” for an Air Plant terrarium! You can water the plants by misting them every few days with a spray bottle. However, because moss can “hide” moisture, I recommend that you empty a moss-based terrarium monthly to ensure no water has collected in places you may not see.
This is a good time to submerge the Air Plants for up to an hour for a thorough watering, as often a mist can dry before the plant has utilized all the moisture. After this submerging watering, lay the Air Plants and the moss on a towel to let them completely dry before arranging them in the terrarium again. Isn’t the moss-based terrarium in example two (below) lovely?!?
KEEP IN MIND: Your indoor Air Plants are going to need to be fertilized regularly. Most plant fertilizers contain zinc or boron, both TOXIC to Air Plants! I will save you the headache of finding a proper fertilizer by including the link to fertilizer formulated especially for tillandsias on Amazon in the “Air Plant Central Product Picks” section at the end of this article. I find it to be both affordable and effective!
In the example above (example 3) we see how elegant and simple an Air Plant terrarium can be! In this example, the plant rests on its own roots and receives added structural support by the leaves resting on the sides of the terrarium. One word of caution here. If the tips of your Air Plant begin browning, you may want to move the plant so that nothing is touching the tips.
If the tips of your Air Plant are touching nothing, yet still browning, I wrote an article that specifically addresses this issue. You’ll find the article on the other end of this link.
The example in photograph four (above) is an excellent reminder that we can “dress up” a terrarium display in any way we want, providing no materials in the terrarium are toxic to the plant. The “accents” can be changed out according to the season, decor theme colors or even just according to our whims!
The Air Plant enthusiast used some plastic cherries (or maybe they’re real!). I’ve already mentioned using moss as a base, but as you can see, there truly are a plethora of options! Colored sand works well, as does regular sand. Seashells are great terrarium bases, too. What are you into? Chances are, you’ll be able to incorporate your hobbies, taste and unique personality into your Air Plant terrarium display.
KEEP IN MIND: The two most popular methods for watering Air Plants are by submerging them underwater for up to an hour once every ten days or so and by misting them with a spray bottle about every third day. In either instance, be sure no “standing” water is left on the plant.
If you use the misting method for watering your Air Plants, they may benefit from an occasional submersion. I primarily use the misting method, but try to get my plants submerged about every month or so. This gives me the opportunity to carefully inspect my Air Plants for any signs of a problem. Additionally, I can see if the plants are entering their reproductive cycle, which is when they will blossom.
Incidentally, when an Air Plant is flowering, you’ll want to keep those blossoms dry! Although outdoor Air Plant blossoms certainly get wet in rain, keeping the bloom as dry as possible will keep it alive and attached to the parent plant for as long as possible for you to enjoy.
Dress up Your Office with Air Plants
Whether you work from home or in an office across town, you can create a calming and lovely environment using Air Plants. As long as the lighting is sufficient and you pay attention to your plant’s needs, it (or they) will flourish as well in the office as in any other environment! Amaze your coworkers by adding an exotic and unique atmosphere to your office! It doesn’t hurt to know that during your work breaks, you can help lower your stress level simply by admiring your beautiful Air Plant or collection of them. Here are some ideas for adding some “zen” to your busy workday:
Got a Seashell Collection?
It seems as though every time my family goes to the beach, our seashell collection at home grows! Although Mason Jars are a clever and simple way to display those beautiful shells, one can only have so many jars of shells sitting around the house. Here are a few delightful ideas for using those shells to display Air Plants!
Seashell Window Dressing:
A couple of the above photos are from my own kitchen. The window is perfect, as it receives a full day of bright sunshine without that light shining directly on my plants. My lanai is just on the other side of that window, and it’s full of Air Plants, too!
Seashell Table Toppers:
Aren’t these all wonderful ways to utilize the seashells that follow your family home from the beach? I am currently working on a display that will also put my shark’s teeth collection to great use! Without question, you will see that photo in an upcoming article here on Air Plant Central!
Air Plants for any Themed Decor
Really, there isn’t any theme that eliminates adding Air Plants to it, considering the theme allows for adequate lighting. Whether you simply have a color scheme in your home or a more specific theme, you can incorporate Air Plants into it, I promise! Want to add Air Plants to your wedding decor? It’s been done! See Example one (below). The same idea applies to birthday parties, baby showers, graduation parties.. you’re getting my drift now, aren’t you?
How about dressing up your child’s room with Air Plants? You can! In some ways, these are the most fun displays you can create! Grab some toys from the toybox, and get started! Air Plants are a great way to get your kids involved in a project that is simple and entertaining. Nurturing plants teaches children responsibility and patience. They will be thrilled when their plants blossom to reward their efforts! Help your child build a display that best represents their interests, like the dinosaur in example two (below).
More fun Air Plant Displays for Kids (OR Adults)
Don’t you love the options to add some whimsy to your home and to your life? I sure do! Take a look around. What do you have RIGHT NOW that you could add an Air Plant to that will give the container (or object) a brand new personality?
Air Plants for the Holidays
As I type, the Fourth of July is just around the corner. You can be sure I am gathering my flags… AND my Air Plants! Quite simply, there is no holiday decorating that won’t allow you to intertwine your love for Air Plants with your love for the holiday itself!
During the Autumn and winter holidays, it’s easy as can be to create centerpieces that correspond to your celebration! Air Plants amid cranberries, holly berries, and even pumpkins will bring your dining room table alive with celebration!
I’d be remiss to neglect the subject of Holiday Wreaths. You can take a store-bought wreath and incorporate your smaller Air Plants into it, or you can build your own wreath exactly how you want it from the bottom to the top!
KEEP IN MIND: When you decorate with Air Plants, you’re doing more than adding beauty and color to your room. According to a study done a few years ago, Air Plants were proven to clean the air in their environment better than any other plant of comparable size!
Outdoor Air Plants vs Indoor: Which are Better?
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again! ALL natural varieties of Air Plants originated outside. Some hybrid varieties may be more robust or more delicate, but if you live in a climate-friendly to Air Plants, whether you opt for outdoor displays or indoor displays is strictly a matter of preference. Here are some cute outdoor displays that are super easy!
In our first two examples (above & below) we see the enthusiasts simply tied an Air Plant to a post with a piece of flexible wire. Take caution in using this method that you do not pinch or bind the Air Plant. In addition, keep the mount simple for easy removal. You may want to remove the plant for occasional watering or fertilizing because even outdoor Air Plants will need you to provide both (or either) on occasion.
In example three (below) I utilized a seashell from my collection and nestled the display among the branches of my Crepe Myrtle Tree. I was quite pleased with the results!
Utilizing trees for displaying Air Plants just makes sense, considering that’s exactly where you’d find them in nature! Trees provide the shade necessary to protect Air Plants from direct sunlight exposure. Professional photographer Sheri Griffin lives in the Florida Keys, and has Air Plants decorating her whole yard! This Xerographica is the crowning piece in her collection, isn’t it lovely?
Here are more examples of outdoor displays for Air plants. I hope they stir your imagination and inspire you to liven up your own outdoor living areas with Air Plants!
KEEP IN MIND: Air Plants will thrive in temperatures ranging from 55-95 degrees (f) (12-35 degrees Celsius). When temperatures drop below this range or rise above it, extra precautions will need to be taken.
To learn everything you need to know about growing Air Plants outdoors, please refer to my article on the other end of this link.
Indoors or out (where climate permits) Air Plants are easy to display, easy to care for and so unique and enjoyable! They clean the air in their environment better than any other plant in their size class AND they are beneficial to our health, too! Wait, what?!? Yes, you read that right… Air Plants are beneficial to our health because tending them and even simply enjoying them can help reduce our stress level. This stress-lowering is essential to lowering blood pressure, too! Honestly, I can’t think of a bad thing to say about Air Plants, I’m so glad I started growing them!
I get a lot of questions about my Air Plants, and the ways I display them! This morning an e-mail arrived from a novice Air Plant enthusiast who lives in Arkansas. I thought her question was a good one, and that you may have wondered about the same thing. Harmony Q asked: Hey, Jackie…
Can I Display Air Plants in the Bathroom?
Air Plants can ABSOLUTELY live in a bathroom, just like anywhere else in the house. This is, of course, contingent upon all their needs being met.
Air Plants need bright and indirect lighting (8-12 hours daily) adequate hydration through watering, sufficient nutrition via a fertilizer formulated for Tillandsia or Bromeliads, and protection from toxins that are harmful to the plant.
If you would like more information about growing healthy and vibrant Air Plants, I’ve got you covered! Just follow these links to the subject you’d like to learn more about.
Where to Buy Air Plants
Depending on where you live and what season it is, you may be able to find Air Plants right in the Garden Department of your favorite store. Plant Nurseries are also a great option, as well as Farmer’s Markets and Flea Markets.
If you can’t find Air Plants in these locations where you live, or if you prefer the convenience of online shopping, simply enter “Air Plants for sale” into your search engine and enjoy shopping around!
KEEP IN MIND: When ordering Air Plants online, pay attention to the delivery schedule and return policy of the seller. You’ll want delivery to be on a day you will be home to receive it, the less time the plants are sealed in their packaging, the better!
Additionally, have your camera on hand for the delivery to document the condition of the plant(s) on arrival, should you need to initiate a return for refund. I have had Air Plants that arrived robust and healthy and some, not so much!
Pre-Made Air Plant Displays
The following links will lead to Amazon. These display mediums will NOT come with an Air Plant.
For this reason, I will also include links for the plants themselves, including the assortment package I started my own collection with!
I own this Wood and Wire Display Frame, and love its versatility! It hangs outside on my lanai, and is super-easy to fill it with Air Plants!
Another simple display I am thrilled with can be found Right Here. It’s small and quite lovely, and holds almost any Air Plant of a smaller variety!
If you’d like to make a “zen” Air Plant display, this Crystals Kit may be just the thing for you!
For a different and unique Air Plant terrarium, you can grab This One to dress up any table or countertop. Fill it with your own style and flair!
I love this Hanging Terrarium Kit and think it would be perfect on my desk at work! In fact, while I grabbed the link for you, I ordered myself one, LOL!
Air Plants on Amazon
My first Air plant purchase was This Assortment. I was pleased with the variety and quality of the plants, and their cost was attractive, too! if you are a novice to growing Air Plants, I highly recommend this variety pack. It will give you a good idea of which plant varieties you’ll like best, and how different varieties have different needs.
The Tillandsia Xerographica is considered the “Queen” of all Air Plants! It will grow to more than 10 inches in diameter and has long wide leaves that curl just a bit as they grow.
Here is another option for a Tillandsia Variety Pack of Air Plants. The “bushier” air Plants are more pleasing to some tastes. The only real way to know which plants will end up being your favorite(s) is to buy several, and see which win your heart!
Fertilizer for Tillandsia on Amazon
Samantha Taylor is the Senior Editor of airplantcentral.com. Her love for plants goes back to her childhood when she spent hours in the garden with her dear grandfather. As an aspiring botanist, she started her own business specializing in air plants.