I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time hanging out with my Air Plants and coming up with amazing ideas about how to hang them and display them in other imaginative ways. I admit it, I’m hooked! Without messy soil to deal with and without even needing a container, Air Plants are super easy to hang, and a cinch to pop in any container for displaying. If you’ve been looking for creative hanging and display ideas for your own Air Plants, you’ve landed in the right place!
Today I will share some of the ideas I’ve used for hanging Air Plants both indoors and out, as well as other inspirational ideas from my fellow Air Plant enthusiasts. I’ve also got some cool Air Plant holders for you to peruse. Some have been hand-crafted and some, purchased. One thing they will all have in common is that they aren’t complicated, and they look marvelous!
We’ll go over ways to make hanging Air Plant displays using simple materials and clever holders that can be made by items you likely have on hand. You do not have to be “crafty” when it comes to displaying Air Plants. Their exotic beauty makes even a simple chain hung from a hook instantly magnificent! In this article, we’ll go over:
- Where You Can Hang Air Plants Indoors & Outdoors
- Items that Hold Air Plants with Flair
- Different Types of Hangers for Air Plants
- Materials to use When Displaying Air Plants
- Where to Buy Hanging Air Plant Displays & Holders
Additionally, I’ll include some Green Thumb Tips To keep your hanging displays fresh, beautiful, and healthy. I’m looking forward to this, I never get tired of finding new ideas for my Air Plant collection!
Hanging Air Plants Indoors
Got windows? Then you have a place to start hanging Air Plants in your home! Windows are ideal, as Air plants need a lot of bright (yet indirect) lighting throughout the day. You’ll want to choose windows that do not receive direct sunlight for more than a couple of hours daily. The glass, as you know, can act as a sunlight magnifier, and the indoor plant can still be scorched from the outdoor sunshine.
The photograph directly above shows how easily a window can be dressed up by hanging a couple of Air Plants in it. The direct sunlight hit that window in the later afternoon hours, yet the room is bright all day. This makes it a prime location for those Air Plants to flourish! Making this display is as easy as 1-2-3! Check it out:
Making a Window Hanger for Air Plants with Wire
- Thin Flexible Wire (cut to the desired length)
- Small Wire Snips (for the cutting)
- Air Plant(s)
- A Window
- Cut a piece of wire to the length you wish, adding about 8 additional inches (20cm) for wrapping the Air Plant and forming the “hook” at the top to go over the curtain rod.
- Gently bend the wire to wrap around the Air Plant, making sure you don’t pinch or bind the plant in any way. 2-3 “loops” around the plant should be sufficient.
- Form a “hook” at the top of the wire to slide right onto the curtain rod, as seen in the photo above.
How easy is that?!? For pennies and a few minutes of your time, you can have a lovely window hanger for your Air Plant(s)!
GREEN THUMB TIP: When displaying Air Plants in a window, keep the plant(s) from resting against the glass. The less an Air Plant touches, the better!
Other Materials for Making Air Plant Window Displays
Without question, you can make your displays as unique and individual as you are! If using wire isn’t your preference, use a material that is! In the photo directly below, an Air Plant is hung by fishing line in a kitchen window.
I love how the fishing line is almost transparent, keeping full focus on what is being displayed. In this case, it is an Air Plant in a seashell!
Besides wire and fishing line, here are some other ideas for the simplest of all hanging Air Plant displays:
- Leather Cord
I bet by now you’ve added a few ideas of your own to my list. And this brainstorming, friends, is part of the fun!
GREEN THUMB TIP: If the natural lighting in your home isn’t sufficient to promote Air Plant growth, there is a special lightbulb that can help! The bulb fits into any standard light fixture and provides the kind of light plants thrive on. You can grab a bulb right here from Amazon.
Other Places to Hang Indoor Air Plants
We are not limited to windows when it comes to hanging Air Plants indoors! I’ve seen them hung from ceiling hooks, from wall hooks, from light fixtures, and even from the edges of a tall bookshelf.
If you enjoy the hanging effect but cannot hang Air Plants indoors for any reason, you might enjoy a hanging display that sits on a surface like a desk, countertop or tabletop. See the example just below.
GREEN THUMB TIP: Air Plants have been proven through testing to clean the air in their environment better than any other plant of comparable size. The more Air Plants in your house, the cleaner the air will be!
Hanging Air Plants Outdoors
Air Plants can live outdoors in the temperature range of 55-95 degrees Fahrenheit (12-35 degrees Celsius). The lighting requirement is the same as for indoor Air Plants (bright and indirect). Add flair to your landscape and to your outdoor living areas with Air Plants! Here are just a couple of great ideas…
In the photos just above, chain links are used in fantastically creative ways!
Just below, simple twine is used to hang a simple Air Plant cluster ball.
GREEN THUMB TIP: When hanging Air Plants outdoors, be sure the material you use for hanging won’t be damaged by the climate. Check outdoor displays often for the integrity and security of the material they are hung by.
Thin leather cord is a grand option for hanging Air Plants outdoors. Leather is strong and resilient to wet weather. To make the display in the photo above, follow these easy steps:
- Cut three equal lengths of leather cord, allowing enough length to tie knots at the bottom and the top.
- Tie the bottom knot first, and set your cord on a flat work area, spreading the lengths of cord flat.
- Set your plant with the base centered over the tied knot.
- Bring the three pieces of cord up three sides of the plant, carefully utilizing the leaves to help support the cord.
- Tie a knot at the top and voila! Your Air Plant is ready to be hung!
You’ll see more than clouds when you look up from the lanai in photo “A” (above)! And how about the creative hanging display in photo “B” (also above)? A little bit of twine and a little imagination went a long way!
In Photo “C” (below) the Air Plant is nestled in a sea urchin and hung by a piece of flexible wire. If you are concerned with drilling holes in the outside of your home or pounding a nail into the exterior, the “Command” brand has an excellent option for adhesive-backed hanging hooks. Each hook can hold up to three pounds! You can grab outdoor adhesive hooks right here on Amazon!
Photos “D” and “E” (just above) are all about utilizing what you already have to work with right in your back yard! Decorate those trees, friends! Air Plants are NOT parasites and can be attached to a tree or any other plant without compromising the host plant whatsoever.
Professional photographer Sheri Griffin lives in the Florida Keys and takes her Air Plant collection to street festivals and outdoor markets. She utilizes simple metal shower-curtain hooks for hanging plants. How quick, easy and convenient! If I ever get to a show that features her lovely plants down there, I think I’ll take one of each home with me 🙂
Here are some more ideas for outdoor hangers and holders you can create by yourself:
Picture Frame, Twigs and String
GREEN THUMB TIP: Although most outdoor Air Plants will receive the nutrition they need by collecting it from the atmosphere, you may want to consider occasionally fertilizing them as a supplement. Take caution, though…the fertilizer MATTERS!
Regular” fertilizers may contain zinc or boron. Both are TOXIC for Air Plants! Instead, you MUST use a fertilizer formulated for tillandsia and bromeliads! I found a great deal right on Amazon! Simply follow this link to Amazon to score yours! *Follow instructions EXACTLY.
If you’re wondering what else is toxic to your Air Plants, I’ve got you covered! You can learn everything you need to know by reading this article right here on Air Plant Central!
You’ll be happy to know, I’m sure, that no variety of Air Plants (and there are more than 400) are toxic to humans or animals!
Shall we Head Back Inside for More Air Plant Holder Ideas?
Clever Air Plant Holders
I know I’ve said it before here at Air plant Central, but I’m going to say it again! See the photo directly above? One of the coolest features of some Air Plant varieties is that some Air Plants need no holder at all! look at them displayed on that freshly-polished table! Your friends won’t believe they’re real!
Air Plants Look Great in Seashells!
Do you have a collection of seashells from family vacations passed? Are they just jammed in jars or (worse) stuck in a cabinet? Pull them out! Let your collection of souvenirs display your collection of Air Plants! In most cases, no affixing is necessary…just drop an Air Plant in! Look at how pretty they turn out!
If you’re feeling super-creative (no cape needed) make your own design from the collection you have. Simple find a suitable container and fill it. Then add air Plants! You can even make a faux terrarium from an empty glass container! Simply add a base, like sand, pebbles, clear stones…oh, you get the drift! Look at these pretty examples…
Check this one out! A novelty Mason jar is filled with seashells and topped with a Xerographica, the “queen” of Air Plants. Isn’t it lovely?
Make a “Zen garden” by using an old picture frame or shadowbox! Other ideas for a”garden” include a shallow serving tray,
Many people I know have some shot glasses as souvenirs, too. Often the perfect size for the most popular Air Plant varieties, using the glasses to display your plants just makes good sense, and it breathes life and color into your bar area or den!
Aren’t those GREAT?!? I know by now the wheels are turning in your mind! What have you got RIGHT NOW that you can use? Make a pretty bowl fabulous!
Candlesticks sitting in the cabinet candleless? Put them to good use!
Look at what this enthusiast made from some bamboo!
Even decorative watering cans are brought to life when you add life to them!
Speaking of Water…
Here’s How to Water Air Plant Displays
Air Plants are easiest to water by misting them with a spray bottle. Every third day is generally sufficient, but the plants would certainly benefit from a good soak in water (called the submersion method) once a month or so.
The reason for the occasional submersion is that mist dries before the Air Plant can fully utilize the moisture. This may leave your plant on the verge of perpetual thirst. The plant may not show signs of distress, as it is getting “just enough” to drink, but the distress might show up in other ways. One way it may show up (although you might not even notice) is in slow growth and preventing your Air Plant from reaching optimum health. Another thing that could happen is that the plant may not bloom until much, much later than it should. And that would just be a shame! Avoid those scenarios by using submersion to water your Air Plants occasionally if possible.
I submerge my Air Plants every ten days for about an hour and mist them in between.
GREEN THUMB TIP: At no time do you want your Air Plant(s) to remain saturated with water or moisture. Standing or pooling water will cause the plant to rot! Always tilt your Air Plants after submersion, or lay them out on a towel to allow for complete drying. When misting, ensure there is no pooled or standing water in containers, terrariums or displays.
For a complete and comprehensive article on the things that can kill your Air Plant(s) simply follow this link. You’ll stay right here on air Plant Central, but be taken to a different article.
More Easy Air Plant Holder/Hanger Ideas to DIY
We haven’t talked much about wood! Driftwood, as well as “regular” wood, are great display ideas for your Air Plants! I am not one to recommend ever using glue for Air Plant displays but do certainly understand that sometimes it’s the only thing that will work.
Before resorting to glue, first, discover if the Air Plant(s) will “latch on” to the wood via their roots. This is usually simple on rough wood but might take a couple of days to occur.
You might also try using pebbles or stones, or even moss to “nestle” the Air Plants onto the wood. Flexible wire is great, especially if you can keep it from being seen! Decorative ribbon or yarn is another option.
A piece of wood is the ideal base to make an Air Plant centerpiece for your table. Add accents that reflect the season, or even the upcoming holiday! Your dinner guests will be so intrigued, they’ll soon have Air Plants of their own to display!
If you must resort to using glue for any display, it is imperative that the glue is “food grade” or formulated for plants! A lot of Air Plant enthusiasts I know buy the glue pictured below:
You can grab some by following this link to Amazon
GREEN THUMB TIP: You may be relieved to learn that Air Plants are highly resistant to bugs or ants! Learn all about it right here on Air Plant Central by reading “Can Air Plants Get Bugs or Ants?”
Displaying Blooming Air Plants
In the photo just above, you can see the Caput Medusae (far right) has reached its reproductive cycle and burst into bloom. I’ll share what followed in just a moment, but first I want to talk about blooms!
Somewhere between your Air Plant’s second and fourth year of life, you begin to notice a few changes. The leaves may take on a hint of a different color, or may completely change color! This is called “blushing”. A blossom tract will form standing straight up in the center of some Air Plant Varieties and grow out like new leaves on others.
When you see this beginning to happen, begin to handle the parent Air plant with care. The parent will bloom exactly once in its life-span and we want to preserve the precious time the flower will last!
When you water the plant, keep flower buds and blossoms dry. Avoid fertilizing during the reproductive cycle and let nature nurture. In whatever way your Air Plant is displayed, be sure the bloom has space, and that no foreign objects are touching it.
Remember how I told you I had more to share about the pictured Caput Medusa (above)? Just after the bloom cycle, I noticed a baby Air Plant (called a pup) growing at the base of the parent plant, right under a dead leaf! I trimmed the leaf away, and made sure the pup had room to grow, and grow he did! Have a look…
By the way, the cool frame in the pictures above wasn’t homemade, but I sure am glad I got it! It’s a great way to safely and attractively display several Air Plants for contrast and an accent on how unique each plant is! As the plants grow, I simply add support where needed with flexible wire, and the wire matches the display.
You can make your own wood and wire display or purchase one. Below you will find building instructions and after that, a link to purchase a pre-made one. Like most everything in the world of Air plants, the choice is yours!
DIY Wooden Frame and Wire Air Plant Display
*A note from the author: If you can build your own wooden frame, my hat is off to ya! I cannot. For this project, build a frame if you can, and use an old one (or a new one) if you so desire. It’s the builder’s choice!
You Will Need:
1 Wooden Frame
Enough Wire (of your preference) to Cover the Back of the Frame
Small Wire Snips
Six Small Craft Nails (Found in craft departments at stores or here on Amazon)
Hanging Fixture of Your Choice
String, Twine, or Flexible Wire
- Lay the wooden frame on a flat work-surface, face down.
- Tap one nail gently into each corner of the frame, leaving the nail raised out of the wood ever so slightly (enough for the wire to fit under).
- On the side that will be the top of your display, tap one nail in about an inch (2.54cm) from the corner nail on each side.
- Trim wire with snips if necessary to fit flush across the back of the frame.
- Gently tuck the wire around each nail in the four corners of the frame.
- Tie or tuck the material you are using to hang the display with (string, twine or wire) around the two additional nails on the top of the frame.
- Attack Hanging fixture where you want it.
- Attack display to fixture.
Voila! That’s it! You can begin tucking your Air Plant into the holes in the wiring. Be careful not to pinch or bind any stems or leaves in the wire.
To Purchase the Wood & Wire Display Frame
If craft projects aren’t your thing take heart! I didn’t make my frame but bought it online. You can grab one of your own right here on Amazon.
GREEN THUMB TIP: If your Air Plant display is against a wall like the wood frame above, you may want to remove the whole display from the wall when misting for watering. Over time, the mist will affect the paint on the wall.
A Decorating Dilemma Air Plants can Solve
In the lovely dining room pictured just above, it is clear that space is an issue when it comes to decorating. Adding tables or shelves in front of the beautiful full-length windows would be obstructive when the room was full of family members enjoying a feast. A dilemma, indeed! But Air Plants can help!
There are a couple of ways to bring this window “to life” with Air Plants. Since they’re as light-weight as you want them to be, the project will be quick and easy, with little impact to the walls or ceiling.
I see four possibilities for adding Air Plants to this dining room window. They are:
- Hang Air Plants with or without containers from small ceiling hooks across the entire width of the window. I would use a transparent material (like fishing line) to hang them with and make the lengths all different. An alternative would be to use a material for hanging that complements the dining room chandelier or decor. I would hang them about two inches inward from the open verticle blinds.
- Add a lightweight “floating” shelf (above the entire window length and hang Air Plants from cup hooks (like the ones pictured below) affixed to the bottom of the shelf. The top of the shelf could hold a teacup collection (or other pretty container collection). Make it doubly beautiful by adding Air Plants to whatever you display on the top of the shelf!
- Add matching Air Plant “sconces” or mount s narrow space-saving Air Plant display (pictured below) to both sides of the window.
- Mount an ornate curtain rod across the whole window with brackets long enough to hang Air Plants from without the plants interfering with opened verticle blinds.
GREEN THUMB TIP: You will want to occasionally “groom” your Air Plants as the need arises. The root area can get “scraggly” and sometimes leaf-tips turn brown and can be snipped off. Simply snip and excess (or messy) roots, brown tips, or dying leaves with a sharp pair of scissors.
Those browning tips are your Air Plant “telling” you something isn’t right. Learn more about why leaves turn brown (and how to avoid it) right here.
To recap all we’ve gone over today, finding ways to display Air Plants is neither difficult or expensive! Not needing soil or bulky flowerpots opens up a whole new world of ideas! Your imagination is your only creative limit when it comes to Air Plants!
Have you seen any examples today that you might “tweak” to make your own design? I sure hope so! The heart of Air Plant Central and my heart is to get you excited about Air Plants! Each one is as lovely and unique as every person we know. Above getting you excited, I also want to make sure you’re armed with information as you go along on your Air Plant journey.
I’ve done extensive research to share with you, and often pass along the things I am learning “first hand” through my own experiences with Air Plants. You dropping by means the world to me, and I hope you’ll do it again soon!
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.