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How to Care for Air Plants Mounted on Wood

One of the delightful things about Air Plants is the many creative ways in which they can be displayed. When I first saw one mounted on wood, I was amazed! There it was, just flourishing as it clung to the rough surface. Immediately I knew I wanted to try that, but had some research to do.  First, I had to learn how to care for Air Plants mounted on wood.

I learned just how to care for them and so much more!  I even got myself some hands-on experience. Today I’ll share my results with you from what I learned from the experts, online, at plant nurseries, and from personal experience.  

In this article, we’ll be going over the following things:

  • How to select Air Plants mounted on wood
  • How to water and feed Air Plants mounted on wood
  • How to safely mount Air Plants on wood Yourself

How are Air Plants Mounted on Wood?

When you see an Air Plant mounted on wood, sometimes you have to do a double-take to make sure it’s real! Certainly, you’ll wonder just how the crafter accomplished such a feat. Wonder no more!

An Air Plant can be mounted on wood in the most simple of ways, by his roots “grabbing” on, or in much more complex ways!

Someone who is apt in their craft might use some (or all) of the following things when creating their masterpiece:

  • Twine
  • Plant Glue
  • Fishing Line
  • Wire
  • Ribbon

Buying a Wood Mounted Air Plant Online  

Online buying is certainly a convenience in this day and age! It can be a little harder, though, to be sure the wood mounted Air Plant you’re considering will look as great when you unpack it as it does on the website selling it.

Some wooden Air Plant displays will come already assembled, and some will offer the components separately for you to assemble at home. Pay careful attention to the written description before making your purchase, so that you receive exactly what you are expecting.

Before your online purchase, consider where you’ll display the Air Plant and if it will need any additional hardware for wall-mounting, hanging, etc. Additionally, consider whether the display will allow the Air Plant to receive proper lighting, and if watering it will be an easy feat.

Buying a Wood Mounted Air Plant From a Store

If you’re fortunate enough to get a “hands-on” look at the Air Plant you’re considering, check for the same points I mentioned in the section above. Additionally, be sure the plant looks healthy, and that its leaves are soft and supple, not brittle, yellowing or browning. 

Which Air Plants Should you AVOID Buying?

Whether you’re buying your wood mounted Air Plant online or in person, you’ll want to make sure everything about the display promotes health and vitality for the plant. The mount should be both; secure and gentle, and allow the Air Plant to receive sufficient lighting.

Air Plants are delicate in nature, and pinching, bending or binding them too tightly will eventually be fatal to the plant. Additionally, caution must be used with any material that touches the plant. Copper is toxic to Air Plants, so avoid wood displays with copper accents or fixings.

Rust is also a lethal element for an Air Plant display, so be sure the wood mounting isn’t using a material that will rust over time.

Caring For Air Plants Mounted on Wood

Proper Lighting for Air Plants Mounted On Wood

When deciding where you’ll display your wood mounted Air Plant, be it indoors or outdoors, consider the lighting, Air Plants require much indirect sunlight to reach their full potential. Don’t be afraid to try different places and observe the plant for any signs of distress.

Watering Your Air Plant While Mounted on Wood

There are two methods for watering Air Plants, a misting spray bottle or submersion. When an Air Plant is mounted to wood, the more convenient method is the spray bottle. Keep in mind that the water cannot sit in the center of the Air Plant, or it could promote rot. For this reason (and others) you’ll want to be sure you can easily tilt the wood display for drainage.

Will Water Damage the Wood Mounting?

Although wood can be made water-resistant, no wood is water-proof. Some people prefer the “weathered” effect water has on wood over time. If you do NOT prefer that look, though, you’ll want to protect the wood during the spray-watering process. You can cover the wood parts with a plastic grocery bag or other material, or you can just pat the wood dry immediately after watering.

PLEASE REMEMBER: After watering, Air Plants need to be tilted to “drip dry”. No standing water can be left puddled up in the center of the plant, it will cause the Air Plant to rot.

Why is Your Wood Mounted Air Plant Dying?

The two main reason Air Plants die, wood mounted or not, is inadequate (or too much) sunlight, and over or under-watering. Browning tips often indicate a lighting issue and yellowing or extreme limpness usually indicate a watering issue.

Take heart! Both of these issues, if caught quickly, can most often be resolved in a simple manner. A little patience and experimentation will perk those Air Plants right up!

4 Things to Try if Your Air Plant is Dying

  • Increase or Decrease Lighting: Move the plant to a different area that offers more or less direct light. My indoor  Air Plants do best near the windows in my house facing East It might be different at your house. Play around a bit until you find the spot where they flourish!
  • Increase or Decrease Watering: Your Air Plant leaves should be soft and supple, neither brittle nor “squishy”. The former need more water, the latter, less.
  • Increase or Decrease Fertilizer: Most Air Plants only need to be fertilized once per season (every 3 months). If yours are looking “singed” decrease amount of fertilizer of frequency. If your Air Plants are failing to thrive, increase amount or frequency of fertilization.
  • Check Display for Toxins or Improper Mountings. Rust and copper are toxic for Air Plants, and whatever mounting medium has been used must not be pinching or binding the Air Plant’s stem, roots or leaves.

Can You Fertilize an Air Plant Mounted to Wood?

Air Plants that live outdoors often require no fertilizer at all, as they collect their nourishment from mid-air. The exception is in cooler climates. If where you live isn’t sub-tropical, but is still warm, Air Plants may benefit from a supplement like fertilizer. If you live in a colder climate, Air Plants will not live outdoors. 

Since indoor air plants can’t collect decaying insect or plant matter, they will definitely benefit from seasonal fertilization!

CAUTION: Some varieties of fertilizer will prove fatal to Air Plants. You can follow the link to find fertilizer on Amazon designed for Tillandsia or Bromeliads

Can You Mount an Air Plant to Wood Yourself?

Absolutely!  I am not “crafty” at all but made a beautiful display with wood.  If I can do it, you can do it!

3 Materials You’ll Need to Mount an Air Plant to Wood

  1. An Air Plant
  2. Wood Medium of Your Choice
  3. Something to Affix the Air Plant to the Wood

3 Safe Materials for Mounting Air Plants to Wood

  1. Non-Toxic Plant Glue: Find a glue that’s safe for plants and animals online at Amazon or at your local plant nursery or flower shop.  Davonna Lowry from Flowers by Zach-Low in Albuquerque, New Mexico reminds us that hot glue is NOT recommended for use on plants.
  2. Plant Wire: You’ll find handy “cut to length” twist wire here on Amazon.
  3. Any Non-Toxic Twine, Ribbon or String: Professional Photographer Sheri Griffin from the Florida Keys Gift Shop @etsy highly recommends using all-natural and toxin-free Hemp Twine.

3 Creative Ideas for Mounting Air Plants to Wood

As long as all materials are non-toxic and you address light, water, and nutrition for your Air Plant, you are only limited by your imagination! I leave you today with three pictures to ignite your imagination and exercise your own creativity should you decide to design your own Air Plant display. 

Can You Remove an Air Plant From a Mounting?

If you purchased a pre-mounted Air Plant display, and you’re not satisfied with how the plant is affixed, or have a better idea for it, you can most often remove the plant to re-affix it.  Gentleness and Patience are key! Never yank on the plant or cause it to rip or tear.  If the Air Plant is glued on, gently cut the glue with an Exacto knife or another small sharp blade.  To remove an Air Plant from its mount, cut the material it is affixed with, not the plant!

Now that you know how easy Air Plants mounted to wood are to care for, there’ll be no stopping you!