Tillandsia, or air plants, are unique plants within the bromeliad family that don’t require soil to grow. Instead, they get the nutrients they need from the air around them. Air plants are perfect for people who don’t have a lot of gardening space or those who want a low-maintenance plant.
Mounting air plants is a great way to show them off and keep them healthy.
This article will explore how to mount air plants so they can thrive.
What Are You Mounting your Air Plant To?
Air plants can be mounted on almost anything as long as it provides good air circulation. Some popular things to mount air plants on are:
- Glass balls
- Wire sculptures
- Chicken wire
You can also get creative and mount your air plants on jewelry, picture frames, or light fixtures.
When deciding what to mount your air plant on, consider the size of the plant. Air plants come in all shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to pick a mount that is proportional to the plant itself. You’ll also want to make sure the material you’re mounting can hold the plant securely.
What Ways Are There to Anchor an Air Plant?
There are a few different ways to anchor your air plant to its mount. The most common way is to use fishing line, wire, or glue.
- Fishing line is a great option because it’s strong but not visible. You’ll want to use a clear fishing line, so it’s less noticeable.
- Wire will stay in place better than fishing line in most cases. You can use thin gauge wire, so it’s not too noticeable. Consider a coated wire when outside, so it doesn’t rust.
- Magnets work well if you are mounting your air plant onto a metal surface such as a refrigerator, mailbox, or even a metal sculpture.
- Hooks such as suction cups can also secure air plants to smooth surfaces like windows.
- Nails can also be a mounting option, but make sure the nail doesn’t go through the root; rather it is used as a branch for the plant to latch onto.
- Glue is another great way to anchor your air plant in place. You’ll want to use a strong glue like E-6000. A hot glue gun can also work in a pinch. Avoid Elmer’s glue as it may lose its bond with time as you water your air plant. We wrote a guide on using plant safe glue for air plants, should want to learn more. However, glue may not be the best option if you plan on changing your air plant’s location often.
How to Mount an Air Plant
Once you’ve picked the perfect mount and anchor, it’s time to get started.
- Start by gathering your supplies. You’ll need air plants, mounts, and something to secure the plants to the mounts (glue, wire, etc.).
- If you’re using glue, apply a small amount to the mount. You don’t need a lot, just enough to hold the plant in place. Place the air plant on the mount and let the glue dry. Allow up to 48 hours for the glue to fully cure.
- If you’re using wire, start by making a small loop at the end of a piece of wire. Wrap the wire around the base of the plant and twist it to secure. Make sure the wire is firm but not tight. Once the plant is secure, twist the wire around the mount to anchor it in place.
What is the Best Way to Water a Mounted Air Plant?
While air plants are epiphytic, meaning they grow on other plants, they still need to be watered.
Depending on how you have your air plant mounted, you may need to water it differently. If the mount is easy to remove and your air plant requires that you submerge it in water, then do so. If the mount is more difficult to remove (i.e., glued) or your air plant doesn’t need to be submerged, you can mist it with water.
You’ll want to water your air plant at least once a week, more often in hot, dry weather and less often in cooler, humid weather. Just be sure to use rainwater, pond water, or any other nutrient-rich water source.
If possible, shake off any excess water. You don’t want your air plant to sit in water as this can cause root rot.
Air plants can make a great addition to any home décor. They are unique and add a touch of nature to any space. Here are a few ideas of how to incorporate air plants into your home:
- Mounted on a piece of driftwood and hung on the wall
- Suspended from the ceiling with fishing line
- Mounted to a wreath
- As a wedding bouquet
- Tied to a curtain rod
- Several affixed to the chandelier
Will the Air Plant Have a Shorter Life if it’s Mounted?
No, an air plant will not have a shorter life if it’s mounted. In fact, mounting an air plant can help it to thrive. This is because air plants are covered in trichomes, which are tiny scales that help the plant to absorb moisture and nutrients from the air. When mounted, the trichomes are more exposed to the air and can absorb more moisture. This means that mounted air plants usually need to be watered less often than those not mounted.
Will Tillandsia Still Produce Pups if It’s Mounted?
Yes, a tillandsia will still produce pups if it’s mounted. However, the way it is mounted may affect how easy it is for the pups to detach from the mother plant. For example, if the plant is mounted with fishing line or wire upside down, it may be more difficult for the plant to self-pollinate when it blooms.
Can you use a hot glue gun on air plants?
Yes, you can use a hot glue gun on air plants. Just make sure to not use too much glue and be careful that the hot tip doesn’t touch the plant.
What other considerations to think about before mounting an air plant?
Before mounting an air plant, you’ll want to consider the type of plant you have, the climate it will be in, and how often you’ll need to water it. For example, if you live in a climate that experiences cold winters (under 50 degrees Fahrenheit), you’ll want to make sure the plant is mounted in a way that it can be easily brought indoors during the colder months.
Also, if you plan to change your air plant’s location often, then using glue may not be the best option as it can be difficult to remove the plant without damaging it. In this case, wire or fishing line would be a better option.
Should you always mount an air plant?
No, you don’t always have to mount an air plant. It really depends on the plant and your personal preference. If you find that your air plant is not doing well or if it’s constantly toppling over, then mounting it may help. However, plenty of people place their air plants on shelves or bowls without mounting them, and they do just fine. Ultimately, it’s up to you!
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.