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Autumn Oak Lane: Air plant care guide

There are many members of the Tillandsia genus (air plants) with over 650 species.They last year after year and come in various shapes and sizes. For a college student, an air plant is perfect to spice up a dorm room with green organic matter. When they bloom they send off pups that can be grown into another plant. Each species has its own timeline; some air plants mature, bloom and send off pups and eventually die after doing so.

Air plants love humidity and are epiphytes, so they take nutrients from the atmosphere around them. They will scorch in the direct sunlight and their leaves are sensitive to the climate in the house. If the air is too dry you will see the tips turn brown and will need to add misting to your watering regime. It is recommended that you leave them in a water bath for 10-25 minutes once a month and leave them to sit out for a couple of hours so they don’t rot. They can hold water in their leaves where they connect at the crown of the plant; this is not good, so after watering they should be placed upside down so they can dry.

They are great in terrariums and make good centerpieces or wall art. They can be taken out of the holders or glass pots and manicured through watering and trimming off dead leaves.

When it sends off pups, you should leave the pup on until it’s at least 1/3 of the size of the mother plant. Some species have the ability to keep living after sending off pups and will leave you with a gorgeous clump of air plants to display in your living space. They are air purifiers, as most plants are, so you can place them in bathrooms or bedrooms for some unique pieces.

There are many that bloom in all kinds of colors, especially pink and purple, that bounce off the green foliage. There are some that have an organic coating, making them appear pink and beautiful.

Air plants are something special to take care of and are so fun to add around the house.


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