Are you looking for a fuss free, easy going plant
to share your home or office with?

Airplants are
a great choice!!

By Rachel Gleeson
for The Village Observer June 2021

Tillandsias, commonly known as “air plants” come in lots of different shapes and sizes, grow inside very happily and are very easy to look after. Air plants can survive in low light areas and love the temperate humid weather conditions that we Sydney siders often experience! They make the perfect house mate for apartment dwellers as they do not need much room, require no soil….no mess! Tillandsias produce an assortment of striking foliage and stunning flowers. Most are quite small (around 5 to 20cm in length) and fuss free. There are over 400 varieties in existence, and range in price starting from around $10 for the more common varieties and a lot more for the rarer specimens! These plants make great collectables! The leaves of these little guys are made up of tiny scales, capable of absorbing nutrients and water from the air. Therefore, tillandsias do not need to live in soil. The few roots the plant produce are solely used for anchorage to their chosen homes, which are most commonly branches within the canopy of trees or wherever they fall. In our homes they look great in decorative vessels such as glass or shells or suspended from the ceiling/shelf in groups attached by string or fishing line.


Most air plants have strappy silver or green leaves that are formed in a rosette or round shape. Those with silver or “fuzzy” leaves occur naturally in sunny dry climates. Specimens with darker smooth glossy leaves are found in shadier situations with more rainfall, thus requiring more frequent watering. Your air plant will reward you with a stunning flower, from most commonly a palette of pink, purple and red. During or after flowering your air plant will produce on average between two and six “pups”. Sadly, your original plant will slowly die and be replaced by these growing young babies. They can be detached from the original plant when around 1/3 the size with a sharp knife.


● WATERING – 3 ways to keep you air plant hydrated

● SPRAYING – Use a water sprayer to mist every day or two to replicate rainfall and create humidity.

● DUNKING – in the sink/fish tank or a bowl of water. Use this method for a quick refresh or for those with leaves that are hard to mist

● SOAKING – The easiest way to know that your air plant has had a good drink! Submerge for 1-3 hours once a week, or after a period of neglect.

In nature air plants will receive nutrients through water that has absorbed nutrients from bird/insect droppings. To replicate this fertilise use soluble orchid fertiliser diluted in your spray bottle every few months. Tillandsias require good AIR CIRCULATION. A fan or gentle breeze will help it dry off after being watered. They do not like to sit in water or be permanently damp. Avoid positions such as lidded terrariums or wet areas. If you are looking for a fuss free, easy going plant to share your home or office with. these little guys are a great choice.

happy gardening!