Greenhouse Growing – Air Plants (Tillandsia)

Air plants (Tillandsia)

Campbell12

Air plants have taken off recently and it is no wonder. They are magnificent plants and require little care for beautiful results. Take your pick of 600 varities of air plant! Air plant is actually just the nickname for the real name which is Tillandsia. Tillandsia varieties are native to Central and South American deserts, forests and mountains. The thinner-leafed varieties grow in rainy areas and the thick-leafed varieties in areas more subject to drought. Tillandsia species are epiphytes, meaning they normally grow without soil while attached to other plants. A lot like

Tillandsia and pup
Air Plant with pup – Wikipedia

orchids. They are not parasitic and receive moisture and nutrients from the air (dust, decaying leaves and insect matter) through hair like structures on the leaves called trichomes. A big difference between air plants and orchids is they require very little care. They love bright, indirect sunlight and a warm moist environment. They can tolerate temperatures as low as 50F to about 90F. Air plants are amazing because reproduction is by offsets called “pups” pictured above. A single plant could have up to a dozen pups. The pups grow off of the “mother” plant until it is large enough to separate and become its own plant.

Tillandsia
Lynda’s design – Hanging terrarium

Thanks to our customer Lynda C. I have come to love these whimsical plants and learn that they grow wonderfully in our greenhouses. Lynda discovered tillandsias and fell in love! This love prompted her to purchase a greenhouse and open up shop to sell the plants she adores. Air plants make beautiful and surprising gifts and are sold as decorations. Lynda designs a variety of terrariums, hangers, zen gardens and holders from different mixed media to highlight their beauty and uniqueness. They are truly beautiful pieces of art. To visit her website Random Oddities click here and see all of her passion filled designs. You can also visit Lynda and purchase items if you live in the Ann Arbor, MI. area. Her air plant decorations are on sale at Town Peddler in Livonia.

Sunglo lean-to greenhouse
Lynda’s 5 x 15 lean-to sunglo greenhouse with shade cloth in use

Lynda grows her air plants in her lean-to Sunglo greenhouse pictured to the right. She says they grow wonderfully in the greenhouse and can easily control the temperature for maximum growth. Lynda and her husband customized their greenhouse by building an extended wooden foundation to give the extra room and height they desired. She now happily runs her

business with a supply of never ending air plants in her Sunglo greenhouse!

Tillandsia
Air plants growing on homemade mesh shelves in Lynda’s sunglo greenhouse

Lynda’s designs are great for any room of your house and come in all sizes. She has a great variety of air plants. For her full selection visit her gallery here. And like her on Facebook! See examples below.

Tillandsia veluntinaTillandsia ionantha peach

Tillandsia caput medusae

Tillandsia fuchsii v gracillis