Air plant garden – Simple & Beautiful

Do you love plants? Is gardening your favourite hobby? But most of us are reluctant to plant trees and plants due to lack of time. For such people, there is happy news. Latest trend is air plants, which don’t require flower pot or potting soil. These plants belong to tillandsia species, and even if you forget to water for one week, you need not worry. These plants have the ability to absorb minerals and water from atmosphere. Also addressed as ‘Don’t Care Plants’, read a few more about this interesting plant species.

Air plants can be grown anywhere

Image source: Amazon India

They are naturally seen in trees, twigs, rocks etc. More than 600 varieties can be used as decorative plants. Stem is short and leaves are thick and seen as bushes. They are seen in semi-shaded places and to some extend under direct sunlight too. Roots are similar to grass and stick to any surface, thus helping the plant to grow under any condition. It can be fixed anywhere – in sink, drift wood, glass surface of aquarium and in pebbles, and the air plants fix its roots effectively.

Leaves are thick and have a thin layer similar to chalk powder, which helps the plant to absorb water and minerals from atmosphere and grow in dry conditions. In some species, this layer is little bit excess and hence the leaf colour may be dim. Such plants can be placed under direct sun too. Fertilizers and water is needed occasionally only, in this case. In yet another species, the white layer is not clearly visible. Such plants should be placed in shady places, and need water and manure frequently. Plants with red and wheat colour are also available. Most of the plants have similarities with miniature pineapple plants.

Just before the plants blossom, the inner most leaves and sprouts have attractive red, yellow and pink colours. Later flower blossoms in the centre portion of such attractive leaves, and its colour would be different from the colour of leaves. Dark red, blue, pink, yellow etc are common colours of flowers, and they stay fresh for at least 1 or 2 weeks.

Simple treatments are required to maintain air plants     

New plants are formed near to the root of mature plants. In the flowering varieties, they start reproducing new plants soon after blossoming. In other varieties, new plants may form from leaves and roots. When it grows to 1-2 inch height, you can separate it from mother plant and plant in another place, and such plants can grow without roots also. It’s possible to grow air plants using different methods. Simple method is to hang them in thin threads. Otherwise use a glass pot, put some pebbles and place the plant inside it. In drift wood, you can plant air plants of different species, and thus make a mini-garden as per your gardening ideas.

You can fix the root portion of the plant to the drift wood using super glue. So, it’s possible to grow air plants on any surface, say walls of aquarium, surface of big pebbles or rock, conch etc. It’s possible to prepare terrarium using air plants and is the latest trend in gardening. You can also prepare simple pots using strings and prepare attractive air plant pots.

As time passes by, the roots find itself suitable place to fix somewhere, thus helping the plant to grow. Those hanging types produce roots in all directions and slowly change to globe shape. In slowly growing varieties, they may grow to a maximum of 2-3 inches a year. During rainy season, the plants absorb sufficient moisture from atmosphere. During summer, use a sprayer to water the plant once in 3 or 4 plants, and moist the plant completely.

If leaves curl backwards, it indicates the lack of moisture. If so, immerse the plant as whole in a water mug for 1 hour, thus preventing excess loss of water. For the healthy growth of plants, once in a month, mix the soluble NPK 19:19:19 (2 gm/litre water) with water and spray it to plants. If you place air plants under direct sunlight, water them frequently. Please note – it’s not root but leaves which absorb water and minerals for the healthy growth of plants.

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A freelance writer and blogger by profession since October 2011, interested in writing over a wide range of topics. Hope you enjoy my writings. I belong to one of the beautiful places of the world, Kerala, nicknamed as 'God's own country'.

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