Currently at Blooming Blossoms, we have a rare treat – an air plant in bloom! Air plants (aerophytes or Tillandsia) are known as epiphytes, which are plants that absorb everything they need from the air through their leaves and not through their roots. They are very hardy plants that can survive in temperatures ranging from 35-120 degrees. They can go for long periods without water, but they do need water to thrive. It is difficult to overwater them. Air plants do not need direct sun. After blooming, an air plant can produce 1-8 offspring that can later be separated from the mother plant.
There are around 540 species of Tillandsia in the Bromeliad family. They can be found in forests, mountains, and deserts throughout North, South, and Central America. Thinner-leafed varieties tend to grow in rainy areas while thick-leafed varieties tend to grow in areas with less rain. In spite of commonly growing attached to other plants, air plants are not parasites – they use the other plants only for support.
These plants make great decorative pieces – they can be put in seashells, driftwood, teacups, empty vases, or combined with other plants.