Air plant is an epiphyte that does not require soil to grow. Although it is originated in the continent with warm climates, multitude types of air plant can be found in various locations. Some of them grow wildly on trees or shrubs in their natural state. Some others, particularly Tillandsias, can be cultivated at home and used for decoration.
If you are looking for natural adornments to beautify your home, you can consider some varieties of Tillandsia air plant below.
Although Tillandsia aeranthos can be planted both indoor and outdoor, this air plant is more popular as a houseplant. The plant is identified by its spiky leaves and bright-colored flowers in blue and pink shade.
Tillandsia andreana is a type of tillandsia plant that comes from Columbia. It is identified by thin, delicate leaves that spread out from all sides. At the growing stage, this air plant can reach up to 3-4 inches tall. It will also bear small flowers from its central part.
Tillandsia bergeri is a sub-variety of spiky air plant, Tillandsia aeranthos. Because of this, some people often call it Tillandsia aeranthos bergeri. The characteristics are mostly similar to its prime variety. However, Tillandsia bergeri has slightly longer flowers in more vibrant colors.
Tillandsia brachycaulos has thin green leaves that arch outward from the central point. As the plant bears flowers, the leaves will turn red with the shade of softer tone in the middle. In addition to its natural type, there is a hybrid variety of Tillandsia brachycaulos, namely brachycaulos x concolor. The leaves of this variety are always green, even when the plant starts flowering.
The name of Tillandsia bulbosa refers to its bulbous and rounded roots. Aside from that, the most attractive point of this air plant is actually its twisted narrow leaves that look like tentacles. The initial color of the leaves is bright green, but it will turn into red or purple shade once the flower blooms.
Tillandsia capitata has soft, delicate leaves that will turn colors from silvery green to peachy pink when they bloom. This variety looks so much brighter than any other types of Tillandsias, especially when its purple central flowers start to blossom.
This air plant derives its name from Medusa, the woman in the Greek mythology with hair of snakes. Just like its origin name, Tillandsia caput-medusae has long and soft leaves that resemble Medusa’s hair. In the summer, this plant looks prettier when it produces flowers in red or blue colors.
Tillandsia cyanea is also known as the Pink Quill Plant. The name is related to the focal point of this air plant, that is, a feather-like pink flower that blooms in the middle. Because of its elegant feature, Tillandsia cyanea is a perfect choice for home decoration.
This air plant also goes by several other names, such as wild pineapple, cardinal air plant, and quill-leaf air plant. Tillandsia fasciculata is commonly grown outside because of its large size. Naturally, the plant can reach up to three feet, looking quite beautiful with its red and green flowering leaves.
Like many types of air plants, Tillandsia funkiana can be cultivated indoor as a houseplant. In particular, this small variety of Tillandsia is best to be planted in a terrarium. Alternatively, you can also grow it in a pot to adorn desks or tables. Tillandsia funkiana will beautify your desktop with its red and yellow inflorescence.
Tillandsia gardneri closely resembles yucca plant. Both of them are characterized by a thick stem and long, stiff leaves. The color of the leaves may vary, from pale green to grayish shade. This air plant is relatively large as its height can reach up to 9-12 inches. For that reason, Tillandsia gardneri is best to be placed in the veranda where it can receive enough bright light.
Tillandsia ionantha is valued the most because of its attractive color feature. Starting from the silvery green shade, the layered leaves of this air plant turn into deeper and brighter colors as they grow. Therefore, a full-grown Tillandsia ionantha will have the gradation of color that includes green, red, and pink. The plant also bears pretty purple flowers in the top center part.
Tillandsia maxima belongs to the large types of air plant since it can grow up to 5-6 inches while spreading 3-4 inches to the side. This air plant has bright green leaves that will turn into coral red at the blooming stage. Similar to Tillandsia ionantha, Tillandsia maxima also bears beautiful tillandsia flower in purple color.
Popularly known as Pink Bronze plant, Tillandsia stricta grows long, pointed leaves that resemble the leaves of a pineapple. In addition, this air plant bears huge flowers in bright pink or purple colors. Tillandsia stricta is rather small, so it can be planted in a terrarium or mini container.
Unlike most types of air plant which have thin leaves, the foliages of Tillandsia xerographica are quite wider. The growing leaves can reach up to 4-5 inches as they curl around the center of the plant like ribbons. Because of its decorative feature, you can choose Tillandsia xerographica as hanging air plants.
Additional Note: How to Care for Air Plants
Growing air plants at home is an easy task to do. Generally, air plant care does not require much effort. The plant only relies on the air in its growing location and does not fully depend on the water like regular plants.
Nevertheless, you still need to water the plant every now and then. Mist the leaves of your air plant using a little amount of water in the spraying bottle. Watering air plants is best to be done once a week. Moreover, every two or three weeks, you need to fill the pot with water and soak the plant for about 30 minutes. It is intended to balance the moisture of your lovely air plant.
With its attractive leaves and bright-colored flowers, Tillandsia air plant will be a perfect addition to your home. Once you’ve chosen the types of air plant you like, you can grow them on your own for home decoration or meaningful gifts.