Growing Air Plants

Title: Growing Air Plants
Episode: 11
Broadcast Date: 11/05/14
Presenter: Trevor

If there was a single group of plants that captures the imagination of many people it would have to be the Air Plants or Tillandsias. They get their name because they have the ability to take moisture from the atmosphere to sustain them; you’ve probably even seen them grown on rocks, glued to magnets or planted in trees and they just thrive! Here Trevor takes a closer look at these great plants, and shows you how to grow one in your own home.

  • The most famous of the Tillandsias is without doubt the Old Man’s Whiskers; a grey stringy form that hangs from trees in southern north and south America taking nutrients and moisture from humid environments.
  • There are many different forms and they can all be grown in quite different ways to what we are normally used too
  • A string planter is one very different way and it requires some string, make sure you use nylon based string, and weigh it down.
  • Stretch it out and get a glue gun.  Then making dobs randomly up the string place plants along it. The idea is you do one side first then another and eventually you will have a very full planter
  • The glue provides these incredibly hardy plants the secure hold they need as with time they will develop a small root system that grows along the string securing it further.
  • Air Plants do need some humidity and in a home garden environment it's a bit too dry for them to thrive without some help. A way around this is to hang the string planter from a rafter and than added a small micro spray above it.  This will ensure that the plants below get moisture, although they don’t need too much!
  • They don't need any care or attention after you’ve set them up; an occasional spray with Seasol will help a bit, and a great idea is to use the trigger sprayer, it’s terrific for plants under stress or needing help with their root development or recovery from stress.
  • If you are wondering where you buy Air Plants, most garden centers sell them but Trevor got his from the Collectors Corner; check them out at