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Four Easy Ways to Style Air Plants

Photo from Shutterstock 

I really can’t remember when I saw air plants for the first time, but I do remember the first time they left a dramatic impression on me. I was perusing an incredible store devoted to plants and oddities of all kinds, and there, between the framed butterflies and a scene of Victorian-dressed, taxidermy mice having tea, I found a beautiful selection of air plants.

The “leggy” sort (Tillandsia caput-medusae) was suspended from above in what looked like a troupe of ballerinas dancing through the air. In complete contrast, the “hairy” variety (Tillandsia tectorum) appeared disheveled, on the verge of stumbling drunkenly out of apothecary jars and containers.

This was the first time I really appreciated air plants for all their charisma and versatility. Not only do they all have their own personalities, they can also be hung from a ceiling, burrowed between books on a shelf, or naturally allowed to cling to any number of decorative objects around your house. If you let your imagination run wild, you will have endless fun designing your air plant terrariums and finding new places for them to dwell. Here are a few ideas to get you started!


Serving Dish 

Photo from Creative Terrariums

Supplies:

  • serving dish
  • purple sand

Air plants:

  • 1 x Tillandsia Ionantha rubra
  • 1 x Tillandsia brachycaulos abdita
  • 1 x Tillandsia Ionantha scaposa

Decorative elements:

  • 2 x white quartz crystals
  • 1 x amethyst crystal
  • 1 x citrine crystal

Steps:

  1. Wash the serving dish with warm, soapy water and let dry completely.
  2. Pour the sand into the serving dish until you have a hill in the center.
  3. Press the crystals and air plants into the sand, alternating between the two.

Stemmed Glass

Photo from Creative Terrariums

Supplies:

  • snifter (any stemmed glass will do!)

Air plants:

  • 1 x Tillandsia filifolia

Decorative elements:

  • monochrome aquarium gravel mix

Steps:

  1. Wash the glass with warm, soapy water and let dry completely.
  2. Fill the bottom of the glass with a thin layer of aquarium gravel.
  3. Place the air plant inside.

Grapewood Vine

Photo from Creative Terrariums

Supplies:

  • grapewood vine (available from floral supply shops)
  • E6000 glue
  • rubber bands (optional)

Air plants:

  • Tillandsia ionantha rubra
  • Tillandsia ionantha scaposa
  • Tillandsia caput-medusae
  • Tillandsia harrisii
  • Tillandsia filifolia
  • Tillandsia xerographica

Steps:

  1. Apply a small amount of E6000 glue to the vine where you would like the air plants to sit.
  2. Simply nestle the xerographica between branches.  There is no need to glue this one.

Crystals

Photo from Creative Terrariums

Supplies:

  • E6000 glue
  • rubber bands (optional)

Air plants:

  • Tillandsia ionantha rubra
  • Tillandsia ionantha scaposa
  • Tillandsia caput-medusae
  • Tillandsia harrisii
  • Tillandsia filifolia
  • Tillandsia xerographica

Steps:

  1. Wash crystals in warm, soapy water and let them dry.
  2. Add a small amount of glue to the crystal where you would like the air plant to sit. Wait a few minutes for the glue to get tacky.
  3. Press the air plant into the glue and hold down until the glue dries (about 10 minutes). Repeat for the other crystals/air plants.

Care

Place air plant displays in bright rooms with indirect sunlight. If your air plants are glued down, mist them every other day. Avoid letting too much water get into the bases. Air plants that are not glued down can be removed from their display once a week and submerged in a bowl of water for 20 minutes. Remove them from their bath, shake out any excess water, and allow them to dry upside down before returning them to their display.

More from Creative Terrariums:

Terrariums are a popular way to bring beautiful gardens indoors. For many who love growing green things but lack the backyard space, this hobby is an enjoyable and affordable option. Craft blogger Enid G. Svymbersky has made a name for herself creating terrariums with a modern twist. Her terrariums are known for having an intriguing and contemporary style. Complete with tips and tricks for re-creating your own stylish eco-systems, Creative Terrariums: 33 Modern Mini-Gardens for Your Home presents cutting-edge designs that will add a decorative organic presence to even the smallest room. Inside, you’ll learn step-by-step how to build and maintain unique mini-gardens full of lush, oxygen-boosting plants. The mini terrarium projects include memo boards, jars, fishbowls, dream catchers, and more that will fit on small tables, bookshelves, and window sills, hang on the wall, or can be displayed in any other tight places in the home.

Reprinted with permission from Creative Terrariums: 33 Modern Mini-Gardens for Your Home by Enid G. Svymbersky and published by Fox Chapel Publishing Company, Inc., 2019.

Published on Sep 5, 2019

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