Discover the Fascinating Air Plant Species

Tillandsias, commonly known as air plants, are an intriguing genus within the Bromeliad family. They are highly adaptable, with over 650 species that thrive in various climates, especially in the British Isles. Some popular species suitable for the UK are:

  • Tillandsia ionantha
  • Tillandsia xerographica
  • Tillandsia caput-medusae
  • Tillandsia brachycaulos

Cultivate Your Air Plants: Watering and Light Requirements

Despite their soil-free nature, air plants still need a consistent source of moisture. Follow these guidelines to ensure their health:


  1. Submerge in water: Fully immerse your air plants in room-temperature water (20°C/68°F) for 20-30 minutes, once a week.
  2. Shake gently: Remove excess water from the plants by shaking them gently to avoid rot.
  3. Dry: Place your plants in a well-ventilated area to dry within 4 hours (avoid prolonged dampness).


Air plants require bright, indirect sunlight. A north or east-facing window is ideal, or use artificial light sources, such as fluorescent or LED lights.

Displaying Your Air Plants: Creative and Functional Ideas

Air plants’ unique, soil-free nature allows for innovative and versatile display options. Here are some suggestions to showcase your plants:

  1. Mounted on driftwood, bark, or cork
  2. Suspended in hanging glass terrariums
  3. Placed on decorative stones or pebbles

Remember to keep air plants away from direct sunlight and heating vents, and ensure adequate air circulation.

Necessary Tools for Air Plant Maintenance

Caring for air plants requires specific tools to ensure their long-term health. Here are the essentials:

  1. Spray bottle: Useful for misting air plants between soakings.
  2. Long tweezers: Aid in removing dead leaves or debris from the plant.
  3. Soft brush: Gently clean dust and dirt from the plant’s leaves.

Air Plant Propagation: Unlocking the Magic of Pups

Air plants reproduce through offsets, commonly known as pups. With careful handling and the right tools, you can propagate your air plants and expand your collection. For a Bristol landscaper who can guide you through the process, click here.

Steps to Propagate Air Plants

  1. Wait for pups to grow: Allow pups to reach one-third to one-half the size of the mother plant.
  2. Prepare the tools: Use a clean and sharp pair of scissors or a sterile knife.
  3. Separate the pup: Cut the pup away from the mother plant, close to the base, without damaging the new growth.
  4. Care for the pup: Follow the same care guidelines as for mature air plants.


Air plants offer endless possibilities for garden enthusiasts seeking a unique addition to their homes. With the right care and maintenance, these fascinating plants can thrive and bring life to any space. For expert guidance and assistance, consult Landscape Advice, a Bristol-based landscaping company with decades of experience in creating stunning gardens.