We were browsing our old friends’ Gentl and Hyers Portfolio site when we came upon some lovely images of air plants in a stylish bedroom. They are from Bring the Outdoors In: Garden Projects for Decorating and Styling Your Home, photographed, we’ve discovered, in a mutual friend’s country home, and styled by Shane Powers. The air plants are cleverly attached to fishing filament, so they appear to just hang in the air. LOOK AT THAT, we thought, like a fab little living sculpture.
Then we googled ‘air plants’ to find out more about them, see if this lovely display was do-able and how, exactly, air plants work. Also known as epiphytes, they need no soil because water and nutrients are absorbed through the leaves. The roots are used as anchors only. That’s the reason why you can tie the roots with fishing filament to hang the plants.
As for upkeep, they do need some.
According to Air Plant Supply Company, air plants should be watered weekly for moist environments, two or three times weekly in warmer regions or if humidity is fairly low.
…place them in a bowl or glass filled with water for approximately 30 minutes. Pick them up by the base and turn the plant upside down, then gently shake to remove any excess water that may remain. If your plant has areas that can retain water (cups) always make sure that you these are not filled with water. Now place your air plant on a towel or paper tower and let it dry. Three to four hours should do it.
You can use a spray bottle and mist the plants every few days in between your normal waterings. But, immersing the plants is the preferred method and will yield the best results.
The key to making a rig like the one in photos above is to secure it to the ceiling by a hook or other device which will allow you to take the air plants down for periodic watering. And be very careful not to let the filament get tangled, a danger. We could see putting the string of plants in a tub of water, then spreading them on a towel to dry, before rehaning.
Another approach would be to attach fine fish hooks along the filament, and hang your air plants from them (with the hooks disguised), so you could remove the plants for watering.
For more ideas, check out the Tinkertoy air plant structure we posted some time ago.
Because air plants don’t need to root, you can also just place them around your space as living, ad hoc decorations. What a lovely thing decorate the dinner table with…
And what a nice gift to give (with care instructions)…