TRIB TOTAL MEDIA SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 16, 2019 · 9
Low-maintenance air plants brighten any space
Need a few plants to brighten up a
window sill or your workspace?
If you don’t want to be messing
with potting soil or if you don’t have
a green thumb, then get a couple of
Their botanical name is Tillandsia,
but “air plants” is more mystical.
They are nicknamed air plants because
they get the majority of their
nutrients from the air and need no
soil to grow.
These low-maintenance plants are
the perfect plants for home, work
or school. They require very little upkeep
and are a nice green addition
to any setting, regardless of the time
Air plants aren’t very large. Most
of the ones that are available range
from 4 to 16 inches.
Air plants grow in colonies, meaning
the mother plant will produce
offshoots called pups, and the pups
will become mature plants that will
produce more pups, and a colony is
underway. Don’t worry — air plants
are slow growers, so you won’t be
Caring for air plants is quite easy.
When you bring your plant or plants
home, submerse them in water with
a few drops Superthrive, a plant hormone
and vitamin, for approximately
10 minutes. Then place the plants
in a well-ventilated area where they
can dry in less than four hours.
They should not be placed in soil.
They love bright, indirect sunlight or
artificial light and require good air
Light should be bright and filtered
from April to November (no direct
sun). November through March, the
plants can take direct sunlight.
The optimum temperature range
for air plants is 50 to 90 degrees.
Larger varieties like to be soaked,
and smaller varieties do wonderfully
with just a good misting.
Generally, the best way to care for
them is to have a soak once every
two weeks that can range between
15 minutes to overnight. Allow
them to dry completely before placing
them back into their home, to
Water, mist or soak more often
it is hot and dry and less often
it is cold, dark or damp.
A way to tell if they are thirsty is
by checking the curvature of the
leaves. They will curl in as they are
getting a little too dry.
If the tips begin to dry out, it is
a sign that they might be getting
too much direct sunlight or are a
little dry. You can clip the dry tips
clean scissors. You should then
remedy the care by moving it out
of direct sunlight or increase your
Their roots are only there for
anchoring them as they grow but are
not necessary to maintain and can
be trimmed down without harm to
When the air plant starts to show
some new growth, fertilize with 20-
6-22 water soluble fertilizer twice a
month. It is great for blooming and
Stop by your local garden center,
get a couple of air plants, and let’s
get the growing season started.
Dave Vargo is the owner of Kiski
Plaza Garden & Feed Center (724-
845-8201) in Leechburg. Products
mentioned in this article are available
at the garden center. Call or email
firstname.lastname@example.org with any
questions. Like us on Facebook.
air plants on almost
coral, lava rock or
crystals. Set plants on
the prospective mount,
and if you like the look,
then place non-watersoluble
glue on the
mount, then place plants
onto the area. Larger
plants can be supported
with fishing line until the
glue dries. Camouflage
the exposed adhesive
areas with moss or sand.
For Trib ToTal Media
Air plants pull nutrients from the air and need no soil.
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