I recently found a plant that is easy to grow, beautiful and reasonably priced. As a busy mom and full-time florist, these plants are just what I am looking for when it comes to bringing decorative flora into my home.

It is the tillandsia, a group of plants commonly known as “air plants.” I know you have seen this little plant, popular at flea markets and craft fairs. Let me tell you about this plant so you will enjoy it and be able to grow one (or more) in your home.

In the wild, these plants are attached to trees or rocks where they are supported above the ground, hence the name, “air plant.” Plants that have roots in the soil are terrestrial, and plants grown above the soil are epiphytes. In its natural environment, tillandsia is exposed to filtered sunlight, and when it rains, the plant collects water in crevices formed by the shape of its leaves. These minimal needs make it to be an easy-care houseplant.

Tillandsias are available in several different species to fit any decor. Some of the popular ones are T. ionanthaT. xerographica,  T. caput-medusae, and T. circinnata. Spanish moss is T. usneoides.

To display tillandsia in your home, mount the plant on pieces of driftwood (or other objects) and simply submerge in water to soak the plant tissues.

Tillandsia can be grown on almost any imaginable decorative mount, including shells, rocks, slate and driftwood. They prefer to be mounted on a solid substrate that does not retain water. You can glue your tillandsia directly to the surface with a strong adhesive, or you can wire the plant to the base. Don’t cover the base of the plant with moss or it may rot. Group them in decorative clumps for maximum effect.

Once they stop dripping, put them back on display and enjoy. There is debate on the best time of day to water a tillandsia, but my experience has taught me to water in the morning. I hope you like them, too, and they can find a niche in your home.

If you want to do further research, here is the scientific information:

Class: Equisetopsida

Subclass: Magnoliidae

Superorder: Lilianae

Order: Poales

Family: Bromeliaceae

Genus: Tillandsia

Do you have a favorite decorative plant?