Meet Your Air Plant

by Ellie Eveleigh on December 23, 2021

UPDATE: We have revised some of the air plant's care methods, please read to find out more.

This blogpost is to help you get to know your air plant and learn some important and interesting facts about its nature and how best to care for it. At the bottom of this page, there is a video showing air plant general care, stringing and care prior to gifting.

Typically, air plants are fairly low maintenance. In terms of watering, they generally should be soaked (preferably in rainwater, although tap water is fine) every 1-2 months for around an hour. Alternatively, misting the plant every 1-2 weeks is also viable, just make sure the plant doesn’t feel too dry or look like it’s losing its colour. It is essential the plant is left to fully dry before being strung back inside the ceramic jellyfish head to prevent any rot.

‘Tillandsia’ - the name that precedes each specific air plant - is the genus of mainly epiphytic plants (a plant that typically grows on another plant) of the pineapple family, native to tropical and subtropical America.

 

AIR PLANT CARE

Please find your air plant below for its specific care. Please note, if your air plant is blooming, avoid getting the flower wet during watering.

Tillandsia ‘Caput (Medusae)’

Our products that include Caput: Turquoise Jellyfish Air Plant, Stone Jellyfish Air Plant, Caput Air Plant

Size: The Caput sizes range from medium to large. (Approximate dimensions) Medium: W2cm x H11cm. Large: W3cm x H15cm.

Appearance: Large bulb with thick, velvety, rigid, long light green-silver tendrils. The tendrils are snake-like, hence the Medusa(e) name. During blooming, the Caput produces tubular blue-red flowers.

Nature: Native to South America, mainly Mexico, Guatemala, El Salvador, Honduras.

Care: The Caput variety of air plant prefers bright-mild sunlight with ideally humid surroundings with good air circulation. 2-3 times weekly misting is recommended. Since the bulb is hollow, do not soak the plant.

Tillandsia ‘Ionantha’ / ‘Ionantha Rubra’

Our products that include Ionantha: Turquoise Jellyfish Air Plant, Stone Jellyfish Air Plant, Strawberry Air Plant Vase, Carrot Air Plant Vase, Beetroot Air Plant Vase, Whale Air Plant Vase, Ionantha Air Plant

Size: The Ionantha has small, medium and large variations. (Approximate dimensions) Small: W2.5cm x H4cm. Medium: W3.5cm x H6.5cm. Large: W4.5cm x 8cm.

Appearance: Typically green tendrils, sometimes with a frosty silvery base. The Rubra variation has more noticeable pink/red tips. The base tendrils are sometimes looser - these can either be gently peeled off or left (this is sometimes an indication the plant is about to produce an offshoot). When blooming, the Ionantha produces a purple shoot tipped with a small white/yellow flower in the centre of the plant.

Nature: Native to Mexico, Costa Rica and parts of South America.

Care: The Ionantha variety of air plant is fairly low maintenance. It loves sunlight, so it’s best to keep yours in a bright spot (but out of direct sunlight) with good air circulation. They should be misted with water or air plant care spray weekly. Keep the plant upside down so excess water can run off the tendrils. If you are an owner of one of our ceramic jellyfish air plants, the Ionantha can be misted whilst hanging in the shell. Do not soak, ideally run under water for a few minutes once a month. If your plant propogates, gently remove the baby when it is half the size of the parent plant.

Tillandsia 'Juncifolia'

Our products that include Juncifolia: Turquoise Jellyfish Air Plant, Stone Jellyfish Air Plant, Juncifolia Air Plant

Size: The Juncifolia air plant ranges from medium to large sizes. (Approximate dimensions) Medium: W2.5cm x H16cm. Large: W3cm x 20cm.

Appearance: Grass-like, long rigid tendrils that are sometimes tipped with a deep red or brown colour. The latin name 'junceus' refers to something that is 'reeded', hence the natural long grass-like appearance of the Juncifolia.

Nature: Originally from Guatemala and parts of South America. It is a slow growing air plant that during blooming produces a royal purple flower.

Care: The Juncifolia likes bright but indirect sunlight with an ideally humid environment and good air circulation. Soaking the plant upside down (so only the tendrils get wet and not the bulb) for 10 minutes weekly is recommended. If the plant looks like it needs more care, add a light misting with water or air plant care spray once a week also. Browning around the bulb is natural, and a good way to tell if the Juncifolia is healthy is by gently peeling back a tendril and seeing whether the base of the bulb has a shine to it.

Tillandsia 'Capitata Peach'

Our product that includes Capitata Peach: Pineapple Air Plant Vase

Size: The Capitata peach ranges from small to medium sizes, usually determined by the length of the tendrils. (Approximate dimensions) W10-12cm x H8cm.

Appearance: The Capitata Peach typically has green leaves at a younger stage and silver velvety leaves at a more mature stage. These turn a peach colour when the plant is in bloom. It tends to grow amongst trees, but has also been found growing on cliff faces and canyons. When in bloom, it produces a green/yellow inflorescence with multiple purple flowers.

Nature: Native to Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Cuba, Honduras and Mexico.

Care: In order to thrive, these plants need a humid environment such as a bathroom or a kitchen for optimal results. Misting is recommended once a week. Capitata dislike overwatering, therefore do not soak these air plants. Rainwater is ideal, and shake off any excess water from the leaves.

Tillandsia 'Filifolia'

Our products that include Filifolia: Whale Air Plant Vase, Orange Air Plant Vase

Appearance: Long, thin, thread-like green tendrils with a dark brown base/bulb. Varies in size from medium to large. During bloom it produces

Nature: Native to Central Mexico and Costa Rica.

Care: Moderate humidity, ideally a bathroom environment. Mist with water 3 times weekly, allow to dry. Soak for 2 hours (ideally in rainwater) monthly.

Tillandsia ‘Argentea’

Size: The Argentea sizes range from small to medium, but with a wide spread of tendrils. (Approximate dimensions) Small: W8cm(tendrils)/W1.5cm(bulb) x H5cm. Medium: W10cm(tendrils)/W2cm(bulb) x H6cm.

Appearance: Very lightweight, spiky, thin green-silver leaves. The Argentea is naturally quite dry and feels delicate, however it holds its shape very well. During blooming, the central spike of the plant grows funnel-shaped flowers that come in a variety of colours (typically purple, blue and red).

Nature: Native to and typically grows in dry areas of Mexico, Guatemala, Cuba and Jamaica, and mostly grows on rocks and trees.

Care: Bright environment (out of direct sunlight), preferably humid with good air circulation. They should be misted with water weekly. 

Tillandsia ‘Pruinosa’

Size: The Pruinosa has small to medium variations in size. (Approximate dimensions) W2.5cm x H8cm - W3.5cm x H10cm.

Appearance: Large bulb with velvety tendrils that varies in colour from maroon to green. The brown base colour of the bulb is not indicative of an unhealthy plant, but it is actually due to the plants being in direct sunlight (which they like).The plant is usually larger during blooming and produces a pink bulb which sometimes emits purple flowers.

Nature: Native to Florida, Central America and South America. Sadly, in Florida, the Pruinosa is now considered an endangered plant due to insect damage and habitat destruction, and therefore its production is carefully monitored and they are typically rarer to source.

Care: This type of air plant prefers partial shade with good air circulation. Should be misted every couple of weeks.

Tillandsia ‘Balbisiana’

Size: The Balbisiana sizes range from medium to large. (Approximate dimensions) Medium: W2.5cm x H18cm. Large: W3cm x H22cm.

Appearance: Grass-like, multiple long green leaves that have a tendency to curl. When blooming, it emits a long red/yellow inflorescence that produces purple flowers.

Nature: Native to Mexico, Central America, Venezuela, Colombia, West Indies and Florida. Typically found growing on trees in swamp areas. Sadly, similarly to the Pruinosa, it is considered a threatened species in Florida due to habitat destruction.

Care: The Balbisiana air plant can withstand direct sunlight, although still best to give it filtered exposure. A weekly misting is recommended.

For air plant general care, stringing and care prior to gifting, please watch our video below.


2 comments
by Faye Simmons on May 26, 2023

I’m new to the Air Plant world. Your information here helped me so much. I’m excited to have my new little friends.

by Jacqui Winner on January 06, 2023

Really love this little birthday gift, I am looking forward to watching it grow 🙂

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