Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Breathless: An Air Plant Update, and Our eHow Tutorial

Photos by Ryan Benoit

So…how’s everyone’s air plants doing?

At friends’ places and on our own homestead, we’ve seen tillandsias run the gamut — ranging from tormented, thirsty, spidery things to ecstatic emerald crowns. Over the past year and a half, we’ve amassed over 100 air plants, and they’re mostly thriving. And blossoming, and pupping. (That is, producing offspring!)

They’re amazing plants, but often misunderstood, their needs underestimated, victims of their own trendiness. But you can keep them alive.

That’s why we wrote this tutorial for eHow about the basics of air plant care.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Our air plants drying off after a good soak. Learn more about air plant care on our eHow tutorial, ‘Air Plant Care 101.’

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

We’ve been placing our tillies in our loquat tree, which ensures circulation and bright filtered light.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Check it out. We go into the light, circulation and water needs of tillandsias, and much more. It’s an intro course on air plant care, so we challenged ourselves not to get too wordy (and yet “not too wordy” still somehow means over 1,300 words) or to wander too far inside baseball and into the weeds. Soak versus drench? We have some thoughts on that.

So head over there! It’s an exciting honor for us to be a part of the eHow community, and we hope to have some more garden tutorials up in coming weeks.

Below, here are some extra behind-the-scenes shots from our yard — where our tillandsias are living now (hint: concrete is involved), and some exciting species that have just arrived.

—TH

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia velutina is as soft as it looks! We love the velvety leaves of this species. This one has bloomed already and is still blushing a bit.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia crocata has not bloomed for us yet after about a year and half. When it does bloom, it’s supposed to be fragrant.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Our single Tillandsia aeranthos has multiplied by four.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

We temporarily brought our tillies down from their cage (at the top of the photo) for some concrete block time.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Air plants like it up their cage. This location makes it easy for us to drench them with a hose.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia diaguitensis, another fragrant air plant when it blooms.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia seleriana.

Tillandsia caput-medusae in bloom

Tillandsia caput-medusae in bloom. These took about a year of care before blooming.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Full occupancy in the Tillandsia Tower.

A Tillandsia bulbosa bloom

A Tillandsia bulbosa bloom.

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

Tillandsia update in our garden - The Horticult

It’s worth the effort. I mean, get a load of these beauties!

 

  • zilla

    Amazing photos!! Great post.

  • Love this article!

  • Wow, you have good looking air plants right there!

    • These beauts brighten our day. Thanks for joining us!

  • Megan Beauchamp, eHow Editor

    You have such an impressive air plant collection (and such beautiful outdoor displays for them!). Thank you for the great introduction to air plant care!

    • Megan, editor extraordinaire: thank YOU for bringing us into the eHow mix. We’re delighted to share our tillandsia trials and errors and victories!

  • Sarah K Bogard

    What is the name of that vine draped down the concrete blocks?

    • Hi Sarah, that beauty would be our string-of-pearls succulent!