Care of Airplants

Originating from the Americas, air plants are plants from the genus Tillandsia, hence many people calling them ‘Tilly’s’. A member of the Bromeliad family, Air plants grow in the air absorbing water and required nutrients through their leaves rather than through roots like a terrestrial plant. They range from the Southern USA to Argentina in South America and can be found in a number of diverse habitats.
They are an ideal choice for the vivarium or terrarium as they are hardy, easy to keep and can be easily positioned to give you a more naturalistic looking environment. Many species of amphibian and reptile will appreciate the cover offered by live plants and air plants are ideal for this for many species.
Like all plants they require both water and feeding. They can be watered by lightly spraying with rain water or tap water if you live in a soft water area. However we recommend rain water as it is safer. Spraying with hard alkaline water can cause damage over time and is not recommended. To feed, simply spray with a foliar spray which can be purchased from ourselves. As a general rule we suggest watering your plant weekly, more often if they are in a dry environment. Species with finer leaves will require more frequent watering than those with larger, more fleshy leaves.
Air plants cannot be planted like terrestrial plants due to their lack of roots, so to position them they are simply ‘glued’ into place using our air plant fixative. This product is completely safe and will not cause any damage to your plants.
Given correct conditions air plants will flower, depending on the species some plants will flower annually, others every few months.
Do not allow water to pool in the centre of the plant as this is likely to cause the plant to rot. Also ensure that the plant is not subjected to dehydration by spraying it with water regularly. If the plant appears to be wilting spray it lightly but regularly until it regains it’s normal shape taking care not to over water. They can also be soaked in rain water if required. Just ensure that the plant is dried within two to three hours after soaking.

Air plants do need light in order to thrive. They are not suitable for an enclosure with no lighting, they will die off as a result.

© 2015  Tarron Boon, Bioactive Herps

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