Self-proclaimed Black Thumb? This Plant is Perfect For You!

March 20, 2018



Denny Mata

black-thumbed people who always get plants killed (no offence) no matter how much they love and care for plants, is the tropical plant Tillandsia (a type of Bromeliad), commonly known as air plant. Weird and odd-looking, they are actually really interesting plants to take care of, especially if you live in a condo. They add just the right amount green and life into your space, and require minimal maintenance. But before you get your hands onto these tiny plant babies, here are 5 things you need to know about air plants.

1 They Aren’t Dead, But They Get Sick

They just look like they’re no longer breathing carbon dioxide, but they are actually alive and inhaling every bit of CO2 in the air. They are just so low-maintenance that you don’t need a green thumb to care for them. However, if you’ve let them dry and thirsty for a long time, these air plants get sick. Look out for dull, brownish, and limp leaves. If your plant starts to show these, you must perk it back up by removing the dead leaves, and soaking them in water overnight (no chlorine, please!). After their bath, shake the excess water off and put them back into place.

2 They Come In Different Shapes and Sizes

Air plants come in varieties. Some are red, some are green. If you want our top picks from the popular varieties: Xerographica, Tectorum, Bulbosa, Tectorum, Ionantha Rubra, and Velutina.

3  They Love Water

As mentioned earlier, air plants like water every once in a while. Although they don’t grow in soil, air plants get their dose of water through their leaves—they absorb moisture. The recommended water intake depends on the weather and the type of air plant you get. If it’s hot and dry, you can water, mist, or soak your larger varieties of air plant more often. If the weather is cold, dark, or damp, and your plant is a smaller variety, it’s okay to water or soak less often or simply mist them. You can do this once every two weeks from 15 minutes to overnight (soak). Just make sure you dry them completely before placing them back to their container to avoid mold.

4 They Can Live Anywhere, Except In One Place

Air plants can thrive anywhere, as long as it isn’t dark and sealed. You can even let them on a small pot or hanging on a string and they will live like a boss. This is one of their best characteristics that makes them perfect for black-thumbed people, for those who don’t really have that much time and space to care for plants, and for those who loves to be creative with their plants. As much as they love air, they love light as well. So if you have it on your workspace, make sure to give it enough light and air. While you can place them in any container, you can’t seal them in!

5  They Bloom Flowers Once In Their Lifetime

And as much as you want to preserve that once-in-a-lifetime Tillandsia flower, you can’t. These flowers lasts from days to months, depending on the species, and they only bloom when the plant itself reaches maturity (which is also an indication that the plant will soon die off). While air plants are tropical plants that usually live for several years, once they produce baby plants or pups and reach maturity, they die off as the pups grow into a mature plant (which could take years). However, when your air plant nears maturity, that’s when you can see its striking and brilliantly colored flower.

Download this month's BLUPRINT magazine digital copy from:
Subscribe via [email protected]