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Hanging Air Plant Terarrium

I’ll admit that I’m really NOT a houseplant person.  Not only do I tend to kill them from benign neglect, I also just don’t like the way the take over things (think of the classic Philodendron).

The classic Philodendron. So not my cup of tea!

You’ve seen this guy, right?  All stretched out 6 feet long and held up by thumb tacks as it grows around a window or creeping along the top of the kitchen cabinets?  It’s just not my thing.  Too much work.  Too leggy. Too much dust and, mostly too much remembering to water!

However, since I’ve caught the succulent plant bug, I’ve been giving houseplants another try.  One of my most recent finds are Airplants (Tillandsia).  They can be purchased locally at Cactus and Tropicals or online from a number of vendors.  Best of all, there are a gazillion creative ways to incorporate them into your home interior WITHOUT the tacky factor sometimes associated with houseplants. Are Airplants kitchy? Yes.  Tacky? Only in a ‘cool’ way!  They’re plants you can craft with which is right up my DIY lovin’ alley!

Several different varieties showing the textures and colors available.

I recently created a basic Hanging Air Plant Terrarium which was among several products and projects I featured on Studio 5 (a local morning show) last month.  You can see the segment over on my ‘media’ page if you wish.  I’d can do a ‘how to’ tutorial on creating an Air Plant Terrarium in about 10 seconds- they’re that easy!

1. Find a suitable container.  I am using a hanging glass tealight/terrarium holder I purchased at Tai Pan Trading.

Hanging glass globe for my Air Plant Terrarium

2. Add a fine layer of gravel.  Gravel made for fishtanks works great in terrariums as it usually has a varnish of some sort on it that brings out the color of the gravel.  Tumbled glass can also be a cool medium l depending on the style of the container.

Fine layer of gravel for the base.

3. Create a layer of ‘activated charcoal’ or ‘horticultural charcoal’ .  This product absorbs odors and ick to keep the terrarium fresh for an extended period of time.

4. Top with more gravel.  You can completely hide the activated charcoal if the black color isn’t something you want to emphasize.

5. Add Air Plant(s).  Air plants come in a variety of colors and sizes.  Always select the container first so you know which size Air Plants to purchase.  I used a small Air Plant and a medium sized plant in my application.

Move Air Plants into their little home!

6. Add Decorative Objects.  In this case, I added a chunk of colored quartz we picked up at a Zion Canyon Rock Shop on vacation.

All finished and ready to hang.

Spritz the Air plants with a mist of water every few days. Once per month, they should be spritzed with water that has a weak solution of House Plant Fertilizer in it.  That’s it!  My container can be hung and so my son is enjoying it in his bedroom, dangling from the ceiling.

I was surprised that an 11 year old boy wanted a terrarium as part of his Christmas presents but, hey, I’ll happily feed that little interest.  He probably just wanted it because those particular plants had been on tv so the plants are ‘famous’ as far as he’s concerned.  In any case, he’s managed to keep it alive (if a bit worse for the wear due to over-watering).  Once the excitement wears off and he becomes a little more neglectful, the Air Plants should thrive!

Happily hanging out in the bedroom window. For now...

There are tons of people far more creative than I doing all sorts of interesting things with Air Plants.  I’ve pinned a number of ideas on my Pinterest account.  To check them out, click on the “P” button at the top of this blog to my Pinterest boards and click on the board entitled “Garden Gift Shop” (or you can click that link and it might express you there quick!

Once you’ve viewed the many fun ideas, go out and get yourself and Air Plant to dispel the winter blahs!

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  • air plants
    February 27, 2012 at 10:52 am

    thats a lovely design for air plants. but are the plants fit for that is only selectable?

    • Cynthia
      February 29, 2012 at 12:54 am

      I’m not sure what you’re asking but I did have to go with some smaller air plants to make it work. The air plant is still perfectly happy (though the little air plant died because my son got a little over zealous with the watering!)

  • Georgia H.
    December 3, 2012 at 5:34 pm

    I had the same thing happen with my first air plant. Surprisingly they dont need as much care as one would think. I learned so much about air plants from air plant design studio. Check them out for all sorts of air plant info http://www.air-plants.com!