Part three of my 3-part series on Air plants! So far I’ve covered what air plants need in terms of sunlight as well as proper watering techniques. In today’s post, where to find air plants (Including a fun display idea) I’m covering where to buy Air Plants including the pros and cons of buying them in nurseries, online, or at your local grocery store. I share my review on the air plants I bought on amazon ( yes amazon even has live plants!) and take you through a fun display idea, but first, let’s recap what we have learned so far.
Air Plant Series Recap
- “Air plants” is the common name for Tillandsia (or Tillies). Tillandsias are part of the Bromeliad or Bromeliaceae family with over 500 species.
- Air plants need sun and moisture to survive. They do not need soil thus in nature typically found suspended on a structure in the air. Hello to the name “air plants”!
- Despite popular belief and as their name would suggest, Air plants need more than just air to survive.
- In nature, Air plants can be found hanging from trees or on other structures that support them. They can be found in Central America, South America, Southern United States, and Mexico and are found in both desert conditions as well as rain forests.
- There are several varieties of air plants available for home use. These indoor plants are easy to care for and truly fun to display!
- For proper sunlight “Tillie’s” prefers indirect sunlight. Most will survive in low light conditions or short periods of direct sunlight but if you want your beloved air plants to thrive, indirect sunlight is best. For more information on the care of air plants including proper lighting as well as determining if your air plants are getting too little or too much sunlight visit part one of this series – Do Air Plants Need Sun (Choosing the ideal spot).
- For proper watering, it’s important to know that tillandsia air plants pull in moisture through their leaves via Trichomes. Trichomes are tiny scales (fuzzy leaves) on the leaves of air plants that help the plant absorb water and important nutrients from the surrounding air and block harmful radiation from the sun. Experts agree Tillandsia needs good air circulation the best approach for watering is two-pronged with the first being the misting method (with a spray bottle), and the second is a weekly and bi-weekly soak. You can learn more about these watering methods along with information on tillandsia fertilizer and the function of the trichomes in the second post in this series – How Often to Mist Air Plants (all your watering questions answered)
Options for Purchasing Air Plants for your Home or Office
Luckily there are many different places to find beautiful air plants for your home or office. Perhaps the best place is to visit your local nursery so you can handle and choose the healthiest-looking plants. Most nurseries have a nurseryman (a person who owns or works in a nursery) that can answer your questions about choosing the best plants for your space and air plant care specific to the type you pick out. You can also find unique displays of tillandsia such as botanical branch arrangements or glass globes with air plants for purchase.
Our local nursery here in Hopkinton Massachusetts, Weston Nurseries carries a large variety of gorgeous air plants including live Spanish moss. Did you know that Spanish moss is an air plant? Their staff is also so friendly and knowledgeable and I enjoyed my conversation around live Spanish moss with a staff member. Of note, many of the photographs I took for this post came from my recent visit to Weston Nurseries.
Pros of buying from a Local Nursery:
- Wide selection of varieties. Everything from larger plants to baby air plants are available.
- Knowledgeable/helpful staff.
- You can see and handle the plants to make sure you are getting healthy plants.
- Predesigned planters are available for purchase or on display to incite your own creativity!
- A decent return policy.
- A wide variety of air plant display products are available including copper wire, large and small pebbles, a clear glass globe or plastic globes, terrarium containers, and macrame options.
Cons of buying from a Local Nursery:
- Price – You get what you pay for comes to mind when shopping in a local nursery. Several of the air plants I looked at were priced a bit higher than what I saw online however the quality was outstanding!
- Well…you have to get out of your jammies and get off the couch to go visit your local nursery. In this day and age purchasing online has become easier and easier with credit cards saved on file and items arriving the next day. Having said that I do encourage you to visit a nursery when you can there is something so uplifting about being in a greenhouse around all the beauty and new growth that is happening around you! It’s just good for the soul!
Grocery Stores and Home Improvement Stores
Around these parts (Massachusetts) you can often find air plants in grocery stores or box stores like Home Depot or Lowes. Trader Joe’s often has a seasonal container with air plants and mixed varieties can be found at home improvement-type stores.
Pros of buying air plants at a grocery store or home improvement store:
- Price! Typically you can find Tillies at a decent price in these stores.
- You can see and handle the plants to make sure you are getting healthy plants.
- Most will have decent return policies. Be sure to ask when purchasing.
Cons of buying air plants at a grocery store or home improvement store:
- Selection – the selection of plants and premade displays may be limited.
- Knowledgeable staff may be variable depending on who is on shift when you are there.
- Shopping from your living room is not an option. However, you can grocery shop or pick up those light bulbs you have been meaning to get while shopping for air plants!
Lots of options here from Air plant-specific suppliers like Air Plant Supply Co which looks amazing! To Etsy… to Amazon – that’s right you can buy air plants from Amazon! So I did buy from Amazon and I’m sharing my review below, but first the pros and cons of buying your Tillandsias online.
Pros of buying air plants online:
- Jammies! I’ll just leave that right there!
- Delivery right to your door.
- The price point is right.
- The return policy mirrors that of other items on Amazon. Check independent sellers’ return policy for non-amazon plants.
Note: Air Plant Supply Co has gift cards available on their site.
Cons of buying air plants online:
- Unable to see quality until they arrive.
- Limited variety of plants (Amazon/Etsy).
- A knowledgeable staff member is not available for quesrtions (may be different for an independent supply company).
Review of Amazon Air Plants:
On September 24, 2022, I ordered this variety pack of indoor air plants from Amazon. They arrived, carefully wrapped in tissue, dry with no excess water in a box on October 3, 2022. I was quite impressed with the plants, all appeared healthy. They are a bit smaller and less robust than what I saw at the nursery but for the price and well, the ease of ordering and delivery they were perfect for the display I had in mind. As I write this post it is exactly 3 months later and my air plants are still thriving.
DIY Air Plant Candle Ring
- 8-10 Small Assorted Air Plants
- 1 10-12" Grapevine wreath (make sure it fits around your glass cylinder)
- 1 Glass Cylinder
- 1 4", 6" or 8" pillar candle (regular or flameless)
- 1 Pedestal or tray for display
- 1 Package of assorted moss
- 1 Glue gun with glue sticks
- Lay a grapevine wreath on a flat surface and plug in your glue gun. Once the glue gun is hot separate the different types moss and one by one add small pieces to the top of the wreath. Add a dab of glue to the moss and hold it in place for a few seconds until it the glue dries.
- Alternate where you place the different types of moss and create a cluster on the left side of the wreath.
- Rotate the wreath and begin the same process for the right side.
- Once the moss is in place take each air plant and simply push them gently into the wreath in between branches. The air plants are not securely attached to the wreath they are simply arranged on top.
- Create a cluster of air plants in and around the moss on the left.
- The rotate and repeat for the right side until the desired effect.
- Once done with the wreath place it on a tray or pedestal then place the candle in the glass cylinder and sit it in the center. Place the design near a bright window where it can get indirect light.
Shop supplies for this project
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Other Plant related posts you may like:
- How to make your Aloe Plant Grow Bigger
- How to make a Pretty self-watering planter
- Which indoor plants like coffee grounds
- DIY Ivy and Rosemary topiaries using a grapevine wreath
House plants are the best way to create a warm life filled environment in our homes. For new plant parents air plants are a great choice due to the fact they are one of the easiest plants to care for so be sure to make these fun, often spider-looking plants a part of your plant family. I promise they will be the perfect addition!
I hope you enjoyed this post, where to find air plants (Including a fun display idea), and this series on air plants as much as I enjoyed writing them!
Keep creating friends!