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Air Plants May Be the Houseplant of Your Dreams

air plant on windowsill

Introducing the lovable houseplant of your dreams: the air plant. These little guys do not grow in soil and you can leave for vacation and come back to them safe and sound. No plant sitter needed. No green thumb needed. Sold yet?

The number one rule for keeping air plants healthy is taking them out of their pot or terrarium and letting them soak in a sink full of water at least once a week for two hours. Just place your plant in that pool of water, watch a couple of episodes of Netflix then take it out. Or there is always the option of doing homework of course. Easy peasy.

The science behind this: their visible roots are just there for physical support and the leaves do all the work absorbing the water through specialized scales known as trichomes.

air plant in sink
Don’t forget to place your air plant in a sink full of water at least once a week. Photo credit: Kelly Peterson

These unique plants originally came from the rainforest where their leaves absorbed enough water from the dense humid air to thrive. As you can tell, Fort Collins does not provide a suitable humid climate for the air plants. So trust me, they are thirsty. If your air plant is starting to have brown tips, it is thirsty.

But guess what? No worries about overwatering because they simply stop drinking after they are full.

I know you want to be the best plant parent out there, so experts recommend shaking the air plants after soaking because their trichomes can get clogged. And no one likes clogged pores.

Another thing to keep in mind is that they need filtered sunlight, much like a rainforest would provide. An east- or west-facing window could be the perfect home for air plants.

Planted” is a quaint shop sitting in the heart of Denver that is one of many gardening shops selling air plants around Colorado. The owner Luke Huss is passionate about his interior-scape store living green through reusing, repurposing and recycling. Huss custom makes repurposed wood displays, containers, wall scapes and trays for plants to settle in. Check out their neat gallery.

air plant on windowsill
This air plant sits pretty next to the friendly potted succulent. Photo credit: Kelly Peterson

Air plants are the perfect dorm and apartment houseplants because there is no mess and no fuss. Busy students have enough on their plates to worry about wilting leaves. Air plants are the easiest additions of green to your home.

Small sizes range from $7 to $9 and larger ones can be up to $13 each. Airplantcity.com offers package deals of 5 air plants for $17.90. The owner of this website, Cathy Essigmann, said an air plant caught her eye in 2004 because “it was so exotic and unique, nothing like she had seen before.”

Terrarium glass/plastic containers can cost between $5 and $30 depending on the quality of container you want. Natural wood containers also cost between $5 and $30 depending on the size and complexity of the design. Options include vine-like containers, hollow pots or even neat branches that hold spots for the air plants.

Colorado State University pre-veterinarian freshman, Katie Kroeker, said “they are perfect for gifts! Plus, I had to take care of it for a few months before my friend’s birthday and I honestly didn’t want to give it up.”

Air plants are the houseplant of your dreams everyone.