By Dee Archibald
Air plants are clever little things in that they only need air and minimal water to survive, but unfortunately due to the lack of soil and containers, people struggle with how they will display them. Here’s a few ideas to help kick start your creativity.
Finding the perfect piece of driftwood is the tricky part. Look for a shape that has a hole or crevice to hold the plant in place. You can always glue it on sparingly with a glue gun without damaging the plant too much. Add some moss or lichen and if there are other crevices that can be filled with soil some little succulents can look nice too. Add a hook to the back if you want to hang it or leave it flat and place it on a table or shelf.
Give the glass a good clean with a soft cloth before you add some coloured sand to the base (available at most craft shops). Pop your air plant on top and add some little shells or pebbles if you wish. Add a string or cord to hang the orb.
Tall Glass Cylinder
Give your vessel a good clean with a soft cloth before adding some flat rocks or pebbles to 1/3 of the container (be innovative here to match your decor – you could try sand, rocks, shells or even coffee beans). Add 3-4 air plants on top, stacking them to give height and fill the jar.
You will need some power tools for this one! Find a thick branch (roughly 5 cms diameter) and preferably an interesting texture. Lichen or mossy branches can look neat. Cut them with an electric saw so they stand around 4-5 cms tall, then drill a hole (about 8 mm wide) as deep as you can without going through the other side. You may like to give the tops a quick sand if they look rough then press the stem of your air plant in the hole. These would make a cute table centre with a few of them dotted down the middle of a dinner table.
Attach some small 3M hooks on a blank wall, in hindsight mine are a little too big! You want them pretty small so they can’t really be seen but big enough to hold the plant onto the wall. The idea here is that they can be removed easily for watering. This idea looks great with at least 10-12 plants on a wall going down a stairwell.
Ideally you need quite a big shell or group of shells which can be rather hard to come across all in one piece. If you don’t find one at the beach it could be easier to purchase one. Stick the stem of your air plant into the spiral of the shell and place on a shelf with a grouping of other shells or display items that match.
In the garden
Air plants don’t like too much full sun so pop them under other plants in your garden to create partial shade. Tuck them into driftwood, a fence, tree trunk or nestle them into pebbles. Anywhere there’s a little nook to hold them up will work.
Tips: Although air plants are pretty easy care they do need your help to get their water especially if you are keeping them indoors. Use a spritzer to hydrate them once every 2 weeks or so, or take them out of their vessel and fully submerge them in water (rainwater is best if you remember to save some)! Give them 30 minutes or so unless they are looking a bit sad in which case you can leave them submerged overnight. Shake the excess water off before returning them to their vessel. If you plant is really happy you might be lucky enough to have a pretty pink and purple flower pop out!
Happy crafting! x