Aerial plants: types, names and care

Air plants or tillandsias are one of the most curious types of plants, and every day they are used more in gardening and decoration thanks to the fact that, despite the fact that many of them are not demanding in their care, they tend to have very striking shapes and aesthetic. We recommend that, if you want to buy one for your home or as a gift, go to the tillandsias store in Spain and continue reading this article in which we are going to try to learn a little more about the types, names and care of air plants or tillandsias .

To begin with, an aerial plant is a type of plant whose roots are exposed and not buried in the ground, so they germinate wherever the seed falls, regardless of whether it is the surface of a rock or the bark of a tree. There, they anchor themselves with their small roots and live on the environmental humidity and the nutrients that they collect from the air through their leaves. Read on to find out much more!

Types of aerial plants

There are several types of aerial plants depending on the surfaces to which they tend to anchor or the color of their leaves.

Epiphytic air plants

These types of aerial plants tend to grow on the surface of other trees and plants or at least use their support. Since aerial plants are not parasitic, it is not usual for them to cause any damage to the health of the plant that supports them.

Lithophytic air plants

Lithophytic aerial plants are distinguished from epiphytes in that, instead of rooting on other special larger plants, they tend to root on rocks, stones or walls of some kind. These plants can absorb nutrients and substances from the support to which they have been attached.

Green aerial plants

These are, as the name suggests, those with green leaves . They are characterized by not having trichomes, which are a kind of tiny hairs with a very short life that help the plant to absorb moisture from the air, so they require more favorable and humid climates.

Gray aerial plants

Gray air plants do have trichomes , which are what give their leaves and stems their gray coloration . Thanks to them, they are more resistant species that can obtain water and nutrients from the air, being able to adapt to a wider spectrum of climates and conditions.

Aerial plants: types, names and care - Types of aerial plants

Names of air plants

There are a large number of such plants. This is a list of aerial plants , but they are just a few of them:

  • Tillandsia usneoides or Spanish moss
  • Tillandsia ionantha or sky plant
  • Tillandsia gardneri
  • Tillandsia fuchsii v. Gracilis
  • Tillandsia andreana
  • Tillandsia caput-medusae or Head of Medusa
  • Tillandsia didisticha
  • Tillandsia capitata peach
  • Tillandsia cotton candy or Tillandsia houston
  • Tillandsia maximum
  • Bulbous tillandsia
  • Tillandsia cyanea or pink feather
  • Tillandsia carnation of the air
Air plants: types, names and care - Names of air plants

Air plant care

This is a practical guide to air plant care :

Light for aerial plants

Like all plants, air plants need a good source of light. However, many of them do not tolerate direct sunlight, so it is recommended to have them in a lighted area with semi-shade. Outdoors, make sure they are protected from the hours when the sun is harshest, and indoors, put them near a window, but so that the sun does not fall on them.

Irrigation

When it comes to watering, most of them will appreciate you spraying them once or twice a week. This may be sufficient for the gray-leaved species, but the green-leaved species will need more frequent watering to hydrate adequately.

In addition, if the plant is close to a source of heat or air conditioners, it will dehydrate much faster and will need more frequent waterings.

Nutrition of aerial plants

Since these plants do not have roots to sink into the ground to obtain their nutrients, many of these have to reach them through the air. For this, it is necessary that the plant is in a location with good circulation of clean air. This last detail is very important, since if the air that reaches the plant is contaminated from any source, it is very likely that it will end up getting sick.

Temperature

The usual range of suitable temperatures for these plants is from 10ºC to 32ºC, but in any case, it is better that you inform yourself of the temperature that your specific species requires.

Leaf and root care

In addition, these plants will appreciate that you carefully remove the dry leaves that accumulate naturally, as well as that you fertilize them once a month in the growing seasons, although with half the recommended dose.

Finally, if you see that its roots are growing too much, you can trim them without problems, since they only fulfill the function of fixing the plant to its support surface.

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