Nature’s Good Match: Air Plants Living in Trees

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Nature found itself a good match when it attached these little air plants/tillandsias to trees. Sometimes Spanish Moss will attach to trees as well (seen in picture above next to air plant). They all go together well. I envision jungles full of these hanging off trees. Here my little collection of ’tillys’ are growing well underneath my tree and attached themselves (a whole family of them!) to the log.

 

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In nature, these little plants anchor their roots into trees and gather nutrients and water from the air. They thrive in the dappled shade the trees provide, and produce pups and occasional blooms. I’ve seen some pretty exciting neon blooms from them…but since I don’t fertilize them (I’ve been told orchid fertilizer works), I haven’t seen much blooms.

Some people grow these air plants indoors and are quite successful. I found that these airplants don’t do well in my home in a terrarium nor sitting on top of cactus remnants nor shells. They sure look cute though and I had visions of them growing happily in my house. But soon, one by one, they started decaying and rotting. I gave them more attention, made sure they were dried off after watering, etc. but had no luck. Of the fifteen I started with, only 2 are alive indoors. I believe it’s lack of air circulation in my house. We have the air conditioning during the summer and heater on in the winter, and not much fresh outdoor air.

However, the ones outside beneath the shade of my tree have flourished. They love this recent rain and have gotten bigger and plumper. I was surprised to see how well they were doing…I put them there awhile ago and forgot about them until I was cleaning in the area.

I guess nature has figured out its own good match!

Thanks for reading! 🙂

 

 

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