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Air Plant Gardens

Air Plant Gardens

Looking for a fun plant craft that can also be a great hostess or get-well gift? Do you want a project for older children on a cool and cloudy fall day? Come into our greenhouse and discover how you can easily make a charming air plant (Tillandsia) or bubble garden.

Here is a bubble garden that our greenhouse staff created - more examples below.

Here is a bubble garden that our greenhouse staff created – more examples below.

Start with the glass globe or cover of your choice. There are several options, from those that hang in a window to styles that sit on a sill, table or shelf. Once you have your bubble picked out you are ready to add some tillandsias.

Start with the glass globe or cover of your choice. There are several options, from those that hang in a window to styles that sit on a sill, table or shelf. Once you have your bubble picked out you are ready to add some Tillandsias.

There are several types of Tillandsias - there are a variety of colors, textures and sizes. If your glass is large enough, use contrasting colors and textures.

There are several types of Tillandsias – there are a variety of colors, textures and sizes. If your glass is large enough, use contrasting colors and textures.

Begin by putting a small amount of bark, gravel or pebbles in the bottom of your bubble. Use whatever material most complements the theme of your garden. If you are making a mini-garden with a seaside theme, for example, use sand or tiny shells as Marsha did for this garden. If your theme is a woodland, use bark or a combination of bark and rocks. For a fantasy theme you can go all out and use colored stones or shells.

Begin by putting a small amount of bark, gravel or pebbles in the bottom of your bubble. Use whatever material most complements the theme of your garden. If you are making a mini-garden with a seaside theme, for example, use sand or tiny shells as Marsha did for this garden. If your theme is a woodland, use bark or a combination of bark and rocks. For a fantasy theme you can go all out and use colored stones or shells.

After putting in that base layer, add small amounts mosses or other natural materials. Lichen covered twigs, sea shells, bark and special rocks are perfect compliments to air plants and mosses – look for small, natural items in your own backyard!

This tiny globe showcases a small air plant and pieces of Cape Cod lichen.

This tiny globe showcases a small air plant and pieces of Cape Cod lichen.

Many like to add small figures or fairy garden accessories to their bubble garden. These make great focal points and a perfect way to personalize gift gardens or holiday centerpieces and projects.

Many like to add small figures or fairy garden accessories to their bubble garden. These make great focal points and a perfect way to personalize gift gardens or holiday centerpieces and projects.

These tiny gardens make great lift-your-spirits gifts for someone who is ill or going through a tough time. The hanging globes can even be made as living Christmas ornaments.

Here are some tips for caring for your Tillandsias in a bubble garden:

  • Mist your plants three or four times a week with a mister. The bubble keeps the moisture around the plants longer, but frequent misting is important, especially in the winter season.
  • They may be called “air plants” but they not only need water but light as well! Place your bubble near a bright window but not in direct sun. Offices with strong fluorescent light can also be good for these plants but periodic placement near a window would help the plants survive long term.
  • Do not keep your Tillandsias too wet – don’t put them in a bubble with dirt on the bottom, or with so many mosses that the bottom of the air plants are kept very moist.
  • If you want your Tillandsias to multiply, try tucking them in a houseplant that you place outdoors in a shady spot for the summer. Water frequently as the weather and temperatures demand.

3 Comments

  1. Lindsey on October 6, 2014 at 3:21 pm

    These are fabulous tips – especially the part about not over-watering! Seems to be the #1 issue for everyone I know with air plants in terrariums. Thanks for sharing!

  2. David Britt on October 16, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Do you sell it as a kit, I missed the class.

    • CLFornari on October 16, 2014 at 3:58 pm

      Marsha or Lily can put together a kit for anyone who’s interested, David, or they can help you choose the ingredients when you come into the store and you can go home and get creative with them. We often have air plants that are coming into flower as well, so you should come check them out!

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