Let's face it. Houseplants just aren't very sexy. Sure they are green and clean the air, but they're often just very common looking. Plus, many people get intimated by houseplants, thinking they will kill any plant. Well, the latest houseplant trend changes all that. They are tillandsias or air plants.
Tillandsias are types of bromeliads that naturally grow on trees in the topics. What's cool about these plants is they don't need soil to grow. They get all the water and nutrients they need from the air. Hence the common name. This makes them a good choice for the black thumb gardener in the family. Plus, they are just so darn cute!
Tillandsias come in many different shapes and sizes. Some look like plants from the movie Avatar, while others look like an octopus. They can be mounted on wood and hung on a wall or even inserted into a hollowed out wine of champagne bottle cork. However, I think the best way to display air plants is in small globe-shaped terrariums that can be hung in a room. These terrariums have good air flow which is important for them getting the nutrients and water they need. And it allows you to decorate your tillandsia plants with drift wood, moss, pebbles, colored glass and other materials. It's part art project, and part gardening fun.
To keep them growing best, simply place the tillandsia in a bright room, out of direct sunlight. Remove the plants from the terrarium every 2 weeks and soak them in non-chlorinated water for a few hours to rehydrate the plants. That's it. They're low maintenance and a great indoor project to do with your kids this winter.
And now for this week's tip, do you want to start a garden at your workplace this summer? The Department of Health, with the Vermont Community Garden Network and Gardener's Supply Company, are offering employee garden grants for small businesses in Vermont. Check them out at VCGN dot org.
Next week on the Vermont Garden Journal, I'll be talking about growing an indoor herb garden. Until then, I'll be seeing you in the garden.
Broadcast on Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:57 p.m. and Sunday, January 19, 2014 at 9:35 a.m.
The Vermont Garden Journal with Charlie Nardozzi is made possible by Gardener's Supply, offering environmental solutions for gardens and landscapes. In Burlington, Williston and Gardeners.com.