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What is an air plant?

The technical name for an Air Plant is a Tillandsia. They are a member of the bromeliad family and native to the forests, mountains and deserts between Argentina and South America. Their environments vastly range from tropical rainforests to intense desert.

They are not a common plant to Australia due to the long period of time these fascinating plants take to grow. Heavy, thick leafed Tillandsia are from the more exposed areas with lower rainfall. The greener, softer leaf plants are found in more protected environments.

Although these plants are some of the easiest plants to grow, they DO still need water, sunshine and some lovin' to live and thrive. Their growth can take many years and they will be with you forever if you pay a small amount of attention to them. They will even produce stunning flowers and provide 'pups' (their babies for reproduction) for you.

Tillandsias are also Epiphytes. This means they can grow on another tree, object or host. In saying that, they do not steal nutrients from their host. They use is only as a home to grow on. Tillandsias use tiny vessels located throughout their leaves called, trichomes, to capture nutrients and moisture from the air within its environment. They love they dusty breeze and spurts of morning sunshine or all day filtered light.

The amazing thing about Tillandsias is that they use their roots to anchor themselves to an object which allows them to grow in a variety of locations naturally. This flexibility of growth allows them to be used in a variety of scenarios which has led to increased popularity of Tillandsias for decoration of home and office. They do not use their roots as a source of growth, only for anchoring, therefore the roots can be cut or glued onto a host for anchoring.

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