Design Inspiration

Going on Vacation? How to Make Sure Your Air Plants Stay Happy July 29 2014, 0 Comments

Is it just us or is the summer truly flying by this year? With August just a couple days away, and kids going back to school soon, many families are trying to eek out one last vacation before the fall craziness hits. If you’re one of those people, you might find yourself wondering how best to prep and care for your house plants when you’re gone.

The good news for tillandsia lovers is that air plants are the perfect “vacation plant.” Because they require minimal and infrequent care, and can most often “bounce back” from under-watering, you won’t need to add your air plants to the list of things to worry about while you’re away.  Less worry = more ability to actually enjoy that vacation! Nice, right?

With some simple prep and some TLC upon your return, your tillandsia collection should be just fine for a week or two while you are gone. But because they aren’t totally maintenance-free, here are some tips to keep them happy and healthy:

1. Give your air plants a good soak one day before you leave to properly hydrate them. It is best to water tillandsia in the morning as this works with their natural process of taking in carbon dioxide from the air in the evenings. This will also give them a chance to properly dry before you leave the next day. Make sure that you dry air plants with leaves facing down so water doesn’t collect in the leaves, which could lead to rot. 

2. Put your tillandsia in a place where it can get some indirect natural light, but a bit further away from the light source than you’d normally place them. As always, we don’t recommend direct sunlight for most varities of tillandsia, but this is especially important if you wont be there to give them their regular weekly soak, since light can dry them out even further.

3. Avoid putting your air plants too near an air vent. Air conditioning and heat can both dry out your tillandsia, and you’ll want to pay particular attention to this if you’re going away for some time.

4. Upon returning home from you vacation, pour yourself a glass of wine  make sure you give your air plants a good soak. Again, morning is best to do this, so if you don’t get home until the evening, you can mist them if they look particularly dry, and then soak them the next day. If they still look dry two days after the initial soak, you can give them another bath – just make sure they fully dry out between soakings.

See? Nothing to worry about! At least as far as your air plants are concerned. Now get packing and enjoy your summer vacation!

 

From our honeymoon. Take me back to this place please.


How Much Light Do Air Plants Need? May 16 2014, 1 Comment

One of the best things about air plants is that they require minimal maintenance as compared to many other house plants.  However, this doesn’t mean that they are maintenance-free, and just like with most plants, the three main factors that can affect their health and life span are: air, water and light.  We’ve talked fairly extensively about watering your air plants, so today we’ll talk a bit more about light. 

In general, tillandsias (AKA air plants) prefer bright, but indirect, filtered light. We recommend either south or north facing windows as opposed to east or west, as these tend to get more indirect light.

We’ve experimented with air plants throughout our house and the ones that seem to do best are near our kitchen window, which is partially shaded by outside trees – so they get plenty of natural, filtered light.


The humidity of your environment can also dictate how much direct light air plants can handle. In general, if your air plants are living in a more humid environment, they will be able to handle a bit more sunlight since they will not dry out as quickly. For example, air plants living outside in the humid Florida environment can often do OK with more sun.
ost air plants do not do well with direct or full sun.

 

 

Because they require indirect light, air plants make great office plants as long as they get some light, either indirectly from a window source, or artificially from full spectrum fluorescent lights.

Of course as with anything in nature, there are exceptions. Some of the silver-leafed air plants can handle more direct sunlight. The great Xerographica air plant is one of the few tillandsias that can take full sun (read more about the Xerographica here).

We recommend that you experiment with positioning your air plants in different lighting situations to see how they respond best. Where have you seen your air plants thrive the most? What lighting has NOT worked for your air plants? 

 

 


Tillandsia Spotlight: The Great Xerographica Air Plant May 14 2014, 1 Comment

It's easy to see why the Xerographica air plant is a favorite of ours, and among many tillandsia enthusiasts. A slow-growing epiphyte, the Xerographica gets its name from the Greek words xeros ("dry) and graphia ("writing"), and originates in Mexico, Guatemala, and El Salvador. This stately and large plant is characterized by its full and striking spherical shape.

 

 

Beacause of its full and striking shape, it is a favorite among florists and designers in tablescapes, tillandsia arrangements, and even wedding bouquets. Their impressive size and spherical shape have even inspired brides to use them on their own as a simple, modern alternative to a full bouquet. I used a large Xerographica in my wedding bouquet, along with simple white hydrangeas, craspedia (billy balls) and baby's breath (read more about how we used air plants in our wedding here):

 

 

These hearty air plants need somewhat less water than other air plants, and do well with mistings rather than soaks(a quick dunk in water works well too). You can also change the look of your Tillandsia Xerographica by the amount you water it: less water will cause its leaves to be more tightly curled, whereas more frequent waterings will cause the leaves to loosen a bit for a fuller shape. Xerographica air plants are also one of the few tillandsias that can handle direct sunlight. Of course the care of your Xerographica and frequency of watering should be adjusted depending on your climate and where you keep is. Read more air plant care tips here.

 

Do you love the Xerographica air plant as much as we do? How would you decorate with it? 

 

 

 

 

 


Shipping Air Plants in Colder Weather: A Note To Our Valued Customers February 17 2014, 0 Comments

Don't hate us, but the weather has been pretty nice in our hometown of Tampa, FL. Many of our customers though have been trudging through a winter of snow, ice, and frigid temperatures - even in the Southern states. While air plants are the perfect all-weather house plant since they can be so easily cared for indoors, the cold weather does pose a challenge when it comes to shipping the plants.

Because of the colder temperatures, we've adjusted our shipping methods a bit. We ship all packages Priority to ensure the speediest possible route, but we have also been avoiding sending orders at the end of the week as this means the package has a greater chance of sitting in a cold shipping warehouse over the weekend. Because of this, some of our customers might experience a slight delay in shipment. So, if you place an order with us at the end of the week (i.e. Thursday or Friday), please understand that we will do our best to get it to your door as quickly as possible, but we may also decide to hold the package over the weekend for the health of the plants.

And, as we have unfortunately experienced, even with our most carefully timed shipments, sometimes the weather en route to some of our Northern customers has just proved to be too cold for the plants. If you are living somewhere that has been experiencing freezing temperatures, we strongly recommend that you track your package and make sure that you can be available to bring it inside immediately when it arrives. If the plants sit for too long in snow, ice or cold, they will not do well. Working and unable to get home to bring your air plants inside in time? Consider having the package sent to your office or workplace instead, or bribing a neighbor to keep them warm until you get home.

As always, your satisfaction is our #1 priority, so if you do have issues with your plants, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will make it right. For more tips on caring for your plants in all sorts of climates and conditions, be sure to visit our air plant care page.

 

-Ryan + Meriel


Tips For Watering Your Air Plants January 20 2014, 6 Comments

We get lots of questions on air plant watering methods on our Facebook Page so I wanted to expand on this a bit. While tillandsias (AKA Air Plants) are easier to care for than many other plant varieties, they do require some maintenance and TLC - and water is a big factor in their overall health. Here are some questions we often get on the subject of watering your air plants, and our advice:

 

How much water do my air plants need and how frequently do I water them? 

This depends largely on your climate, and where you're keeping the air plants. We live in Tampa, FL so most of the year, it's fairly humid here, and we're not running the heat in our house during the winter like our friends up North (not trying to rub it in, I swear!). We normally water our plants about once per week, but those in dryer climates will need to water more frequently. You will find that you might need to water your plants less depending on the time of year. Also, it depends where in your home or workspace you keep them. A humid bathroom will keep the plants more moist, but you'll probably need to give more frequent watering to those near an air vent or heat source. (Note: we don't recommend you keep your plants near heat sources).

Note: while humidity can delay the drying process, humidity itself is not a sufficient watering method!

 

What is the best way to water air plants?

Again, you'll want to adjust watering methods based on your climate, but we recommend that you soak your plants in water at least once per week. You can use a bowl, bucket, your sink...something that allows you to completely submerge the air plants. Soak for 30-60 minutes at least once a week, and if you're in a drier climate, give them a longer soak for an hour or more every other week.

 


After soaking, you will want to let the air plants dry completely. Turn them over and lightly shake them or set them to dry with their leaves facing down. Don't let water sit in the leaves, or the plants could rot.  The plants should be put somewhere that has good circulation, and the plants should be able to completely dry within 4 hours.  If your plants live in globe or terrarium, make sure they completely dry out before returning them home!

 

 

Once soaking your plants, you will notice how wide and open the leaves are and how much more "happy" they appear.  This is how a hydrated air plant should look!  Over time you will notice that when the color becomes slightly dull and the leaves begin to close/curl that your tillandsia is thirsty and you should give them another good soak.  If your air plant is really struggling, try soaking for several hours or even over night to see if you can re-hydrate the plant.  As always, make sure they are able to dry out completely before soaking or misting again.

 

 

You can also mist the plants in between waterings. This can be a great way to keep plants healthy and give the some extra love if you live in a drier climate. Misting is not a substitution for a good soak, though, so soak those plants!

 

What kind of water should I use? Is tap water OK to water my air plants with?

Air plants aren't too picky when it comes to water, and most tap water is just fine, but it depends on the water quality in your area. The best water to use: rain water, aquarium water, or pond water because these are more rich in nutrients (note: if using one of these waters, don't add any additional fertilizer).  If you are using tap water, let the water stand for several hours for the chlorine to dissipate(maybe 24 hours in some areas.)

Do NOT use distilled water as this type of water is actually too "pure" and will pull the nutrients out of the plants. Also, don't use artificially softened water, as it is often too high in salt content for tillandsias.

 

What is the best time of day to water my air plants?

We recommend soaking your air plants in the morning so that they dry thoroughly over the course of the day.  Some indirect sunlight will help dry them more quickly, and you can check on them before you go to bed and put them back in their terrariums or displays.

 

Those are the most common questions we get about watering air plants. Did we answer yours? If not, just ask! Need more air plant care tips? Visit our Air Plant Care Page

 


Our Air Plant Wedding January 02 2014, 4 Comments

I have to admit, I am a little embarrassed that we are just now sharing this post with you, seeing as how we got married on October 5th. Better late than never, though, right? 

First, us: Ryan and I met years ago through his sister and were almost instantly friends, though it took us a couple years to realize we were meant to be more. He proposed on a random, windy Tuesday night - no fanfare, just us, a total surprise and totally perfect. We knew we wanted our wedding to skip the fanfare as well, and so we planned a simple ceremony and cozy party with our family and friends at the Sanchez House in St. Augustine, FL:

St. Augustine was significant to us as well because it's where we both first fell in love with air plants, one weekend trip together as we strolled the shops in this beautiful, historic village. Obviously, our wedding had to feature air plants.

 

With the help (as in, serious creative genius) of my amazing bridesmaids, we incorporated air plants into just about every element of our wedding decor. They graced our simple floral arrangements: 

             

                        

 

          

They brought some modern flair to the 1700s era architecture of the house:

               

 

We made air plant boutonnieres for all the groomsmen, and I made special ones for the dads and for Ryan. I was so proud of how they came out:

             

 

And my masterpiece, albeit the most challenging Tillandsia feature of our wedding: my bouquet:

 

I knew I wanted something not so traditional for my bouquet, and the Xerographica Tillandsia had to be part of it. I am also mildly obsessed with Crespedias (AKA "Billy Balls"), and I wanted their pop of yellow in the boutonnieres as well as my bouquet. I softened the modern look of the Xerographic and Billy Balls with giant white Hydrangeas and sprigs of Baby's Breath. I tied it all together with rustic twine and a bit of completely ethereal french silk ribbon from Frou Frou Chic.

            

 

The day truly turned out to be perfect, an intimate and joyful day tied together with home-made details that made it all the more personal. You are going to think I'm making this up, but before we held the ceremony, it had sprinkled a bit, and then the weather cleared to a perfect rainbow right over the alter before we said our vows. Really, I have photographic evidence:

 

So what do you think? Would you feature air plants in your wedding? For us, they truly were the perfect accent to so many elements of our day, and allowed us to feel even more like we were inviting our guests into a cozy, intimate celebration that felt just like home.

 

An extra special thank you to our A-M-A-Z-I-N-G wedding photographer, friend, and all around sweetheart Leslie Hollingsworth for capturing the day just perfectly. Talented doesn't even begin to describe.


Sending Some Air Plant Love February 08 2013, 0 Comments

Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers. I love getting flowers, and I’ve sent my fair share as well.  There is something really nice about knowing that someone you love will get a delivery that will stop them in their tracks and brighten their day.  But, I have a few issues with flower delivery:

1. It’s expensive. I’m not trying to be cheap here but, seriously, $50 to deliver someone a bouquet that probably cost $9 at the grocery store? Ugh.

2.  Flowers die.  They are pretty for a week, MAYBE a little longer if you remember to change the water (ha!). But then they die.

3. It’s kind of expected. And especially on days like Valentines Day when everyone gives and gets flowers. Not to mention the fact that since it’s Valentines Day, up goes the price (see #1) for that slightly different version of the same bouquet you sent to her office last year.

 

Yes, flower delivery is sweet.  But wouldn’t it be fun to send something a little unexpected this year?  Not to mention, something that will last months, maybe even years, instead of die in a week or so?

 

Ladies and gentlemen, may we present the Valentines Day Plant-O-Gram:



 

Here’s why you should send this little buddy to your sweetie/friend/mom/obsession:

1. It’s affordable! $12.99. Can’t beat it.

2. Air plants are easy to care for and last waaaaay longer than a bouquet of flowers (and sure you could send a potted plant, but hello headache for anyone without a green thumb!).  So the lucky recipient will be able to gaze at your gift for a long time, not just a week or two.

 3.  It is totally NOT your grandma’s flower delivery.  We can pretty much guarantee you that this will not be a gift they expect. Plus, each box is hand-decorated and packaged by our crafty team, so you are truly giving a one-of-a-kind gift.

 

Want to send a Valentines Day Plant-O-Gram?  Get them here:  http://www.air-plants.com/products/valentines-day-air-plant-o-gram. Just remember to place your order by midnight on Sunday 2/10 for guaranteed delivery by Valentines Day!

 


One Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Terrarium February 04 2013, 1 Comment

Maybe I’ve been spending too much time on Pinterest lately, but I definitely feel like I’ve been bit by the decorating bug as of late.   I’m a bit of a sucker for the unexpected when it comes to home décor, and nothing quite pleases me more than finding a purpose for an object that wasn’t necessarily its intended purpose, but is just seriously perfect for the new project or display.

We’ve been playing with some new air plant terrarium possibilities in our design studio, and of course we couldn’t resist doing a few mason jar terrariums.  They are pretty, and rustic, and vintage, and beachy all at once.




Earlier this week one of our customers and facebook fans posted a photo of some of our plants perfectly arranged in a martini glass.  Cocktails and air plants?  Yes please!

But my favorite new and “unexpected” terrarium?  The Light Bulb Air Plant terrarium, hands down.  I mean, how cool is this?  An up-cycled light bulb housing an arrangement of tiny plants.  It’s “green” while being actually green.  It’s a bit industrial and funky and fun and just a tad odd.   



We’ve had these in our house for a couple weeks now and literally everyone that has come by has made a comment about how stinkin’ cool they are.



While I seriously despise the term “conversation piece,” I have to admit that there is something satisfying about having items in your house that visitors are genuinely interested in. Yes, you know what I’m talking about, you can admit it too.  Those things you love about your home décor become even more loveable when your neighbor/friend/mother-in-law/dog sitter tells you “Woah! That thing is awesome!”

We do get the question quite often about how difficult it is to get the plants in and out of the light bulb for watering.  Really, it’s not that difficult, although I have little fingers so I may be at a bit of an advantage in that respect.  I have found it helpful to get a longer pair of tweezers to help you situate the plants and arrange things just right once you get them inside the bulb.  It takes a little patience, but it’s oh-so-worth-it once you get your terrarium all set up and perfect.

What do you think of the new light bulb terrariums? Can you think of any other unexpected or recycled item we should turn into a fun terrarium?


Our First Pin it To Win It Contest: Win A Hanging Terrarium from Air Plant Design Studio! December 08 2012, 9 Comments

Tis the season to give and receive! And we’re giving you the chance to receive a free hanging air plant terrarium! Here’s how:


1. Create a Pin Board entitled “12 Days of Air Plants”.  Categorize the board under "Holidays and Events".
2. Go to Air Plant Design Studio’s Pinterest page (http://pinterest.com/
airplantdesign/) and “follow all.”
3. Pin the above image, plus a minimum of 12 other pins that are inspired by
Air Plant Design Studio holiday gifts, and reflect your own personal holiday
gift giving style.
4. Include a minimum of 3 pins from www.airplantdesignstudio.com, and a
minimum of 3 pins from Air Plant Design Studio’s Pinterest boards.
5. Comment below with the link to your completed pin board by Thursday,
December 20, 11:59pm EST. You must include both the link to your Pinterest
board AS WELL AS your email address so we can contact you if you are the
winner.
6. Sit tight for the winning entrant to be announced December 22nd.



No purchase necessary to win. Winning board will be judged based on creativity,
overall design, and adherence of board to the above rules and instructions.
Selection of winner will be at the sole discretion of Air Plant Design Studio, blah blah
blah fine print (please read our official rules here).

If you don’t have a Pinterest account…what are you waiting for?? Go to
Pinterest.com to sign up.

Thanks and Happy Pinning! We can’t wait to see your boards!


Tillandsia Spotlight: Ionantha Air Plant Variety November 28 2012, 0 Comments

The Ionantha air plant is one of the more striking and sought after tillandsia varieties available.  The have become so popular the past several years that all cultivators of tillandsias have focused great efforts in producing this variety of air plant.  One of the most desirable aspects of the Ionantha air plant is that it is a very hearty plant, that will require minimal attention compared to some other varieties of air plants.  While they are a hearty plant, they still do require some attention with regular misting and soakings.  The Ionantha varieties love sunlight, so they should also be kept in an area that gets adequate light throughout the day(east/west facing windows are best).  We recommend soaking the plant once or twice a week depending on the environment, and regular misting as needed.  And don't forget, always water your air plants in the morning and make sure to shake off any excess water before setting them out to dry!  Check out the air plant care page for more info.


The Tillandsia Ionantha is originally native to Mexico, Costa Rica, and certain areas of South America.  It likes warmer, humid conditions but will do just fine in a dryer environment with regular misting.  There have been a large amount of Ionantha clones, hybrids, and cultivars created all with their own unique characteristics.  Common Ionantha varieties include: Ionantha, Ionantha Guatemala, Ionantha Mexican, Ionantha Rubra, Ionantha Fuego, Ionantha Peanut, Ionantha Victoriana, Ionantha Rosita, and many more!

The Ionantha variety starts off life as a small plant with green and silver-hued leaves.  As the plant grows and matures, the leaves begin to extend outward, while turning to a deeper shade of green.  Once the Ionantha begins to start its bloom cycle, the leaves start to transition to beautiful red/pink colors that really make this variety stand out.  The plant continues into its bloom transformation, until it eventually shoots out a unique and striking flower.  Most of the Ionantha tillandsia varieties emit blue/purple shoot with yellow or white flowers on the top.  The bloom of an Ionantha is very striking, and a definite highlight to the experience of owning this plant.

The visual appearance of the Ionantha variety makes it a favorite for use in air plant design.  The striking contrast of the deep green/silver leaves with the bright red bloom cycle really enhances any space they inhabit. From single air plant displays to elaborate hanging terrariums, the Ionantha air plant is a must-have for any tillandsia enthusiasts!

    

 

Have some design ideas?  We would love to see them!  Email any ideas to customer-service@air-plants.com and you could be featured in out next blog post (and maybe even get some free air plants)!

 

 


Giving New Life to Old Things With Air Plants August 13 2012, 0 Comments

I have a confession to make.  I have trouble getting rid of things.  No we’re not talking an A&E Hoarders episode here; I have no trouble getting rid of trash, and I do make myself clean out my closets for Goodwill every few months.  I’m talking more about decorative things; trinkets, dishes, neat little boxes, vases, cool bottles.  I am a sucker for a cool little item that I convince myself, at some point, I will find a place for.  And over the years I have amassed quite a collection of these things.  Some have sentimental value (Gift from mom! Souvenir from Paris!), some don’t (funky thrift store vase…or all those “cool bottles”).  And while it’s hard for me to give them up, it’s even harder to find a good place to display most of it.  How many “cool bottles” can one actually display without looking like a recycling center?

 

And then, a light bulb moment: air plants! There are SO many cool things I can do with these little, funky plants, but the best part of experimenting with air plants in my home décor is that they are inspiring me to dig out some of my under-utilized items and find new, fresh ways to display them.  Here are a few things you might be able to re-purpose as air plant displays:

 
 

1.  Recycled glass bottles and jars: you know that “cool jar” or “interesting wine bottle” you probably have stashed at the back of one of your cabinets because you just couldn’t bear to throw it in the bin and went through all that trouble removing the label?  If it’s a jar, it would probably make a great little air plant terrarium, either for one larger plant like the Brachycaulos x Abdita, or for a few smaller plants (check out our air plant starter kit for a good mix of versatile little guys).

 

  

 

2.  Those little trinket boxes your mom/aunt/friend got you on their trip to somewhere cool you wanted to go but instead got a little box.  You know the ones…not big enough to hold much, pretty, but where the heck will you find a place to display it?  Try nestling a pretty little Ionantha Guatemala air plant  in it and watch how quickly it makes for a cool accent to your dresser top!


3.  Childhood memories: Maybe you have a cute little bunny rabbit dish that mom had in your nursery and passed on to you and you’ve been waiting to have your own kiddos to take it out of the “fragile” box at the back of your closet.  Why wait?  Try arranging a few air plants in it with a bit of sand and watch how that juvenile but sentimental piece transforms into a fun, whimsical little addition to your coffee table.

 

 


Tell us  your ideas! Have you found a cool new way to display an old object using air plants?

 



Welcome! June 12 2012, 0 Comments

Welcome to Air Plant Design Studio, we are a premium supplier of all things Air Plant! 

Our goal is to make selecting Air Plants, Kits, Containers, and Accessories as easy as possible for our Customers.  Whether you would like a single Air Plant or a full blown Air Plant Kit, we have you covered!  Make sure to check back in with our Blog, as we will continually post Design Ideas, Inspiration, tips, and a full range of other Air Plant related topics!