How to Mount Air Plants


Air plants are an interesting and unusual variety of plant in the bromeliad family, which includes the pineapple. Unlike mistletoe or moss, air plants are not parasites; and although they have roots, the roots are used for anchoring rather than for getting their nutrients from the host plant. Air plants, commonly called Tillandsia, get all of their water and nutrient requirements from absorption through their leaves, not their roots, so they can literally grow just about anywhere you can imagine, as long as their feet aren't in water. Air plants can be grown indoors or outdoors, and mounted to almost anything, as long as attention to some basic care is followed.

Things You'll Need

  • Air plant
  • Scissors
  • Hot glue gun
  • Non-copper wire
  • Mist sprayer
  • Remove all dead, dry or brown leaves from your air plant. Cut back any dead or brown tips until all that is left is healthy green growth.

  • Trim back any unsightly roots from your air plant.

  • Cut a length of wire that will wrap around the roots and the mounting board you've chosen. Loosely wrap the wire around the air plant stems, taking care not to wind too tightly. Wrap the wire around the mounting board until secure, but not cutting into the plant stems.

  • Plug in the hot glue gun and allow it to heat up. When hot, place a large dab of hot glue inside or on the object you want to mount your air plant on. Press the root ends of the air plant into the hot glue and hold firmly until the glue cools.

  • Mist your air plant lightly every couple of days, taking care not to over-water.

Tips & Warnings

  • Air plants like to be lightly misted but do not like to be wet.
  • Air plants can also be dry-planted by placing stems in a container or vase and filling with kitty litter.
  • Roots can be cut off of air plants if they are unsightly; the plants use the roots only to anchor themselves, and they will grow back quickly.
  • Do not locate your air plant where misting will cause water damage.
  • Do not plant your air plant anywhere their roots will sit in water, as they will rot and die.
  • Do not use copper wire to attach air plants to anything, as copper will kill the plants, and do not attach air plants to pressure-treated wood, as it contains copper.

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  • Photo Credit tillandsia arrangement image by Shirley Hirst from
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