Loading... Please wait...

Blog - airplant

Tillandsia Terrariums

Posted by

Creating your own Terrariums is simple and using air plants is even simpler!  Low maintenance yet aesthetically pleasing to the eye, Tillandsias make the perfect plant for Terrariums and can be a real statement piece in any home or office décor.

Just like all living creatures, air plants have three basic requirements and it is important that you incorporate these requirements into the design of your Terrarium:

  • Air
  • Light
  • Water

Let’s consider these three components separately and how they will impact your Terrarium design.


  • It’s important when choosing your container for your Terrarium that you take into consideration the amount of airflow your plant will receive.
  • The best options for air plants are vases or glassware that has an opening.  You can be creative and use any style of vase, mason jars, tureens, compotes, even an old aquarium you may have lying around.  There are so many options however you should steer away from bell jars or cloches as they limit airflow to the plant.
  • Rule no.1 - choose a container that is not airtight.


  • All plants need light and Tillandsia is no exception, especially one placed in a Terrarium.
  • Choose a location for your Terrarium that receives plenty of indirect light, preferably from a window facing east or west, so it receives a nice burst of morning sun or late afternoon sun, when the rays are less intense.  Remember too much sun or a direct blast of midday sun can burn them, especially when the glass is reflective and bounces back the light onto the plant.
  • A common sign that your air plant is receiving insufficient light is discolorisation of the leaves.  They might appear healthy for months and then one day after a watering, just fall apart.  If a plant does not receive enough light it’s ability to photosynthesis will stop and the plant will die.
  • Make sure not to keep your Terrarium next to a heater or air conditioning unit as this will also be unhealthy for your air plant and it will require a lot more watering.
  • Rule no.2 - ensure your Terrarium receives adequate indirect light.


  • A common myth is that air plants don’t require water but this is untrue.  All living creatures require water and air plants are no exception.
  • Tillandsias require watering at least weekly.If they are living in a Terrarium they need to be misted at least once to twice per week.
  • You need to actually take the plant out of your Terrarium and give it a good mist or you can even soak the plant.
  • To soak the plant you need to place the plant upside down in a bowl of water and leave for up to 2 hours.  You only need to do this once every couple of weeks.
  • Give it a good shake and allow your plant to dry in a good airflow area, for up to 4 hours before replacing it in its Terrarium.
  • The danger of misting your air plant in its container is that the base will not dry out completely.  The bottom base of the Terrarium, whether it be pebbles rocks or sand is likely to also get wet and without enough airflow this could cause the plant to rot.
  • Rule no.3 – take your plant out of its Terrarium for watering.


  • It is really important to keep a simple design for your Terrarium and to take into consideration that your plant will need to be taken out for watering at least once every couple of weeks.
  • There are so many components you could include in your design.  The only limitation is your imagination.
  • You can use driftwood pieces and even glue your plants onto the driftwood.  Use a clear, water based glue such as Liquid Nails and just dab a little on the base of the plant – this does not harm the plant as they take their nutrients in from their leaves.  As they grow epiphytically in nature they love to be attached to other objects.
  • Rocks, riverstones, pebbles, sand, shells, starfish, urchin shells, tiles and twigs, branches and sticks are all components you can include in your design.
  • If you are going to include moss or another type of plant that needs to stay moist, then make sure your air plant is sitting in a dry area of the Terrarium.
  • If you are using a larger glass bowl for your Terrarium, you will need to layer your components to add textures and various heights to your design.
  • Rule no.4 – keep it simple.


  • Rule no. 5 - Most importantly have FUN!

New website launched!

After having a mildly, however obvious obsession with Tillandsias (common name Air Plants), I started growing them at my own small green house on the Gold Coast. From collecting and growing these unique and amazing plants and using my creative flair, I began to make designs from Air Plants.....and here started Air Plant Designs!I took [...]

Read More »


Recent Updates