Always popping up on our Instagram and Pinterest feeds, air plants and terrariums have taken UK interiors by storm. The lovely Antonia Smith from the award-winning Norfolk Olive Tree Company has given us a few tips on caring for air plants and creating our very own ‘world for plants’ with a terrarium.
Tillandsia affectionately referred to as ‘Tillys’, don’t need soil to grow but instead thrive on water and nutrients from the air. Thus, the name ‘air plant’. They’re easy to look after if you keep them happy with light, water, and air circulation.
Mist your air-plant a minimum of twice a week, use rain water where possible. If your air plant looks stressed you can give it an overnight soak in rainwater. Then gently shake off the excess water. Air plants will not survive in standing water.
Lighting for air plants should be bright but filtered (April – October). They should not be left in the direct sun in the summer months (this will cause the plant to become sunburned). However, in winter they can cope with the direct sun (November – March). Keep your Tilly at 8 C or above. For best results and to encourage flowers feed with Air-plant fertiliser-available online.
You can grow or hang your air Plant on anything – wine corks, bark, stone, seashells. Mount with a non-water soluble glue such as E-6000 adhesive.
We also love to keep air plants, succulents and cacti in a terrarium. Either a clear glass bowl can be used, a vase or a good old fashioned jam jar! Alternatively, you can opt for something a little more ornate like this 7 sided terrarium, which is available to buy from the Cotswold Co Stow Store.
Investing in a terrarium will give you the space to get really creative when you’re building your special ‘world’ of plants. This is a great project to do with the kids as they can even add in a favourite figurine to their miniature jungle!
To make; simply gather together some beautiful stones, pebbles or crushed slate, you can even use shells or small bits of a tree root. You don’t have to use glue to fix in place, they will settle in little crevices. Slowly build your terrarium concentrating on shape and form, choose some taller varieties of plant and contrast them with smaller low-lying species. Place your finished terrarium in a bright spot but avoid direct sunlight and enjoy!
If you want a slightly simpler approach, why not introduce a cacti or two and elevate them to centre stage with one of our cool cloches – available in our Stow store.