How can I tell if my airplant is going to pup?

So you have air plants (Tillandsia), they have flowered and you are anxiously pacing up and down waiting for the patter of little leaves. How can you tell if you need to prepare for another little plant to care for? There are a few signs to look out for. Air plant lore has it that plants …

Where do I keep an airplant?

Air plants (Tillandsia) need light, water and food in the same way that other plants do. So where do you put your new air plant so that it looks good, and thrives? Some people put their air plants in the bathroom assuming that they will get enough moisture from the damp air. They won’t, you …

How do I water an airplant?

An air plant needs water, food and light like other plants do. Because it doesn’t root in the soil and lives off the ground, many people think it doesn’t need watering and lives on air. This is wrong. This is why your air plants have died. It doesn’t use its roots to take up water, …

How can I tell if my air plant is going to flower?

In the south east corner of the UK, my air plants seem to flower either in the late summer or in the late winter (very roughly). It takes a long time for them to build up to it, rather like giving out ‘save the day’ cards to all their friends, and then faffing around for …

What is a Tillandsia?

A Tillandsia is the scientific name for what many people call an air plant. They are members of the bromeliad family, and most are epiphytes. Other bromeliads are the pineapple, spanish moss and the plant in which small frogs live, mentioned by Terry Pratchett in the Bromeliad Trilogy. Tillandsias are mostly smaller and more able to …

What is an air plant?

An air plant is one that lives off the ground, away from the soil. The scientific term is epiphyte (epi – above, over, on; phyte – plant), which really refers to plants that live on other plants. An air plant doesn’t and can’t live on air. It still needs sun, water and nutrients in the …

Renting and gardening

I am a failed Generation X. Somewhere along the way I ended up renting instead of being a Buy-to-let squillionaire. As the oldest millennial horticulturist, I needed to find a way to garden in a rented property. When I moved into my current home (imagine a single-storey box with a flat roof, cover it in gravel-dash*, …

Potted

In central London, in the RHS Lindley Library there is a small exhibition called ‘Potted’. To quote the blurb “In celebration of the humble houseplant, this exhibition at the RHS Lindley Library presents a series of designs by students from Central Saint Martins college. In a collaborative project with the library, the students have investigated …

‘Tis the season…

…to bring the last of your houseplants indoors if they have been holidaying outside. Here in the far south east of England the temperatures have dropped to about 3c overnight, which means that even the mediterranean-type plants (those hardy to just above or brief periods below 0c) will need protection. If you are faced with …