Air plants still do require a green thumb

As I mentioned before I am a gardner. I love the changing of the seasons, especially living in Chicago, the coming of spring. So it no surprise that when the growing season is done for, I have inside a plethora of plants to keep me going until the next growing season. One such plant that has been in my home is an air plant or better know as tillandsia.

I got this plant originally 5 yrs ago, not this particular plant because THAT particular plant decided to die on me, rot is actually a better word. I'm not bad when it comes to gardening but for some reason the air plant was not surviving in my home for longer than a year. This particular plant that you see is the 5th, and so far surviving.  These air plants are exactly what they sound like they survive on air, and the water thats in the air. So I was told. But I think the real reason they survive at least in zone 5 is in how much sun they get. Not hot direct sun but filtered sunlight. 

I was having my humidifier running in the winter in the living room and after a few months noticed that the air plant was rotting from the inside so to the trash went #1, #2, #3 and #4. This last one was in my bedroom, in a fairly decent spot, it was getting late afternoon sun but through the shades, which I gather is enough. Also I soaked this sucker, like the rest of them, for a couple of hours in the bathroom sink.

I'm crossing my fingers, hopefully they will stay with me for a very long time. I love how beautiful they are. Their texture is something out of this world. The Tillandsia Xerographica has a texture like paper and the curly leaves twist around and under but for a plant so large its super light. 

I think I read somewhere that they do a wonderful job of cleaning the air of harmful VOC's. Bonus.

Oh and the container that I placed the air plant is made out of tree bark. Don't know which type of tree. Isn't it gorgeous? I love this container, I have two of them. It was given to me as a gift from a coworker, who is an awesome gardener in her own right.  

I wish I could get more of these but alas, she bought it at a yard sale YEARS ago, and for .25. Yes 25 CENTS each. I wonder if its hard to make? hmm project for another day?

If you have success in zone 5 with air plants, leave a comment on how in this world you get them to stay alive, and if you ever get them to bloom? Which I've heard they do.

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